“Gardening with herbs, which is becoming increasingly popular, is indulged in by those who like subtlety in their plants in preference to brilliance.”
Helen Morgenthau Fox

Too right you are, Helen! You have to love someone who uses words like “indulge” and “subtlety” in the same sentence. I think Helen and I would have gotten along just fine.

Well, my deck is absolutely full of green, herbaceous subtlety these days. This weekend I indulged in some huzzah-you-finished-the-never-ending-chair-project herb gardening. This was a little one-hour project that I really enjoyed and has the added bonus of being edible. Edible projects are my favourite projects.

I have had this idea floating around in the back of my mind (along with tufting a headboard, but that one keeps running into nay-say thought walls) ever since I saw this on pinterest:

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Charmant, non? So when my dear maman arrived with the perfect wooden wine crate I couldn’t help myself! The wine it once held is actually one of our go-to labels for reds, Concha y Toro. Much more fitting for our Mexican-Canadian family that the crate feature Spanish wine, rather than French. 🙂

A quick (ok, maybe slightly lengthy, depending on whether you ask me or Erick) trip to my new favourite flower place, and $15 in herbs later, I came home and made this:

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The herbs I chose are parsley, oregano, rosemary, basil, and cayenne peppers. I bet you can guess who chose the hot peppers!

The process was basically the same as DIYing my planters. I did line the bottom of the crate with a plastic garbage bag, though, to prevent leakage. I put the usual layer of rocks, then the soil, then some plant fertilizer, and the herbs.

I ended up with WAY too many herbs and had more than enough to fill the two three-pot Ikea planters left over from our wedding.

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The only problem that has arisen is that one side of the crate warped with the recent humidity. So, my husband being the resourceful human being he is, contrived to install some tin corners on the box, to keep the dovetailing from separating. I call it rustic-industrial-garden-chic. Work it!

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The cayenne peppers are loving this wet weather, and the peppers have – quite literally – grown several inches since I planted them just this past weekend!

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In other hard-hitting garden news, my little pepper plants have teensy-weensy peppers growing on them!

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There you have it, folks: the subtlety of herbs over the brilliance of flowers. Probably a wise choice, considering that my dahlias are weeks away from blooming and my planters are looking a little washed-out after all this rain.

So what do you think? Are herbs the more “subtle” garden choice? Anyone out there doing some successful container gardening? Anyone doing some unsuccessful container gardening? Leave me a comment and let me know!

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8 Comments on Subtlety over brilliance… herb gardening on my deck

  1. That looks beautiful! I’ve always thought it would be so convenient to grow my own herbs at home but have been afraid to try since I don’t have a green thumb. They look gorgeous in the wine box though!

  2. What a wonderful combination: Sarah creative and imaginative, and above all enthusiastic. Erick, resourceful and a loving husband! Congratulations to both of you!
    That house is going beautiful and cozy.
    Carmen and Erick

  3. Sarah, as beautiful as your little herb box is, might I please ask what the stunning red-flowering hanging plant is in the picture, a begonia? I’m in Australia so our flowers are a little different (depending on location). I’m a newbie but thought both of your potting efforts were top notch, I’ve always loved to grow my own herbs, well done you!

    • Thank you so much, Linda! The red flowers are begonias, and they lasted the whole summer. We end up with a different shade every year: this year is a hot pink, for our little girl. 🙂

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