Bricks are durable and if you use older bricks the planter develops a different character. The safest height for a single wall is two feet and this makes it a good height to work at. Thinking about the practicalities of working the planter, four feet is the around the maximum width that you’ll be able to easily work from both sides.

If you haven’t used mortar before it may feel daunting but follow the instructions on the packet and the mix will be correct.

Position is key and moving the planter will not be easy so it needs to be right the first time. Consider what you want to grow in the container, what light the plants need and check there’s enough height available if the plants are climbers.

The more thorough way to create the foundation is to dig trenches and fill them with cement to make a foundation. This takes longer as it will need 48 hours to set but it is cheaper option.

The easiest, though more expensive, way is to lay a concrete slab base where the planter is to sit. The spirit level is key, make sure that the foundation is perfectly level.

Do a dry run first by laying a line of bricks with a breathing space every second bricks to enable drainage. This is the only layer that will have gaps. When bricks need resizing, carefully split them with a chisel and brick hammer. Make sure that at each end there is a complete brick to maintain strength.

When you’re happy, apply mortar to each brick and position carefully using the spirit level. Continue around the shape to complete the first course, each side with drainage gaps. Off set the bricks for the remaining layers and continue to about two feet high. Any higher and a single skin of bricks may not stand, or it could be pushed out of shape by soil and water.

You may choose to make the final layer one of a different sort such as slate or local stone for aesthetic reasons or you may be content with bricks. If you’re sticking with bricks, make sure that the final layer features bricks without holes, or pavers as they used to be known, as they will give a better finish. If you don’t have them you can use bricks with holes and plant up the holes as a design element.

It will take a week or more to dry, depending on the weather and it’s important to make sure it is set before you begin filling it.

Good drainage is vital. While not blocking up the drainage holes it is important that crocks or stones are lightly placed over the holes to prevent the compost washing out. Fill the first quarter with gravel or stones to assist drainage then fill with your chosen combination of soil, compost and grit.