Quick Budget-Friendly Garden Markers
My brother and sister-in-law are the gardeners of the family. They have a stock pile of food every year from their garden’s bounty. So much so, my plan is to escape to their small farm in case of a Zombie Apocalypse!
I definitely did not inherit the green thumb. I wouldn’t say I have a black thumb – more of a brownish colored thumb when it comes to growing plants. Sometimes I have survivors that just refuse to let me kill them, like our latest and longest living Love Ferns (asparagus ferns) on the front porch. Other times the unlucky ones end up being picked up on Tuesday and are sent on their way to take root on top of a trash mound.
Nevertheless, I don’t give up and every year I try my hand at a small container herb garden. I’m often laughed at when I talk about my herb garden like it is this massive crop – always offering others some cuttings of oregano, rosemary, and parsley. Casually mentioning to the hubby that I am going to the garden to gather some fresh herbs for dinner tonight – then walking the twenty feet to my front porch.
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See I have this perfect spot on my front porch that seems to get just the right amount of light to make my herbs grow like crazy. As long as I remember to water them daily given our extremely hot summer days and occasionally flick the caterpillars off my Parsley or apply Sevin Dust to keep those fluorescent critters at bay.
Every Spring I drag out my collection of beat-up clay pots from the shed and get my hands dirty planting my fresh pick of herbs.
The sweet smell of basil and rosemary rub off on my hands lingering for a long time later. And the dirt gets under my nails, because gloves are overrated. Oh the joy it gives me to be a pretend farmer tending to my crop, harvesting my produce, and incorporating it into some delicious home-cooked meals.
My joy is multiplied exponentially when my Little Man helps out.
Two of these sweet clay markers that I had picked up at our local Arts & Crafts festival have made it throughout the years. I found the artist on Etsy and I just love her creations, but for my expansive collection of herbs this year – I had to take a thriftier route. Each year, I seem to add a new herb to the mix and I wanted a cute way to mark the plants that didn’t cost a fortune or a ton of time to whip out.
While shopping at a local craft store, I spotted these sweet little chalkboards with clothespins attached and for less than $1 each -- I snatched a few. Grabbing a permanent paint pen and some water sealant, I was off to DIY these bad-boys in a jiffy!
One Friday evening after the little one was tucked into bed, I sat down and whipped out this project in 15 minutes flat. Lost in my own little celebratory world of actually finishing a project, I didn’t notice my next door neighbor walking her dog in the dark while I was placing my new plant markers in their rightful places. She seized the opportunity to shout out a neighborly “Hey” at which I about jumped out of my skin! Once my heart rate returned to a normal beat, we took advantage of the crisp breeze and enjoyed a glass of wine on my front porch reminiscing over the early days of dating our husbands.
Speaking of dates, a couple of weeks later, the hubby and I snuck off to Home Depot for a quick day date – which was lovely -- while Lil Man played with his Grandma. All we needed was a trip to Olive Garden and we would have been able to recreate the marriage counseling scene from the movie Old School.
It was one of those trips where you buy everything but what you came for. One of those splurges being Mint in an attempt to recreate some Mojitos we had during a trip to Miami several years ago. With the addition of our sweet friend, I needed to make another plant marker.
Dilemma – I was out of the mini chalkboards with a clip that I picked up from the craft store and after searching at a couple of stores to find some more with no avail, I found these perfect ones with an attached stake online.
Small dowels or clothespins if your mini chalkboard doesn’t come with it
Bust out the paint pens and design to your heart’s desire. See how I got a little creative here and drew tiny rosemary leaves and suns in the corners. That’s about the extent of my artistic ability.
Glue the clothespin or dowel to the back of the chalkboard if needed.
Attach the plastic care instructions with glue to the back of the chalkboard or write them on the back. (optional)
Once the paint has dried for a couple of hours, spray with the water sealant and let dry.
Helpful Tip: Glue the plastic care marker to the back of your chalk board for future reference.
Shortly after snapping photos of my crop, the cilantro bit the dust. I am here to tell you that cilantro is too high maintenance for me. It started flowering and I was cutting it as fast as I could, but that booger decided to turn into coriander on me. Yes, the seeds of cilantro are actually coriander – science lesson for the day. Boy do I love cilantro on a chicken taco. However, I am not that exotic of a cook and so coriander is rarely used in this kitchen. For some reason I keep watering it. Oh well! The garden marker still looks cute!
You know those sweet little shirts the say “Plant Lady” on them by Magnolia, well my niece created one that fits me better – Plant Killer.
Moral of the Story
Never give up on something you love to do even if you aren't the best at it.