Subtlety over brilliance… herb gardening on my deck

DIY Container Herb Garden

“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:


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:


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.



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!


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!


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


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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Feeling pretty chair-ful!

Because, ladies and gentlemen, the chairs are DONE!

I know you’ve been on the edge of your seat waiting for this post… About to fall off your chair in anticipation… Well here it is!

Actually, you’re probably thinking “Oh look – she finally finished this interminable project. I thought it would take her the next twenty years. Maybe now she’ll stop nattering about oil paint and seat cushions”.

Oh wait, that’s what Erick is thinking. You’re just thinking, “Ok lady, enough with the build-up, just show me the chairs”.

Drumroll, please……………



sarah fireworks

In just 30 000 hours, $50, and a lot of second-guessing    frustration perseverance, we have gone from this:



To this: (sanded, scraped, and being primed)


To this: (primed and seats are cut)


To this: (final coat of Trem-Clad oil paint going on)


To this! (DONE!)


The seat cushions were probably the cheapest, but most time-sucking part of this project. I must have gone round to 10 different stores looking for tie-on seat cushions. The kicker was that they couldn’t cost $50 dollars each. Imagine! Not wanting to spend an exorbitant amount on cushions?! What a demanding person I am! Anyways, I struck gold at the dollar store in Kirkland, where I got these simple red cushions for $2.00 each. Ya-hoo!

Thus ends the saga of the deck chairs. For all that it was a time-consuming project, I love the way they turned out and it was totally worth it!

Now, for all you blogosphere sleuths, leave me a comment if you notice something else that’s new on the deck… Because that’s what this Wednesday’s post will be about!

See you later!

*** Click here for part 1 of the chair project, here for part 2, and here for part 3 ***


Happy Father’s Day!

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there! I hope that you had a great weekend and were duly celebrated and lauded by your family. The reason this weekend’s post is so very late is that I was busy enjoying some fantastic down time with my dad (and my mom and Erick!). We had a lovely weekend together, which began with a scrumptious dinner at my friend Annie’s place. She’s a wonderful chef and my dad really enjoyed seeing “Daughter No. 3”!

Yesterday was a bit chilly, overcast, and windy, so our fishing-in-the-boat plans were, sadly, curtailed. Even so, we enjoyed a great meal at a relatively new restaurant here on L’Ile Perrot, Blaks No. 1. Their specialty is BBQ, so Erick and I had great pulled pork sandwiches, my mom had ribs, and my dad had a burger (which he loved). We also enjoyed what they call a “blooming onion”, which is basically a deep-friend altar of salty deliciousness that we consumed with the fervour usually reserved for religious fanatics or soccer fans.

As an aside, I finally watched an entire game of soccer. I can see why people enjoy it, but their total self-abandonment in the face of pro sports continues to baffle and bemuse me. I kind of looked like this:


And this:


So whatever. Go team-with-the-best-looking-players team Go!

Anyways… Back to Father’s Day.

We spent today working at my choir’s fundraiser garage sale. We’re off to Newfoundland in just two and a half weeks, and everyone’s been working really hard to raise money for it! There was so much loot at this sale! It was a DIYer’s dream (or nightmare for the DIYer’s husband), and I’ll definitely have some posts about my haul of vintage thread (yes, you read that right; be still your beating hearts) soon.

When we got home dad and I finished painting the chairs (!!!!!!). I was SUPER grateful to have his help getting those babies finished.


Then we enjoyed another mouth-watering meal on our deck. It was my dad’s first time taking our BBQ for a spin and he loved it. Yay!

I’ll leave you with the photographic evidence of our delightful Father’s Day celebration. Have a great week and see you on Wednesday!