At the beginning of summer we decided to plant a patio herb garden mainly because the few herbs we did have were all the way down near the fire pit in the back yard. Having the convenience of our own herbs right out the back door on the patio made more sense. Easy to water and care for and more on our minds to actually use in our every day meal planning. Our plant eterage needed a little sprucing up so we got to work making a new home for our new herbs.
We found a can of Rust-Oleum spray paint in bronze metallic in the garage and spray painted the plant eterage. It is amazing what a little spray paint can do.
After a quick stop at the big box home improvement store we came home with some of our favorite herbs and tried a new interesting one that I had never heard of. We purchased Rosemary, Dill, Thyme, Arugula, Oregano and I just couldn’t resist the Chocolate Mint! Chocolate in a herb? Really? Then the combination of chocolate and mint? I’m not sure what comes to your mind but Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies came to mine. By gosh, I smelled it and tasted it and sure enough it is as chocolaty and minty as you would imagine. I didn’t quite know how I was going to integrate it in our meal planning but I had to have it and I would figure all that out later. We spread a couple inches of potting mix in the bottom of the clay planters and removed the herbs from the plastic containers they came in. Then we carefully placed the herbs in the clay containers.
The larger herbs were grouped together and the smaller ones we planted individually in a couple clay pots that we had laying around. Topping it off with additional soil, sprinkles of organic fertilizer and enough water to keep everything nice and moist finished the planting. It is as simple as that, folks!
We also purchased a cherry tomato plant since we heard they were easier to grow down here in Florida.
Now, we are at the end of summer and we wanted to share with you what the herbs look like after 2-3 months since they were planted. Fortunately, they all have thrived with daily watering either from mother nature or us. They all have had plenty of sunshine. Remember, summers in Florida are extremely hot and the heat is scorching. I had read that the chocolate mint needed partial shade but it survived the intensity of the sun fine. Watering daily was key.
We enjoyed some of the arugula in a fresh spring mix salad one evening and you can see the chocolate mint grows like a weed. If you are ever looking for a unique gift, you can purchase a galvanized small pail from one of your craft stores or decorate a clay pot, cut a few stems and pot with soil and there you go. Attach a favorite chocolate mint recipe and you have just impressed your child’s teacher or dinner host.
If you are wondering what the minuscule plant in the bottom left corner is, it is a Dionaea muscipula, otherwise known as the Venus flytrap. Our son actually mentioned that he wanted one so it got added at the check out line. I suppose the fascination with a plant that actually eats live insects has stuck with him since he was a kid. I guess we should have given it a name since we feed it like it’s part of the family. It is the perfect plant to grow in Florida since it thrives in a moist and humid environment.
So far we have picked two ripe and juicy cherry tomatoes. Not having much luck with the big boy and the beefsteak tomato plants, we were happy the husky cherry tomato plant is doing very well.
Planting a patio herb garden is certainly not a difficult thing to do but there are some people who think they will kill anything that they try to grow and will never try. Our intent is to show you that a simple project like this can be so rewarding. It is the perfect introduction to gardening and that’s why we encourage you to do something like this if you have never grown your own herbs or vegetables or if you have smaller children to teach and inspire. Just think of the lessons and appreciation one little patio herb garden can provide.
Here is the super tasty and refreshing chocolate mint tea we made with just a little boiling water and fresh chocolate mint! I’m calling this our thin mint tea.