Hi guys! I am excited to be teaming up with some talented ladies for a little monthly collaboration. Brenda from Cozy Little House, Susan from Love of Home, Cristina from Remodelando la Casa and I will each bring you a new DIY project each month with a certain theme. This month the focus was on herbs, and I decided to create an herb garden featuring upcycled brick plant markers.
For the last few years we have planted our herbs in the front garden next to our peonies… it has not been ideal, but it was an area that was already prepared so we just worked with it. However, just beyond our porch we have this weird little patio area that had a combination of square pavers and bricks. I don’t have a true before picture because halfway through digging up the bricks I thought to myself, “Crap, I need a before shot!” And I wasn’t about to put all of those bricks back just for a photo. But here you get an idea of what we were working with…That building to the right is our detached garage. And you can see we had a layout of bricks next to square pavers. It was like someone had started a patio and decided to add on but couldn’t find the same pavers, so just added brick. It has always bugged me, so I finally got off my tush and did something about it. I spent an afternoon when the sun was shining (rare these days) out there with a pitchfork digging all of those bricks out and stacking them. Once all of the bricks were dug, help appeared and went to work tilling the ground. She’s a cute helper, and she truly loves to dig her hands into the earth.After all of the bricks were removed, we headed to our local farmer’s market as well as the Dutch Plant Farm to load up on herbs we knew we would use. We laid out the plan of where we wanted each of the plants and then got to work planting them. Because this soil hadn’t been seen by the sun in years, we dug for the plants, and before planting added a generous helping of organic potting soil to provide much needed nutrients. Planting took no time at all, and the next step was to mulch.
I had planned on doing the mulching myself, but it rained here for 18 days in a row… 18 days!!!! So I never had a chance, and Chris came to my rescue and handled it for me while I was out with Emmy this past Saturday morning, prior to the rain coming once again that afternoon. I had also set aside the proper number of bricks correlating with the various herbs we had so that we could make those into our markers.
Once again, it rained that afternoon, but Emmy and I had a lovely time inside crafting away and creating our plant markers. I laid the bricks out on newspaper on our dining table, and we got out our brushes and paints. We used DecoArt Patio Paint because it’s intended to be used on outdoor projects so I knew it would weather well. I used it on my garden gnome 4 years ago and he looks just the same as he did after being painted.I didn’t give Emmy any rules as I wanted her to just take pride in her work, be creative, and have a sense of ownership over this garden. We simply sat with each other painting and chatting. Oh, and I had a few square pavers I had dug up as well, so I let Emmy create one that reads “Herb Garden.”When we were finished we had 15 upcycled brick garden markers.We love the colorful and fun mix in the garden. While I tend to stay team neutral with a dash of blue on my interior spaces, outside I love to infuse fun color in the garden, aside from what the flowers naturally provide.
But all 4 colors created a cohesive palette that made them all work together.Oh and let me give you a better idea of where this space sits, but warning that it’s not totally photo ready because there is some major work going on. This is the porch area that sits right outside our kitchen. As you can see in the background, there’s a partial structure which will become our chicken coop very soon. You may have noticed a butterfly bush in the back end of the herb garden. I planted that so it would be near the chicken coop to help provide them with bugs to eat.
Having the herb garden right outside the kitchen door now will be so convenient and maybe our house will even smell better? Or not.
I love how this space is coming together and is going to be much more useful for our family. It makes me truly happy to be able to grow some of the things we eat on our own.Most importantly, I am thrilled to share these experiences with my kids. (Sawyer had no interest in the herb garden, but he’s pretty stoked about the chickens). Teaching them to work with the land, appreciate the fruit of their labors, and think creatively will provide them with the tools they need to become conscientious and contributing adults in the world. Not to mention the time spent with them makes it all worth it.
Now be sure to head on over to visit the other ladies to see what they’ve created with herbs! Hopefully we can inspire some of your own Spring and Summer garden projects.