Sunday, May 11, 2014

Cinder Block Herb Garden

We moved last year and one of the things I miss most about our old house (besides our wonderful neighbors) is our herb garden.  One of the first exterior improvements we did at the old house was fill the 16 foot flower bed in the backyard with rosemary, sage, chives, peppers, basil, cilantro... it was so perfect!  I love our new house, but definitely miss the fresh herbs.

Things were hectic when we moved in last year, so we didn't really get around to doing any yard improvements, let alone landscape a garden.  You see, our new house only had one small triangular-shaped bed in backyard and it is much too small for an herb garden.    

To solve this problem I started looking on Pinterest on what ideas I could find.  Scott and I had a plan for the backyard, but we aren't even close to being able to start that giant project.  At first I thought of doing a "palette garden" which could start horizontal, but then be turned vertical once things rooted well.  I even went as far as driving behind Target to check if they had any extra palettes laying out.  (Scott was not thrilled.)

When we got to Home Depot to buy plants, Scott asked about just making a flower bed.  I said I wasn't against the idea, but we would have to move the whole thing when we decided to landscape the yard, move the fence, put in a storage shed, and grow real produce.  The conversation did remind me of a pin I did for an above ground bed that involved cinder blocks.  I showed the pin to Scott, who loved the idea. 


  •  Cinder blocks - we used 10 and they were about $2.00 each at Home Depot
  • Garden soil - I think we went through 6-7 bags
  • Garden cloth - to keep weeds from coming up
  • Your choice of herbs - if you use 10 cinder blocks you will have 20 small "pots" to fill and the middle area.
    For the small "pots"we went with:
    1- Parsley, 3 - Lavender, 3 - Cilantro, 2 - Basil, 2 - Thyme, 2 - Oregano,
    2 - Chives, 2 - Sage, 2 - Dill
    For the middle area we planted:
    2 - Rosemary, 2 - Jalapeno Peppers, 2 - Habanero Peppers

First know your plants and what kind of light they need.  You can research it, ask someone in the garden center, read the little stakes that come with the plant, but my favorite is to just ask my wonderful mother-in-law, Linda.  She is a plant genius.  Anything I can put on the brink of death, she can bring back!  We chose a part of our backyard on the north side close to our fence.  

This was a great location, but not the most level ground.  We started by laying out the blocks where wanted them.  Then Scott used a flat shovel to "trace" the area.  He then dug away a the top layer until it was more level.  If your yard is already level you won't have to do this.  

We then put down the weed cloth and put the cinder blocks down on top.

Now for the easy part!  Scott started mowing the yard while I went to work planting the herbs.  To make things simple, we went ahead and dumped all the soil into the center of the bed - then I could transfer it over to the small "pots".  I also placed the herbs where I wanted them. 

It didn't take long to plant everything it it's new home.  We love... LOVE rosemary!  I want another rosemary bush just like we had at our first house so I placed two rosemary plants in the center part, along with Scott's jalapeno and habanero pepper plants.  

For now I left the little plastic labels in, but I'm hoping to make some cute and colorful labels using paint sticks... but that's another post for another day!