Hanging around this winter

Hanging herb garden

With more and more people opting to live in gated estates here in sunny South Africa, we find that gardens with plenty of space are becoming a thing of the past. This is not always a bad thing, because it forces us to get the creative juices flowing with ideas of how best to keep our gardens looking pretty and fresh in the available space. That’s why we went vertical for this activity. This hanging herb garden doesn’t use up valuable space in the garden, but still allows us to implement some pretty and oh-so-practical herbs in the outdoor area.

This hanging herb idea can easily be turned into an upcycling project by using old objects that you have lying around, like we have done. This makes it a cost-effective project as well as an exciting activity for the kids as they get to explore different ideas for each of their planters.

Go on and get stuck in!


What you will need:

- A wide plank (or 3 planks put together)
- Some empty 2-litre cooldrink bottles. The lids can be kept for noses.
- A craft knife
- Pencil
- 2 picture-hooks
- A couple of screws
- Different types of herbs (we used sage, thyme and basil)
- Some batting
- A mix of compost and potting soil
- Alphabet stencil
- Permanent marker with a thin nib
- Plastic eyes (available from any craft shop or China mall)

Steps of the activity:

1. If you are going to join planks together for width, hammer two smaller pieces of wood horizontally at the back of the planks to join them together (one at the top and one at the bottom). You can then paint your planks if you choose and attach your picture hooks with screws.

2. Cut off the neck of the cooldrink bottles with a craft knife (you’ll notice there are indentations on the neck of the bottle – we cut the bottle at the second indentation).

3. Lay them on the plank to measure the spacing between each bottle, allowing for some space between the plants for growth and for your stencilled wording. Make markings on the planks with a pencil where the bottles should be screwed in.

4. You can then use the stencil and permanent marker to write the names of the herbs on the plank, just underneath the mouth of each bottle.

5. Place a ball of batting in the mouth of each bottle, to stop the soil from falling out.

6. It’s now time to screw the bottlenecks into the plank on the marks you made, using screws and a screwdriver.

8. Gently shake some of the soil off the herbs before planting (being careful not to tear the roots too much) and place three seedlings in each container, ensuring that the roots of the herbs are covered with more potting mix.

9. Once this is done, the kiddies can stick the plastic eyes and bottle tops on to the bottles, to make them look like little faces, with the herbs as hair.

10. Choose a great spot somewhere outside to hang your herb planter.

Hanging around this winter

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