How to Make an Indoor Decorative Herb Planter Out of a Birdfeeder

The cold temps are keeping you indoors and you are going stir crazy.  You need to do something in the garden, with the garden, or for the garden and the seed catalogs showing up in your mailbox just aren't good enough to get your gardening fix.  Then do this - plant an indoor garden!  Recently I put together a small herb garden that I made from a decorative bird feeder I found at Lowe's.  All materials for this herb planter project were supplied by Lowe's Creative Ideas. Read on to see how I made this decorative herb planter out of a bird feeder! First I gathered my materials for the project which consisted of the bird feeder, sheet moss, two plastic water cups, LED puck lights, soil, and of course some seeds (basil and chives).  Unfortunately my local Lowe's did not have seeds available yet but I had more than…

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5 Herbs for Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is coming up next week and soon those turkeys will be filling our homes with the savory scents of a delicious dinner to be enjoyed among friends and family (and perhaps a nap to follow).  A lot of preparation goes into preparing that perfect Thanksgiving dinner and this being a gardening blog we aren't talking turkey here but rather - herbs!  So for today's Friday Five post let's visit five herbs that will help make your Thanksgiving Dinner delicious! 5 Herbs for Thanksgiving Dinner! Rosemary Our family uses rosemary around our house all the time.  Our favorite dish for rosemary also contains another garden favorite - potatoes! We roast the potatoes with onions, garlic, and a little olive oil in the oven until the potatoes are tender.  The exact makeup of the roasted potato dish varies depending on what potatoes we have around whether red potatoes, sweet potatoes, or a combination…

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Tips for Growing Cilantro

Cilantro is one of those funny herbs, some people like it, others don't!  You can count me in the group of people who like it.  Growing beautiful cilantro plants isn't a difficult thing but there are a couple things you should know to maximize your cilantro harvests.  Yesterday a reader asked me in my post 5 Herbs You Should Grow In Your Garden if I had any tips for growing cilantro so I thought today I pass along a few. Here are a few Tips for Growing Cilantro! First you need to realize it is a cool weather crop.  When the heat of summer comes along your cilantro doesn't have much time left!  It will begin to bolt (which just means it starts to flower) and the flavor of the leaves changes, and not for the better, more bitter.  Plants grown in part shade will take a little longer to…

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5 Herbs You Should Grow In Your Garden! (Friday Fives)

I couldn't imagine my garden without herbs.  Whether for making tea, dinner, or a myriad of other uses herbs are an essential part of my garden.  Some of the herbs in my garden I use as companion plants in addition to their culinary uses.  Herbs are awesome and you should grow them if you aren't already.  What herbs do I grow in my garden?  I'm glad you asked because today for the Friday Fives I'll share with you five of my favorite herbs.  Please note though that these do well in my zone 6b-7 garden and may not perform the same where you are! 5 Herbs You Should Growing In Your Garden!   My then 2 year old daughter (now 4) examining the basil harvest! My number one herb, and perhaps my most favorite of all, is basil!  We use basil in pesto, tomato sauces, on bruschetta, and in many…

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An Undersung Herb – Sage (Salvia officinalis)

I think I've failed to fully express my appreciation for my culinary sage. So let's fix that!  Sage (or Salvia officinalis) is one of those herbs that I use in all kinds of culinary concoctions from soup to seasonings.  Almost any kind of meat tastes better with fresh sage. Chicken, meatloaf, turkey, just about everything...it's almost like the bacon of the herb world...anything goes better with bacon right? Sage is easy to grow.  The plant I harvest from (and you probably only need one unless you are cooking in a commercial kitchen operation) I planted over three years ago from seed. This sage is now about 3 ft. by 3 ft. even after getting cut back each year.  The soil where my sage is planted is fairly well drained and sits slightly above grade in a raised bed created by concrete retaining wall blocks. The foliage has a silver/grey color…

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Mint Mayhem! (The Herbs)

The other day I mentioned rosemary but another herb that I utilize often is mint. While mint is a great plant to have it also has a reputation. You see, once it gets established it grows fast - very fast. It can quickly overtake other plants that are near it. Some people wouldn't plant it with a ten foot pole (That would be quite a trick). But I'm not writing this post to discourage you from planting it. When summertime comes - or simply warm weather - I can't go without my sweet tea and mint makes the perfect flavoring for a great southern sweet tea. I just chop up a few springs and let the mint leaves steep with the tea bag and it makes an awesome refreshment on those days when the sun can be unforgiving. I've toyed with the idea of drying my mint and saving it…

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Time for Cilantro from the Garden!

One of our favorite herbs around the house is cilantro. Cilantro seems to be one of those herbs with a flavor that you either like or don't. From what I hear those who don't like it think the herb tastes akin to soap, but here in our house that is definitely not the case. Cilantro likes the cooler weather and has some frost tolerance and as long as the frost is a light one. Since it enjoys the cooler weather cilantro is best planted in spring and fall and will reseed if the plant is allowed to got seed. This past spring I had two cilantro plants that bolted (went to seed) when the weather started to turn warmer. I let the seeds finish forming then sprinkled them in one of my small raised beds where I now have quite a few plants coming up. Three of them are 6-8…

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Herbs for Turkeys!

While I claim no great skill or knowledge about cooking that big ole Thanksgiving turkey I can tell you about a couple herbs that may help you have a successful culinary experience!; I have the good fortune to have a mom who is an extremely good chef and I'll share the recipe (or at least where to find it) that she'll be using for Thanksgiving later in this post. For now let's talk about herbs!Herbs are great in the garden for two reasons: they taste good and they look good. What more do you need in a plant? They can be used to season all kinds of foods whether it is an olive oil based dip for bread to meats. Here's a quick look at what herbs we grew in our garden this year and how we used them.Basil was probably the most used herb. We used it for making…

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Herb Garden Layout (A Corridor Pathway)

Here's another idea I had for my herb garden. I've been planning my vegetable garden with a shrub/perennial ring around it. This herb corridor would lead up to a small entry gate going into the garden area. The beginning of the corridor would start close to our future patio (a project for later this year). The herb garden would have the same plants as my earlier plan but the numbers on this plan have changed. I added four butterfly bushes to bring some flower color and pollinators to the herb garden. The advantage to having it in a corridor/pathway is mostly convenience. It's closer to the house and easier to reach the plants than my other plan would have been. The disadvantage is probably that it won't have the formal look. That's OK since it's more practical and I like things a little less formal anyway! Here is the key…

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Herb Seeds for 2008 (A Growing Challenge Post)

The herb garden will be a new experience for me. In the past I have used pots for the herbs, this year I'll see what I can do with the in-ground Herb Garden I have planned (Herb Garden Layout). Most of the plants will be from seed but not all! Here is what we decided on for the herb garden:Basil This is one of our staple herbs that we use very often. We picked several kinds including Dark Opal Purple (the name says it all, it's purple!), Sweet Basil, and Bush Spicy Globe. I'm curious about the last one as it is supposed to grow into a nice little ball shape. It should make an interestingly shaped plant for the herb garden. Thyme The package calls it common thyme, but common or not everyone always could use a little more thyme. Cilantro We love cilantro in guacamole and Mexican flavored…

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