This DIY project was inspired by a lovely meal on Mother’s Day last year at Baltimore’ s Fleet Street Kitchen. My eyes are always peeled for inspired ideas wherever I am, and this day was no different. The gorgeous stylized look of the green herbs in wooden, stained plant boxes in front of the open kitchen combined with my annoyance at having to pay crazy prices for fresh herbs at the grocery (which only survive 1 week) made this a perfect project. So, when we were in the process of designing our new condo, which we moved into in October 2013, my husband and I incorporated this stylized idea into our home.
I bought 3 unstained, wood planters at Home Depot, along with their plastic inserts (there are 2 inserts per planter, one for the soil/herbs and the other catches the water that drips through). For extra flare and to complement the gold mirrors in my dining room, I added gold accent stripes to contrast with the wood. To get the gold color I wanted, I tried a few options (acryllic paint and gold leaf), but metallic gold spray paint turned out the best.
I also experimented with the order: initially, I tried staining the box first and then spray-painting it, but as it turned out, the reverse order worked better. I found that taping and spray-painting the gold first and then staining the box resulted in a more polished look.
Unstained wood planters, painter’s tape, Krylon Metallic gold indoor spray paint, paintbrush, Reeves gold acrylic paint, and Varathane Wood Stain (Cabernet interior).
I also spray-painted the sides and bottoms of the boxes and used my gold acryllic paint for touch-ups.
Oddly enough, what I was most surprised at with this project was how many funny looks and sarcastic comments I received while standing in the crackly, nearly-frozen bushes in front of our building this afternoon, spray-painting my boxes. Does the crafting-world come to a halt because it’s January in Maryland?
I think not.
Part 2 of DIY Hanging Herb Garden will cover how to attach herb planters to the wall and tips for growing various types of herbs. We’re currently testing two mechanisms for starting the garden–in one planter we used seeds from a packet (make sure to get organic and non-gmo, if possible) and in the other we nestled into the soil two already-grown herb plants from the grocery store.
Here is the location for our future herb planter boxes. (I didn’t bother to take down my Valentine’s banner for this picture, which is already up–can you tell I’m excited for V-day?)
My clever husband came up with the idea of installing a grow light to speed the process along. We are thinking that the light will be especially useful for wheatgrass, which should be juiced regularly and takes time to regenerate.
The grow light has a timer, so it pops on at night. And the light just happens to be neon pink. I was driving home last night and spotted our neon-lit windows from a mile away. If the herb garden doesn’t work out, we can always install a pole and start listening to techno. (Phrase I never thought I’d google: “Do they still listen to techno in clubs?” I go to bed really early, is what I’m saying.)
I’m actually beginning to genuinely enjoy the pink glow: it provides quite an endearing ambiance for slow-dancing or reading in the evenings with my sweetie.
Stay tuned for all of the dreaming and scheming I have in store for wonderful ways to incorporate these fresh herbs into vegan/vegetarian cooking.
Link-Up: DIY Show-Off