Make an English Garden Trough

English trough containers are stone-like garden containers you can make at home from common materials. They are great for shallow-rooted hardy perennials, dwarf alpines, herbs or annuals. Examples of these versatile troughs can be seen in the English Walled Garden and Heritage Garden.

Nancy Clifton teaches trough-making and other garden workshops through the Joseph Regenstein, Jr. School of the Chicago Botanic Garden. Look for her classes online and in the catalogs. For registration information, visit

Download step-by-step instructions for building your own trough