DIY Herb Garden

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I’ve wanted to have a vegetable garden for quite some time now. Lack of time is what stopped me before. Now that I have some (little) time on my hands, I thought this might be a good time to give it a shot. I waited a bit it to long though to work out all the plans for a full vegetable garden (building beds, planning what to plant and when, etc.) plus, I’m terrible at keeping plants alive (they need water, I’m not so good at remembering to give it to them) so, I thought an herb garden would be a safe place to start. So far so good, granted, it’s only been about a week, but we’re off to a good start.

I have a feeling the fact that I’m getting something out of keeping these plants alive, i.e. herbs for my cooking, is going to help me stay on track because so far I’m super excited about this little gem on my back deck. I’ve already used some of the herbs a couple of times and there is something very satisfying about walking out the back door and snipping off a few sprigs or leaves of whatever I need. Not to mention, so much less waste! I can’t tell you how often I buy a full bunch of parsley or cilantro and only need a couple tablespoons. The rest always ends up going to waste. Now I can just take what I need.

When I started making plans for the herb garden, I was on Pinterest looking for different planter ideas. There are tons of great ideas, for both indoor and outdoor, however many of them required building the planters. Not that I’m against building something…obviously…but the thought of building a planter then having to plant all the plants somehow seemed like a bit too much, especially for something that may or may not be dead by the end of summer. I wanted to keep this as simple as possible in case the inevitable happens. So, I started looking for planters that held multiple pots and remembered I had seen this one a few weeks prior.

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This is the Socker Plant Stand from Ikea, it holds 13 4″ pots and stands just over 5′ tall. The stand can pivot to be positioned at an angle or opened up completely and be straight from end to end. It comes in white or grey (which to me looks more like black in person). Unfortunately, this piece is not available online (sorry guys!) but can be picked up in store if you have an Ikea nearby. I chose these galvanized pots to complete the simple look I was going for.

The first thing I learned about container gardening while doing my research, is that your containers need to have good drainage. The galvanized pots I chose did not have any drainage holes, of course. Now, you could get around this by putting rocks in the bottom of the pot but these are small pots and I knew it would be pretty easy to just drill some holes in bottom. I used a 5/8″ drill bit and drilled 4 holes in each pot. You want the holes to be big enough that bark or larger chunks in the potting soil aren’t going to plug up the holes but small enough that soil isn’t going to easily flow out when watered I made sure to pot one plant and water to see that it worked well before drilling holes into the other 12 pots.

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The herb plants that I picked up were from Home Depot and they really make it super easy to plant. They are grown by Bonnie Plants, in biodegradable “pots” that can literally just be dropped into your container. Simply cut off the plastic liner around the top of the pot…

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The second thing I learned when researching container gardens is that you want to use a Potting Mix and NOT a Potting Soil. The reason being that potting mix is lighter weight, has fertilizer mixed in, promotes better drainage and absorbs moisture in the best way. Fill the bottom of your container with about an inch of soil…

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Peel the bottom of the biodegradable pot off the plant to allow the roots out. Place the plant in your container and fill remaining space with soil.

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I used a mixture of different herbs, just based on what I use more when cooking. Here is my assortment:
3 Cilantro
2 Parsley
2 Mint
2 Thyme
1 Sage
1 Rosemary
1 Oregano
1 Basil
I cook a lot with Cilantro so I wanted a few of those. Looking at it now, I should have done an additional Parsley because I’ve already used those plants a lot, but I only had 13 spots. I’ll have to see what happens throughout the season and adjust for next year. But, if this goes well, maybe my herb garden will be MUCH bigger next year 🙂

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To finish off, I made little “signs” for each pot to label which herb it held. I used new popsicle sticks (which you can get at a craft store year round or most grocery stores during summer months), dipped about 3/4 in black chalkboard paint, laid them on wax paper to dry and then used a white paint marker to write the name of the herb.

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I’m seriously so excited about this little addition to my yard. I’m already saving money at the grocery store and wasting less! I’ll keep you all updated on whether or not I can develop some green thumbs 🙂

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DIY Greenery Crown

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We had our maternity photos done 2 weeks ago and I am beyond thrilled with how they turned out! Of course, they were shot by my good friend, Janine, of Janine Soltman Photography, and we shot them at Kruger’s Farm on Sauvie Island. I will do a full post of all the gorgeous photos soon, but this post is all about the eucalyptus crown that I made and wore for some of the photos. I tend to see things on Pinterest and get these ideas in my head of what I want. I ended up not wearing the crown for most of the shoot but I did love how it turned out. Using eucalyptus made the crown pretty big and full, if you wanted a thinner and not so “drapey” look (drapey…is that a thing?) you could easily substitute different greenery and you can add in flowers as well. The possibilities are endless!

Supplies
greenery or flowers of your choice
green floral tape
24 gauge floral wire
scissors
ribbon of your choice

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Step 1: Use the wire to create a circular crown, measuring it to the head of whoever is going to wear it. Don’t measure it too tight as it will get a bit tighter after adding greens, flowers and tape. Layer the wire 3 times, cut the wire and twist loose end around the crown to secure the wire in place. Then use floral tape to secure this area of the crown to maintain the correct size. Note: If you haven’t used floral tape, it is not a normal sticky tape. This is a paper tape that sticks to itself when it is stretched and pressed together.

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Step 2: Begin to build the crown. Cut small pieces of greenery or flowers, with the stem being about 1 1/2″ long. Use one piece of greenery or flower along the wire crown, hold stem with one hand and attach with floral tape with the other hand. Wrap the floral tape until the length of the stem is covered. Choose your next stem, lay it in place to that the bloom or leaves sit where you want it to and repeat wrapping the stem to the wire until it is covered. I alternated a stem of leaves and stem of buds to get the mixed and layered look.

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Continue adding greens or florals until the entire crown is covered. When you get towards the end, you will have to be a bit careful to attach the tape in between some of the first stems you attached. Go slowly so you don’t break any stems and weave the tape in between.

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Step 3: If you’d like, you can finish the look by adding ribbons to the back of the crown. Depending on what greens or florals used, this could look too busy but I simply tied them in one spot so it is easy to change your mind and remove the ribbons if you end up not liking it.

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I used a basic ivory lace ribbon and an ivory sheer chiffon ribbon and cut 2 long strips of each. I very simply, tied them in a single knot on the back side (or what would become the back side) of the crown. Once all pieces of ribbon are attached, cut the ribbon at different lengths to give it some texture.

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DIY Flower Basket Stand

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Happy belated Mother’s Day to all the amazing, hard-working mamas out there! I hope you all enjoyed a day of relaxation, pampering and spending quality time with your kiddos.

I started this project as something completely different…I was searching for DIY floor lamp ideas and came across a flower pot stand idea on Pinterest instead. My goal was to make it and post the instructions in time for you all to make it yourself, possibly for a Mother’s Day gift, however, my morning sickness got in the way 😦

I’m at 16 weeks now and my mornings are getting more and more difficult by the day. I wake up every single morning with a headache that has been lasting about 2 hours before I get rid of it enough to function and for the last couple days, intense joint pain in my hips is actually waking me up early in the morning. Anyone else have this? I feel like it’s so early to be having hip/joint pain already. My hope is that I just pushed myself a bit too hard with all the retail chaos of Mother’s Day shopping. I was running around quite a bit more than usual from Friday-Sunday. I used my pregnancy pillow last night and for the first time, woke up today without a headache! Woohoo!! (This could also be because I ate a very late dinner) However, the pillow did nothing for the joint pain. Let’s hope taking it easy for few days will help.

So this flower basket stand was super easy, it’s made out of an old floor lamp and a metal hanging basket. And other than dry time for the spray paint, I think the whole thing took me an hour to put together!

Supplies
old floor lamp
drill and drill bits
block of 1×6″ scrap wood
1″ self drilling screws
20″ metal hanging basket with fiber liner (remove hanging chains from basket)
a few inches 1/2″ copper plated steel tab tape
3/4″ self drilling screws
spray paint in color of your choice
potting soil and plants of your choice

Step 1:
I started with this lamp that I got for $20 at a thrift store

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Step 2:
Remove the glass bowl, light bulb and electrical fixture from the lamp. (The electrical fixture should come out by unscrewing it from the base and you’ll be able to pull a bit of the cord out throught the top of the lamp). Using wire cutters, cut the electrical cord away from the electrical fixture. You should now be able to pull the electrical cord from the  bottom of the lamp until it is completly removed.

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Step 3:
Using a drill and a drill bit just slightly larger than the threaded post of your screws, you will drill a hole on 4 sides at the top of the lamp post, holes should be evenly spaced apart. (Note: the larger hole is from the lamp switch, not from drilling)

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Step 4:
Using a piece of scrap wood (mine was a piece of 1×6 board but to about 8″), turn the lamp post upside down and center it on the scrap wood. Attach the lamp post to the wood using 1″ self drilling screws. You may want a helper for this step as the lamp post may not sit evenly and stay upright while you are drilling.

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Step 5:
Using the copper plated steel tab tape, you will attach the wire hanging basket to the wood. Turn the post back over so it is standing upright, scrap wood facing up. Set the wire basket on top of the wood, centered. Cut a piece of tab tape long enough to weave through some of the basket wires and still attached the tab tape to the wood with 3/4″ self drilling screws. As you are attaching the tab tape, you should be pulling it or holding it down tightly so the basket is secure and not loose enough to move.

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Step 6:
Use your spray paint to paint the lamp base, wood and hardware in your desired color and allow to dry according to directions on the can. Once dried, add the fiber liner to the metal basket.

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Step 7:
Plant your basket!! Again, be aware that your basket stand may be top heavy. Mine was a bit unsteady so I was very careful when planting and because it was so tall (mine stands about 7 feet tall without plants), I had to plant it while standing  a few stairs above the stand. I was also worried about the stand blowing over in the wind so I used wired to attach the stand to a post on my deck to hold it in place.

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I used an ornamental grass, 3 geraniums and 3 bacopa plants to dress up my basket, as well as an outdoor flat black spray paint on the base. I love this planter so much, I think I’m going to make a few others to match it!

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