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Friday, April 20, 2012

Backyard Beautification: Part 3 (Growing up!)

I mentioned in part 1 that I would really love an herb garden. And our spacious lot is just the place to fill with acres of fragrant herbacious-ness. Right?
Maybe not.
I was going to have to get creative, because non-concreted areas are in short supply around us. Container garden it is. However, containers can take up their fair share of space as well, particularly if they are large and/or numerous which mine would have to be to house the herbs I wanted to grow. So I was stumped.
And then one day on the front page of Pinterest, I saw this:

...and I said, EUREKA! We need to go vertical!
Why didn't I think of that sooner? And it was simple enough to make too... Iron rod, terra cotta pots that already have a hole in the bottom... this was so simple it was genius! So I got to work. I gathered my materials:
 and you can see in this picture I already have the metal rod in place (it's in the grass to the right of the table). My dad procured this for me (he's a machinist and has access to all kinds of wonders at his shop.) It is a very strong steel rod (probably stronger than it needs to be, really. My dad could tel you all about what type of metal it is and strength and all that... i just nodded, okay.) We guessed the size of the rod with a little trial and error. It goes down into the ground about 3 ft. I wanted to make sure this thing was nice and sturdy. My dad sharpened a point on one end so it would be easier to drive into the ground.
After pounding it into the ground, we stacked up the pots to make sure it was the right height-- didn't want it sticking out the top, but wanted all the pots secure. We had to take them off and pound it a few inches further into the ground. Here's what my naked pots look like:
I was worried about them being secure at their angle. So I dug a little hole under the corner of the bottom (largest) one to make it nice and stable even though it sits at an angle. The rest of them just rest on the upper edge of the one below, and once the soil is in it holds pretty secure.
So now I started with the bottom and filled the pots with soil then potted the plants as per the instructions on the side of each plant. And while I was doing all of this, Sam chilled in the kitchen, but kept an eye on me from his vantage point by the door.
It was pretty simple to put together. Herbs grow really well in containers, so this design for an herb garden worked well. And when it was all put together, it looked like this:
I planted (from bottom to top): Rosemary and oregano, thyme and chives, flat leaf parsley, basil, cilantro, and lavender. It fits well in that corner of our tiny yard, and it smells awesome too. Mmmm... herb-y goodness.
So we are slowly taking our sad, dead, smelly yard... and turning it into some place pretty, green, and fragrant (in a good way!).   It's becoming a place we would like to hang out and hopefully will be a place we can entertain. We still need to tackle some storage and some lighting, but we are well on our way.
Just in case you forgot... here's what it looked like last fall:
and here's what it looks like today... quite a difference.
We've got just a few more projects before our Backyard Beautification is complete... an exciting one this weekend! Can't wait to show you whats in the works! :)


  1. super cool. :-) did you have to put more holes in the pots or did you just use the hold in the bottom?

    1. we just used the holes already in the bottom of the terra cotta pots. Couldn't have been simpler! :)

  2. How cute! I want to start my own garden this summer and this idea would be great since my backyard is so small. I'm a vegetable lover and can't imagine what it's like to cook some that are fresh out of your own backyard.


    1. Herbs do really well in containers, but not all vegetables do, so do a little research before you start planting so you don't end up vegetable-less and disappointed. Thanks for stopping by-- looks like you've got some great recipes and insight on your blog as well. :)