I’ve been talking a lot about this herb garden and how it was in the planning stages. Well, I finally got it up yesterday afternoon. There were different processes that had to come together individually to make my hazy vision become a reality. I knew I wanted this project to be inexpensive and still match the style of the rest of the apartment, and not take up any extra space, because again, it’s a tiny studio apartment. I wanted it functional, and I knew it had to be by the only source of natural light we have–we have three huge window panels that stretches across the entire wall and up to the ceiling, measuring at least 20′ x 15’…pretty big. But there was only one unoccupied wall that was flush against the window, and so I knew I would have to make a vertical garden that hung on that wall, and it needed to be custom made to fit the awkward space.
After a couple weeks of pinterest stalking, and a few hours sauntering the isles of home depot (+ some additional Amazon Prime stuff on the side) I finally assembled all the pieces together. I’ll walk you through how I made it:
I bought 2 sheets of 1/8 inch thick planks at Home Depot, and had someone there cut each board into quarters. Of course you can decide on the exact material and the grain based on your personal preferences. I picked a material with a lot of grain. When I went home, I stained each board with a very dark wood stain. (MiniWax Wood Finish-Espresso) Using paper towels and sponges, I dampened the board with water first, one at a time, and then applied the wood finish to the board, working quickly and wiping the excess stain off the board along the grain. Then I let them dry overnight, and nailed them into the wall with 1.5 inch nails.
The arms you see holding my mason jars, were also found in the PVC section of Home Depot. It’s basically a PVC bracket. They were silver originally. But I bought some Rust-oleum Spray Paint- Copper, and sprayed them when I got back home. I bent the brackets/arms at their base, and, using the holes designated for nails, attached them to boards on the wall in the design I liked. I was really going for the industrial/rustic look you see in a lot of restaurants right now.
I ordered a box of mason jars–the 36 oz jars, filled them 2-3 inches with small pebbles I also got from home depot, and then the rest of the way up with Organic planting soil. And then I bought the seeds of all my herbs, and buried them in the soil, and gave them a little water.
MY HERBS: Oregano, Basil (Purple Opal and Regular), Parsley, Cilantro, Sage, Cress (that’s the one that’s growing super fast), and Chives)
I hope this project inspires you to bring some life into your home too! I’ll update more as these little guys grow, and as I continue doing research on the individual herbs, and what they need specifically.
Edna Lewis- “A Note on Herbs to Grow on the Windowsill” -The Taste of Country Cooking
“They all grow really well on the sill of the east window. Planted in good soil from a nursery, chervil can be planted in succession every other week. The seeds sprout readily. PLant 5 or 6 seeds in a 4-inch flowerpot. They grow well and last a few weeks. All plants should be kept moist but not wet and soggy. Temperature can be the regular temperature of the household. And, of course, they need fresh air. The water used should be that which has been drawn a few days ahead from the tap or well water, but don’t use water that has been standing in a plastic container.” (Lewis, 1976, 260)
Current Reading List:
The Third Plate by Dan Barber