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There is lawn furniture, and then there is what you might call landscape furniture—custom seating built right into the terrain. Done right, it can create a little oasis in your yard or even on your deck. Take, for instance, this bench with planters for piers. Senior technical editor Mark Powers made the entire installation from rot- and weather-resistant cedar lumber using lap joinery, a sturdy construction method meant to keep the planter walls from bowing against pressure from roots, should you decide to plant trees. See how the project comes together step-by-step on the pages that follow.

The cedar lumber for this planter bench costs far less than built teak furniture but is just as weather resistant.

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