Plant Pirate’s Booty: How to Make a Vertical Herb Garden


With the victorious return of the plant pirate, the next process went into motion.

When I plundered my mother’s garden for herbs, I’d envisioned our own herb garden just off the kitchen. The small fragrant mounds of herbs flowed together among the flowers. My sweetie and I needed only to step a couple of feet from the kitchen door to retrieve our goodies.

With a door that is several feet off the ground and a large deck surrounding it, more than a few steps would be needed to take us to a ground level herb garden. I love my deck and my kitchen, so no complaints there, but in order to keep these herbs handy, we needed another option.

My sweetie has been collecting pallets since we purchased the house. She liberates them from the local pet food store. Several of the pieces of equipment and orders of lumber have come attached to pallets. Anytime she comes across one, up it goes into the back of our car to be added to her pile once we return home.

She’s a pallet-aholic. I enable her.

With a gleam in her voice, she called me at my mother’s house, before I’d even picked the plants. “How about a vertical herb garden?”

“What?” I couldn’t see it.

“We’ll use one of the pallets. We can hang galvanized buckets from it and it will go out on the deck. What do you think?”

I still couldn’t see it. I suspect that, at these moments, I am a total disappointment.

“Can you draw me a picture when we get home?”

I felt the solid thunk of the heavy sigh all the way from North Carolina to West Virginia.

When I got home, a pallet leaned against the wall of our house beside the kitchen door. “See. Like this.” She hung invisible buckets. “Bucket, bucket, bucket.”

Aha! I got it.

We headed off to the hardware store for the rest of the supplies. Once there, she asked me how many buckets we needed. I asked her what herbs she wanted in the space.

She gave me a look like I was a bug.

“Eight. Let’s get eight.”

Sturdy hooks and a gallon of paint for the deck ended our time at the hardware store.

We zipped home and my sweetie started the project. With a thinned-out version of the same paint we’re using on the deck for the railings, she coated the pallet. Not only does this tie in the pallet with the deck décor, the paint also protects it a bit.

Pallet Painted - Vertical Herb Garden

While we waited for the paint to dry, my sweetie drilled four holes into each bucket for drainage.

Sweetie Making Drainage - Vertical Herb Garden

Next, she screwed eight hooks into the pallet, spaced for an even distribution of the plants. In a moment of invention, she added two pieces of wood just below the top board of the pallet to form a little planting box. We added dirt and then planted the nasturtiums that I’d started earlier this spring.

I potted up eight of the herbs in my pile of plants. A shallow layer of rocks was topped with potting soil in each bucket. Following that, I inserted a plant, watering it in and adding soil when the initial dirt settled too low.

We hung each herb on the pallet with care: sage, parsley, lemon thyme, oregano, rosemary, regular thyme, savory, opal basil.

Finally, an l-bracket secured the vertical garden to the deck.

Done!

Vertical Herb Garden

I still have several plants to get into the ground after my trip to West Virginia, but with the installation of the herb garden, I feel the pirate has done right by her plunder.

And we can always buy more buckets.

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