Kia hora te manno
Kia whakapapa paumamu te moana
Kia tere te Karohirohi

May the calm be widespread
May the sea glisten like the greenstone
And may the glimmer of summer dance across your pathways

Monday, April 12, 2010

Keewee the "Herb wrangler"

A couple of years ago, I decided to recycle an old styrene box used to house frozen salmon sent down from Alaska, as a temporary planter for some herbs. Little did I know how fast the herbs would burst out of the box.

Last year, Dwarf Greek Oregano, Rosemary, Mint and Chives fought for growing room in the box.

I thought, (foolishly) I would be able to remove some of the plants and find a new home for them. First of all I tried to move the container, but discovered the roots of the herbs had found their way through the drainage holes and had embedded themselves into the ground below. With a lot of huffing and puffing, I managed to push/pull the box onto its side.

Then came the task of removing the styrene, and with the help of a lawn edger, I manage to start prying the styrene from around the edges. It was still a difficult job, so I decided drastic measures were needed. Out came the bow saw, and I proceeded to cut plants, box and all into sections.

Huff, puff, grunt and groan, and with some effort, I had it cut into three sections.

Now I had to get the rest of the styrene from around the plants, so once again,using the lawn edger, and a few, under my breath cuss words, I wrangled these bulky somewhat heavy, sections around, until I managed to remove all the offending styrene.
Now what to do with the plants. I really could not see tossing them away, and by this time I was worn out, and did not want to struggle with them any more. I decided to plant them around the outside of the vegetable garden.

The vegetable garden is surrounded on the back side by about an 18 inch bank, which is covered in grass. " so what," I muttered to myself, "this is where the herbs will grow. If the wild rabbits eat them, so be it, if the grass over takes them, so be it. I am done fighting with these herbs and next time I plant some, they will each have a nice solid pot of their own"
I am sure. I am not the only one who talks to themselves in their garden, and I am not the only one, who had made work for themselves by planting something in an unsuitable container. We all live and learn.


Becca's Dirt said...

I am laughing now because WE DO have to take drastic measures sometime. I talk to the plants everytime I check on them. Gardeners do funny things don't we.

Noelle said...


This is my first visit to your blog, and I enjoyed this post very much. It reminds me of something that I would do. How nice that you are such a good gardener that you had to pry off the planter :-)

Joseph said...

Funny title! And from what you wrote, it is well-earned!

it's nice that you saved them and gave them a new home!

Ali Honey said...

I have had this happen with terracotta pots...which is much more drastic if you have to break them.
I found a high pressure hose useful in loosening the plants first...or even up the drainage holes.

Anonymous said...

So very true, Jennifer. I can't even tell you [because I can't remember] how many extra jobs I've had to UN-do thanks to a potent cocktail of ignorance and stupidity. My biggest one is the spreading bamboo in the wash tub. The roots were wrapped around so tight. Impossible. I finally decided to leave it alone and it's doing okay. Go figure.

We have an uncanny ability to entertain ourselves don't we? Glad I'm not alone. Thanks for fessing up and making me feel better.

Helen at summerhouse said...

What a job! But herbs do have a way of getting big... and spreading. I made the mistake of growing lemon balm in a flower bed, and years later I'm still reaming it out of all the places it spread to. Worse than mint! And oregano, well, that's everywhere! You'll be right to keep them in nice solid pots as you planned.

Jean said...

Ha, boy can I relate to your efforts as I've been removing thyme from my beds for a while now! And I've never found anything "dwarf" about Greek oregano! (tongue in cheek; actually I'd much prefer a dwarf variety of it) Good luck w/your herbs and the rabbits!

Balisha said...

I planted a fish box last year only I planted hens and chicks and some other succulents. It looks really good this year..all filled in and hanging over the sides. Hope I don't have the same problem..though I probably will just leave them be.

wiseacre said...

Sounds like you and the Herbs had a different opinion about the suitability of that container. It appears they didn't want to leave.

I'm with ya on the 'So be it'. Just watch out for the Mint though. It will take advantage of ya if you let it.

Nola @ the Alamo said...

Hi, thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm enjoying reading about your garden. I have never seen cardamom in the garden centers, but I have cooked with it. I'll be interested to follow you through it's growing season and see how it does!
How clever to reuse things as containers for the herbs. I think I'd have just planted the whole thing, container and all! Haha, if there's an easy way out, I'll find it.

Corner Gardener Sue said...

Well, they did look good last year. what a funny story! You aren't the only one who puts plants close together. Garden centers put all kinds of herbs together in pots that are barely large enough to hold one of them when fully grown. Then, they put a huge price tag on them.

Oh, I talk to myself and to plants a lot, too. I welcomed and congratulated some vinca at work that was just planted in the fall for blooming this spring, and the people around thought it funny. One teacher said I'd made her day.

Corner Gardener Sue said...

How did I miss teasing you about not only being an animal whisperer, but also a wrangler of herbs?