DIY Leaning Herb Garden

by Michelle Considine

A dear friend in Dallas, Holly, showed me a photo of her leaning herb garden. She created it using leftover wood from previous projects. She also shared that it drives her husband a bit crazy that she saves all pieces of leftover wood. Think of how lucky we are to have Resource Central, a place to get rid of unused building stuff AND have the treasures from hundreds of peoples’ garages/yards gathered, organized, and ready for use!

Four key assets:

  • It’s portable! Move it around based on the season, to mow, to use your outdoor space in a variety of ways, or if you move. You can also move it based on the type of plants you are growing; maybe you want limited sun for mid-summer spinach one year and full blast sun for herbs a different year.
  • It’s space-saving! Vertical gardening can allow for more plants per square foot of ground.
  • It’s ergonomic! Vertical gardening puts more plants at heights that don’t require squatting and bending.
  • It’s beautiful! The aesthetic possibilities abound. You could build one for a boring exterior wall or fence and transform the area into a charming place for a sitting area. This could be a beautiful thing to have outside of a window that you look out of often. So many possibilities!

Check out the details are in the photos. Note that Holly used plastic liners inside of the wooden boxes. More specifically, she built the boxes to fit the liners. This is a great idea if your upcycled wood possibly has a pressure treatment and/or lead paint. She was concerned about the durability of non-treated pine for consistently watered planters (in a humid climate!). Holly included holes/slots in the bottom of each box for drainage. Originally, she stained them, but, with time, the stain didn’t have the look she wanted so she used leftover house trim paint to paint them.

One great thing about this project is that it leads to so many creative ideas for gardening and design.  I’m considering building one high, long box for cucumber vines on a wall that otherwise gets blasted by the summer afternoon sun. Two for one: it would cool the wall, and, ideally, grow a lot of cucumbers. Here is a different brainstorm, seating under an herb garden:

Michelle Considine, long-time enthusiast of Boulder’s Resource Central, volunteers with the intention of promoting reuse and creativity.  Aside from being a carbon tax proponent and upcycling artist of many mediums, Michelle privately tutors high school math and physics in the Boulder area as well as online.