At the end of last summer we had a family beach day with our friends Rachel and Bob and their adorable kids. We went to the beach on Long Island, and when we had our fill of sun and sand (i.e. when the kids had eaten enough sand), we headed over to Rachel’s parents house for a cookout. Rachel’s parents were abroad for the month, while her mom’s lovely herb garden was in full bloom. Since all the herbs would be dead by the time her parents were back, Rachel’s mom offered up her herbaceous bounty. Rachel and I cut down shopping bags full of basil, thyme and other herbs to bring back to the city. While I often get small amount of herbs from my CSA crop-share and the farmer’s market, this haul was huge. I had so much basil that I couldn’t even make it all into one batch of pesto in my 11 cup food processor! I froze several containers of pesto, as well as the woodier herbs chopped and frozen into ice cube trays, and so enjoyed having a fresh taste of summer during the cold winter months.
Rachel’s mom’s luscious herbs were plated in several old wheelbarrows, which was both charming and practical. Their backyard is rocky, so planting the herbs in soil in wheelbarrows eliminates soil issues. Planting herbs in a wheelbarrow also means that the herbs can be easily moved for optimal sun exposure as the seasons change, and temporarily moved to the garage or porch for protection during a downpour, hail storm or particularly cold nights.
I love the idea of a wheelbarrow herb garden and wanted to share it with all of you, as well as some tips from Rachel’s mom on how to plant a thriving wheelbarrow herb garden of your own.
Tips for Planting a Wheelbarrow Herb Garden:
(1) Drill a few holes in the bottom of the wheelbarrow so the water has a place to drain;
(2) Place a layer of rocks on the bottom of the wheelbarrow before filling with dirt and planting the herbs to help with drainage;
(3) Plant herbs that have the same light requirements (such as full sun) together in the wheelbarrow; and
(4) Park your wheelbarrow where it will receive at least eight hours of direct sun for full sun plants (such as basil, lavender, lemon verbena, oregano, peppermint, rosemary, sage and thyme).
For a full list of herbs and their growing requirements see Growing Herbs for the Home Gardener.
Do you have any unique herb garden container ideas? Share in the comments!