Herb Garden

Since late March/early April, James and I have been doing so much work in the yard. We are so happy with what we have accomplished! It's been hard work, but so worthwhile.

One of our favorite and most useful projects has been an herb garden. This was something we wanted to do for a while. James and I cook almost every day and we use a lot of fresh herbs. It's so convenient that now the fresh herbs are from our own garden!

I love just walking out the back door and clipping some herbs for whatever I need!

Before starting this project, James and I talked extensively about what we wanted out of the project. We didn't want to waste time to end up with something that wouldn't be worthwhile for us. We talked about a small container for herbs or individual small pots, but I realized that wasn't what I really wanted.

I told James I wanted enough space for the herbs to grow and to plant all the herbs that I wanted to have available. After talking about it, James said he could build a raised bed to contain the herbs and he would build it big enough to hold 8 different herbs. I had already decided on 7 herbs I wanted and we knew it would be nice to have 1 extra space for the future once we choose what we want to put there.

One of the first things I did before James built the raised bed was make a list of the herbs I wanted and I researched each of them to figure out what they need. I chose:

  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Dill
  • Basil
  • Parsley
  • Cilantro
  • Oregano

Fortunately, for me, all of those need full sun and our backyard is full sun most places! How convenient! Unless you want to sit outside in the shade.... That is not really possible. :-x

So knowing the herbs we would plant and knowing we wanted to make a raised bed, we bought our supplies and James went to town!

While it is usually best to start with a plan and drawing sometimes you just wanna jump right in. Obviously I had an idea of what I wanted to build before I went to the store and purchased lumber. So once we got to the house I knew that the top pieces would end up being longer than the bottom framing because of the angle cut. As a general concept we wanted the bed to be 6' x 4' allowing for plenty of room for each herb to grow. The cedar I bought was 8ft long so I had some spare to work with. So I started by cutting one board in half 2 4' pieces and 2 board 6ft long. I then took some pressure treated 2"x4" and cut 4" lengths, to make them the same height as the cedar frame board width.  Once those we cut the next step was to just lay them out and see that everything looked the way I wanted it.

We chose cedar to make the garden bed out of cedar, because bugs typically don't get in cedar like other woods, and it just has a nice look.

Once everything was lined up I used some exterior screws to hold the cedar boards to the 2"x4" post. If you do not want visible screws there are a number of methods you could utilize to avoid having them but for an outdoor garden we didn't think it mattered too much and I wanted it to hold up well over time.
Next I measured the finished frame length and width to figure out how long to make the top pieces. I purposely cut those pieces a little long so I could make adjustments and get the fit and look we wanted. Which ended up being the right call as once I started laying the top pieces down I realized I wanted more overhand than I originally planned for!  Now for the top I did not want visible screws so I used my finish nailer to attach the top boards to the frame. Once assembled we took it to the back yard!

We decided to put down some garden fabric to keep weeds and grass from growing up into our herb garden.

James had the idea to put a soaker hose into the bed as we filled it with dirt to make watering a little easier. He ran the attachment out the bottom on the back. This makes it easy to water the herbs - we just hook up the hose and let it run.

We used Nature's Care Raised Bed Soil by Miracle Gro for the herb garden.

Some freshly planted herbs!

The next thing we worked on was some labels for the herbs. I knew the look I wanted was simple so James and I bought some supplies from Hobby Lobby and I got to work. I will do a tutorial on this later if anyone is interested. :)

A month after planting and watering, our herbs had really taken off!

This is our view from the back porch. :)

We're so glad this project is complete and that we can just run out to the backyard anytime we want some herbs!

Mother's Day Preparations

Long time, no talk! April was a crazy month for me with work and lots of sick days, unfortunately. Even with all that, James and I managed to get a lot accomplished and I'm looking forward to sharing all our updates with you all. :)

For now, we are super excited about hosting a Mother's Day Brunch at our home this Sunday to celebrate our amazing moms. :) We hosted a similar brunch last year and thought it would be great to do again so that our moms don't have to lift a finger. We want them to come and just relax and enjoy the day together!

This year I started by sending out this invitation:

I made the invitation on punchbowl.com and then texted it to our family members.

The color scheme I'm using is hot pink, orange, yellow and lime green so I was excited about the invitation since it uses similar colors.

The menu we're planning is:

  • Frittata
  • Hashbrowns
  • Bacon
  • Waffles
  • Fresh Fruit
  • Cheese Board
  • Pink Lemonade
  • Coffee
  • Cake

I'm excited to get cooking! But first, I have so many plans for decor. I don't have anything to show you yet, but I'll be so excited to share it next week after the brunch!

We've been out working in the yard to get it looking nice for everyone to come over and we have been creating some DIY outdoor games for our nieces and nephew to play with (and the adults too, of course) when they come over for the brunch.

Here's one improvement I've made in the yard! This is our front flower bed:

I was already thrilled because we had planted those gerber daisies and hostas last year and they came back and are looking so great! However, I wanted to spruce things up a bit so we bought these stones from Home Depot called Rumble Stone. I got rid of the old brick, which I had only used because it was left over after the house was built. The brick was frustrating because the weeds would grow up through the holes and were hard to get rid of. Sometimes, free is not the best solution. :) I put down the Rumble Stone and then we added mulch.

So much better! I love the fresh, clean look!

In other news I went to Target last night to buy sparkling water and this is how we left:

You know how it is, right? :-S