Do you have a green thumb?
When I was around seven years old my dad described my grandpa as having a green thumb. It sounded so magical, almost as if he had a special power. But what did it mean?
My dad went on to explain that green thumb was an idiom used to pay tribute to my grandfather’s incredibly gifted and gentle nature towards cultivating a garden.
My grandfather was the kind of gardener who would make Better Homes and Gardens proud. His sun drenched paradise was an abundance of heavy petalled peonies, fragrant sweet-peas and hanging baskets laden with fuchsias, geraniums or bright faced pansies. Even today, the bite of a fresh cherry tomato brings me back to childhood days spent walking barefoot through freshly mown grass on a mission for hidden veggie garden treasures.
Grandpa taught me how to live and let live.
Nowadays I live in a teensy one bedroom, balcony-less Vancouver apartment. On weekends we try to escape the confines of the city but oh do I ever miss rambling around a gorgeous backyard garden at liberty. The luxury! For now, I settle with cramming my little apartment with as many indoor shrubs and greenery we can handle.
On one of my last trips to the cabin, I found an absolute treasure kicking around Fireweed Farm! It was an antique wooden box that had been discarded near my dad’s bee hives (a treasure to my eyes). Inscribed on its side was some mysterious and bizarre lettering “small ammunitions..”. Wow, to think of the story behind this box!? Who knew where this box came from and why it ended up on my cabin property, but I reclaimed it as a historic doo-dad to do something crafty with in the future (lucky me).
Last weekend an idea came to me. I would use the box as an indoor planter! I was aching for fresh herbs anyways and thought that the gorgeous wooden box would be a perfect home for them. I had recently snatched a dozen discarded mason jars that had been abandoned behind my building (fine call me a binner) and thought they would make perfect herb pots to put inside the box. (Mason jars are so chic right now.. :) )I had a gorgeous planter in the works!
D.I.Y. Rustic Planter
1 funky box (check out your local wine store for an old wine crate) free 6 mason jars without lids (cleaned spaghetti sauce jars are fine!) free 6 herbs of your choice (bought from your local plant nursery $4 each) 1 bag of indoor potting soil $7, nursery. 1 bag stones (or collect some rocks) $5 or free from the beach wood stain (hardware store) $6 1 bag popsicle sticks (for labeling) $5, dollar store
Directions for Planting1. Clean box or rub it with your favourite wood stain. I didn’t want to disturb the box at all or change the colour of the lettering so instead of staining it, I rubbed the wood with olive oil to give it a gentle sheen. If you’re going to use stain make sure you do so outdoors with some rubber gloves on. 2. Clean mason jars and fill each with about 6 stones (will help with drainage once your plants are settled in the jars). If you don’t put stones at the bottom, the water will make your soil too sodden for your plants. 3. Put soil into a big bowl and wet with some water until it feels spongey and damp (not sodden).
4. Fill jars with soil and transplant your plants into jars. 5. Settle the jars into your wine box/favourite box. Water them each and atch them grow!!
I planted oregano (yummy pasta sauces), green onion (because you can always use some in salads), cat grass (for my new kitty!), mojito mint (for those future summer cocktails..) dill (salmon dinners?) and basil (because it smells so good). What are your favourite herbs?
Directions for Making Labelling Sticks
note: I was inspired to make these labelling sticks one day when I was in Chapters and came across similar garden markers. I thought, these are so easy to make! All you need are popsicle sticks, wood stain and a pencil to label your herbs.1. stain your sticks with a dishcloth outdoors and let dry in the sunshine. 2. cut diagonally on one end and straight across on the other. 3. Write names of your herbs/plans in pencil. I found that pencil looked the nicest and printed easiest onto the stained wood. 4. Stick in planters, stake side down!
I hope you have fun with this craft! It is so easy and is a beautiful addition to any home. If you have any questions about where to find a funky box, just ask! I recommend going to your local wine store to ask if they have any wine crates in the back (free). I picked one up in addition to my small ammunition box (hah) and use my wine crate as a magazine rack in my livingroom.
Enjoy your fresh herbs. After finishing my planter, I really felt like I was working on my green thumb! I’m not quite a true greenie just yet :)
I hope you have a lovely week full of fresh bouquets, home cooked meals and lengthy walks outdoors!
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