Sunday, 21 October 2012

Moveable feast: Wheelbarrow herb garden

 Abandoned toy wheelbarrow

I live next door to a Community Centre. 

On Saturday mornings, there is a Toy Library that operates from out the back of the community centre which is very nice for those that use it but not for me because on the first morning of the weekend that I get to sleep in, I can clearly hear the cars arriving, car-doors slamming, kids screaming, kids crying, parents placating, parents shouting. I guess it shows how far removed I am from the world of babyhood and early childhood these days that I am now so intolerant of these disturbances. I'm sure that, once upon a year, I was one of those parents.

Anyway, yesterday, finally, being nextdoor to the Toy Library worked out in my favour.

They must have been having a clearout, because there on the verge outside the community centre was a toy wheelbarrow. I could see at once why they had discarded it - the front end had broken away leaving a jagged plastic edge, not great for any kiddies to come into contact with. For me, however, it was the perfect opportunity to put together a little project that I've had in mind for a while.

I love cooking with herbs and think that every garden should have a herb garden. However, I am often time-poor and neglectful of my watering and fertilising duties. Not to mention that I have lost many a past herb gardens to the fierce West Australian summer weather. 

The little wheelbarrow solved both those problems in one. Not only was it small and therefore able to be easily maintained, but being a wheelbarrow, it could be moved to a shadier spot of the garden anytime the sunshine became too much for the plants to handle.

And it was so easy to do!

First I bashed some drainage holes in the base of the wheelbarrow with a screwdriver. (No finesse at all, just bashed at it and hoped not to hurt myself in the process.)

 Enough holes to allow for drainage

Then I filled it up to just below the rim with some standard potting mix. I watered the whole thing to make it damp.

Herb selection

I had chosen a number of herbs to go in plus a couple of chili plants for height and for the hell of it. I positioned the herbs in the wheelbarrow (this time with finesse - I wanted a nice effect of height and  colour, something aesthetically pleasing). There were three pots of basil (because I cook a fair few Italian style dishes), some coriander, garlic chives, Italian flat leaf parsly and oregano. 

The oregano was chosen especially because it will spread and eventually hide the broken edge of the wheelbarrow.

I loosened the roots as I took the herbs out of their pots so that they would take hold better when I put them in the soil.Then I topped up the potting mix and gave everything another spray with the hose.

After this, I pushed the wheelbarrow into the sunshine and left it to stand. It was nice and light and easy to move around.

I can't wait to see how my herb garden grows and will keep you up to date with all the action.

Total cost to me (if you are interested in these sorts of things) - $77 for the potting mix and herbs.


  1. That's such a cute idea! I love it that you're just beginning your growing season, while I'm hoping to get the last of my herbs in before the first frost. Well at least the fall colors are giving us a nice show this year!

  2. What a great idea. I'm getting quite excited about my vegie patches at the moment. Things are springing all over the joint, and my beans are getting particularly enthusiastic. So is my neighbour's cat, who has been pooing everywhere. Could I swap you my neighbour's cat for an annoyingly loud toy library?