Since the very first time we saw this place, we've been concerned about the drop off between the two top levels of our back patio. Here's a picture from before we moved in (that's Gali, our awesome contractor) where you can see the 2-3 foot drop off.
We knew this was one of the first things we wanted to tackle. Don't want to have a party and have a friend drunkenly topple over. A couple of weeks ago, our friend's little girl, Delilah was running around and almost soared off the edge.
So, our idea was to make a wall of planters there, something to keep people from falling off the ledge, but also pretty. One of our friends, don't remember who, sorry guys, had the good idea to put it slightly back from the edge, so the ledge itself became a bench for people to sit during parties. (Can you tell we plan to have a lot of great parties here?) Brilliant! I may even go buy some cheap Ikea seat cushions to throw there when needed.
ANYWAY - we hunted for planters, could not find ones we liked that also weren't CRAZY expensive (like these...or these...mmmm....) so finally settled on some redwood planters from our local Anawalt lumber yard. We kept thinking black so figured we could paint or stain these later on if necessary.
Now, I'd read a lot about how to keep wooden planters from rotting too quickly and the cheapest option was to coat the inside with roofing tar! So one morning I laid down some plastic tarp, got gloved up, and spread this awesome good all over the inside of the planters (keeping the drainage holes clear) in a thin layer.
It was like icing a cake. But smellier. And stickier.
Once you have a 1/8 or so inch coat, let it set for a least 24 hours.
In our case, let it sit a week. We used a coupon to the Sunset Nursery that came in the mail when we moved in, and got a bunch of plants that all needed about the same amount of water and would grow a couple feet tall and to make our "wall" effect. I'm happy with them so far...really brings warmth to our concrete oasis.