Thursday, September 5, 2013

Hanging Herb Pots

I remember spending time as a child among the fruit trees of my grandparents' large garden. I would eat raspberries and blackberries from the bushes, watch my grandmother make rhubarb pie, and my grandfather climb a ladder to fill up bushels of pears and plums from the fruit trees. I hosted play tea parties in the grape arbor, picked piles of Lily of the Valley, and always kept a respectful distance from the prized poppies (which were likely the source of my nickname).

image from farrahsit
My great-grandfather planted the fruit-bearing trees and bushes because he believed that if one was going to plant a tree, it may as well be a tree that will offer more than shade.

Although I did not inherit the generations of green thumbs, I did inherit his practical outlook on planting things that will give back, so when I recently decided that our apartment needed some more green, I chose to plant herbs.

We buy mint and other herbs and keep them in the fridge, so I was surprised to see that the mint plant was just $2 -- about the same as a container from the store. If I can keep it alive, it will certainly be more economical than a container, especially considering that some of the mint always seems to go bad before we can use it. At the farmer's market, the woman who sold me the herbs reassured me I'll be fine with them as long as I don't over-water, and I plan to heed her advice.

Looking for hanging pots was the first step because we enjoy sitting in our window seats and are not willing to give up that space to plants. The only other option seemed to be adding a shelf, which I worried would block too much sunlight. Of all the hanging options available, I found that most felt a little 1970's to me, so I fell in love with the simplicity of these porcelain hanging containers the minute I saw them. Handmade in Brooklyn, they are perfect for my apartment, and so beautiful -- delicate little pieces of art with a slight swoop up the back that makes them slightly asymmetrical, and that much more interesting. The materials and shape are not overpowering, but are still substantial enough to balance the wild stems and leaves pouring out. I think they are the perfect compliment to anything green, but I was also tempted to reserve one for cut flowers.

Since these hanging pots do not have drainage built in (which would actually be quite messy indoors, anyway), it is suggested that one adds pebbles or pieces of ceramics to the bottom of the pots. I was holding onto a broken plate knowing it would come in handy for something, so I smashed it up, and added it to the bottom of the pots. 

The herbs may not be as strong competitors against my black thumb as ferns or bamboo would be, but I'm already enjoying mint in my water, chives on my eggs, and looking forward to trying the lemon thyme on fish. I am resolved to not kill them this time. I hope I can keep them giving back.

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