Friday, August 1, 2014

Herb Garden Makeover

It seems that I don't have a green thumb when it comes to growing herbs. I do quite well with keeping my vegetable garden alive but I've never had much luck with my herb garden.

Last year I had the bright idea to build a gutter herb garden thanks to a picture I saw on Pinterest. We built it, planted seeds and then promptly forgot to water it on a regular basis. Needless to say, nothing really grew. Fail.

So I decided that I would try my hand at an indoor herb garden last winter and hoped it would do better than the gutter one. It didn't. Everything came up and then didn't grow any bigger for the rest of the winter. Fail again.

So this spring, we decided to give the gutter garden one last try but promised ourselves we would water it more often. Even though we watered faithfully, it didn't do well and the herbs were looking sadder and sadder by the day.

Things were growing but definitely not thriving, so we decided it was time for an emergency rescue and a complete herb garden overhaul.

Out came the pots and new potting soil.

Since the holes in the bottom of the pots were pretty big and we didn't want to lose all of our soil from them, we cut out small squares of window screen and placed it over the hole. Then we filled them up.

The next part was a little tricky, but we successfully transplanted all the herbs from the gutter to the pots without killing any.

Once they were all safe in their new homes, I moved the pots over into the sunlight and watered them. This was their temporary home since we wanted to figure out some way to hang the pots so as to get them off the ground while still looking pleasing to the eye.

Unfortunately, it took us a while to get our creative juices flowing and Pinterest was failing us for the first time ever. So the poor plants stayed on the ground for a while and all the cute little corks with the herbs names on them got stolen by the neighbour dog.

Dan finally came up with a brilliant plan and I immediately jumped on board. I'm so glad I've got such a talented husband who doesn't mind helping me with my silly projects around the house and yard.

The previous owners had left two of these old hooks on the clothesline pole and they were in pretty rough shape.

Dan took them down and sand blasted them, to get rid of the rust and old paint.

Then he quickly spray painted them black and they looked as good as new. We knew that we had seen this hook in a store somewhere so we headed into town for our search. After going to three different places, we finally found the exact ones at Canadian Tire. Go us!

We also picked up some other supplies while we were shopping, so that we could make something for the pots to sit in. And when I say we, I really mean Dan. He was the brains behind the operation and he did most of the work.

With the above supplies, Dan made these adorable wire things to hang the pots on the hooks with.

We then screwed the hooks into our clothesline pole in the backyard, placing them in a spiral pattern.

Mia helped guard the herbs while we worked. She was pretty helpful.

Once we had all the hooks screwed in, I could finally start hanging the herbs and my excitement mounted with each new one that went up. It looked so good!

By the time we were done, it was cold and buggy out so we called it a night and came back inside to watch Friends. I knew that I wanted to save taking the rest of the pictures for when the sun was shining and when I had time to remake the herb name tags.

I finally got around to it earlier this week and I'm still as delighted as I was the first night. Here are some close ups with the sun shining down on the fresh herbs.

They have only been in the pots for about a month but they are already doing so much better than they were in the gutter. I'm pretty sure that I can finally say that I have a successful herb garden! Hopefully I didn't just jinx myself.

What is your favourite herb to throw into your cooking? I'm kind of in love with thyme lately but basil is a close second.


  1. Sweet! I think they are happy to have more soil. I personally love having parsley and chives on hand, but all herbs are pretty great. :)

  2. I've just had hubby put gutters up for me as well, I blogged it the other day, ours will be for strawberry plants as I'm fed up with the slugs getting them. I like the plant pot post x

  3. Probably the most decorative herb garden I've ever seen! Just remember to water them every day or two; hanging pots dry out FAST.

  4. What a creative idea! I love the look of herbs in terra cotta pots! The herbs that grow the best for me are chivesp, sage, and oregano.

  5. First part of my comment disappeared before I was done. So to continue, the herbs I use the most are basil, chives, and parsley, especially on tomatoe sandwiches

  6. My herb gardens thrive in sandy nasty old soil! We had a firepit out front years ago. It was a bare patch of ground that wouldn't grow. The Man boxed it in, put newspapers down, then covered that with soil. The herbs have THRIVED. Last fall we tore that box out and moved the herbs to a new location (yet another abandoned fire pit). This spring there were herbs popping up all over the lawn where the old herb bed had been! The thyme is filling in all the dead spots the grubs had created. Out back, the herbs are once again jumping their bed and taking over part of the back lawn! I'm going to have to move the lavender, chives and asparagus to a new spot because the oregano and thyme are pushing them out. These types of herbs are "Mediteranean" and love a hot, sunny, gravelly patch.

  7. Jackie - The more soil is definitely helping their happiness factor. I still don't like chives, I'm not sure why. Mom used to put them into everything.

    Julee - Let me know how the gutters work for the strawberries. I'm going to try flowers in mine next year, since it's a little late for this year. I love the idea of having things growing in a gutter.

    Furry Gnome - I've definitely discovered how fast they dry out so I've been watering faithfully when it hasn't been raining. So far so good!

    Ellie - The terra cotta pots are pretty awesome. Tomato sandwiches sound so good! I can't wait until my tomatoes are ripe enough.

    Karen - How awesome that your herbs grow so well in crappy soil! It is a good use for the areas of the lawn that don't look great any more.