Mini Challenge Two: A Herb Tree

Kiwi Urban Homestead is talking about growing Tomato, Peas, Herbs from Manawatu-Wanganui

Just starting off...

This mini-challenge is providing me with the motivation to get done several of the garden structure projects I’ve been thinking about for a while! This one I put together over the weekend – I call it a “herb tree” but basically it’s a fancy structure to hold multiple hanging baskets, most of which I’ve planted with herbs.

I was inspired by a post and hanging baskets I found at an op shop for a bargain price. The base of the stand was completely rotten, so I began by dismantling it, having my husband cut some new base pieces (which needed some fancy work with the benchsaw to make them interlocking), as well as cut some new blocks for the holders. I then rebuilt it myself, and also nailed it to a pallet for extra stability. I painted the pallet and the pole with free paint from the dump – first with a light green, then with a top coat of glossy enamel forest green.

Not all the baskets came with liners, so for the ones that did not, I used some wool from the last time we crutched out sheep to line the insides. Wool makes a great basket liner – it holds water but drains freely, and holds in the soil. Any dags in the wool are a bonus fertiliser!

I planted up 14 hanging baskets. They contain:

  • Basil
  • Dwarf Munstead Lavender
  • Rosemary
  • Nasturtium
  • Parsley
  • Pizza thyme
  • Golden Marjoram
  • Oregano
  • Curry plant
  • Chives
  • Yates Tiny Tim tomatoes
  • German Chamomile
  • Peas (which I hope will drape down over the sides of the basket)
  • Strawberries

Sitting on the pallet I also have four buckets which I drilled holes in the bottom of, filled with potting mix and planted two each with Borage and Geraniums.

My plan is to have everything on this stand be edible, and to make it easy to come along and snip a bit of this and a bit of that to add to salads or cooking.

I also created labels for each plant. I used some battens from a piece of trellis that fell apart, and cut them into 10 and 15cm lengths with the dropsaw. I drilled holes in each end, and I then painted them all with more free pale green paint. After they dried, I used a stencil to pencil on the lettering, then painted with acrylic art paints and a fine art paint brush. I added some decorative touches to some of them. And then I sealed them with a coat of varnish. Lacing wire is threaded throught the holes and over the edge of the baskets before being twisted to hold in place.

The labels will make it easy for my children to identify which herb is which when they need them for cooking. Plus they look pretty cool. :-)

There is room to add a few more baskets onto my herb tree stand as I am able.

The whole set up has been placed onto a barked area I created between several other garden beds, where there is just the right amount of space for it. I would prefer to put it closer to the kitchen door, but that area is very exposed and windy, while this spot is a wee bit more sheltered.