Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Little Red Wagon

I'm always so tempted by recipes that call for fresh herbs. But buying expensive fresh herbs in the grocery store--only to use about 1/4 of the package--seems so wasteful to me. So even though I am an absolutely terrible gardener, I'd been thinking for a while that I'd like to have a little herb garden.

This rusty old wagon has been sitting in our shed for quite a while. It used to belong to my husband when he was a kid, and my father-in-law had brought it here for our kids. But they're from the age of "plastic is better" and they already had a big plastic wagon. That little red wagon just sat around, useless.

I figured that it would make a great place for a small container garden. If bad weather is predicted, I can just pick up the handle and wheel it into the garage or back porch. Right now I have it in a sunny spot right near the front door.

My neighbor had a ton of mint taking over her garden, so she offered me a sturdy mint plant to get started. I separated that from the other herbs that are in the same box.

Here's what else I planted (besides the mint):

  • cilantro
  • dill
  • thyme
  • flat-leaf parsley
  • oregano
  • basil

I'm already thinking ahead; if I can manage to keep this garden without killing it, I want to get a little rosemary tree (shrub, bush, what do you call a rosemary?) I could keep it in a pot outside until it gets cold, then bring it in and keep it in the house for the winter.

Besides the friendly advice from my neighbor, I got a lot of courage and information from this little book: Get Your Hands Dirty by Jeanne Grunert. It's written for people like me--beginning gardeners, who might even think they have a "black thumb."

My next project:  I'm thinking optimistically that my herb garden will thrive and I'll have more than I need.  So I'll have to learn all about how to save/freeze/dry these herbs for winter.  The idea is to make back my investment (about $50 for 6 plants, 2 window boxes, 1 bag potting soil, 1 watering can).  I figure that if I use fresh herbs 20 times, I'll have reached that goal.  Anything beyond that is a freebie!


  1. Love your little wagon!

    We tried our hands at herbs this year, too. So far they are doing great. I have the biggest brown thumb so I was really worried about what would happen. I would like to buy some mint and bay. I bought one small rosemary plant (or shrub) and I would like to get another.

    Happy herb picking! Keep us updated on how things work out.

  2. Your little red wagon is so cute!! I have a black thumb, but the one thing I can grow is an herb garden. I think because they can survive my neglect. :) My basil and mint always grow like gang-busters, and rosemary is also very hardy. Have fun with your mobile garden!

  3. Good luck with your herbs. I can never grow cilantro. If it even sends one seed shoot up, it's over. I do find that rosemary is used a lot and definitely with the effort, as is parsley and basil. Basil is a little bit particular and often gets a black rot. Mint will take over everything so watch out! It's lovely for sweet tea, though.

  4. Barbara, it doesn't show on the outside, but there is a barrier between the mint and the other plants that are in that box. It has more then 1/3 the box and that's all I'm giving it :)



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