The (Not So Lazy) Lady’s Guide to DIY: Hanging Herb Garden

30 Aug

I am so tired. I have been beaten to death – obliterated by the supposed simplicity of a DIY tutorial on window gardens.

Happy Lollipop Tuesday ya’ll.

Now I know some of you are noobs to thejackieblog and while I welcome your smiling, shiny faces, I reckon you might want to take a gander at the top of the page where it tells you what the heck a Lollipop Tuesday is because as of this moment in time, you can’t exactly Wikipedia it.  Which is a shame.  Feel free to draft an article for it.

This week I decided to try sucking at gardening.  Well, I decided to try to suck at fashioning a hanging window garden so that I can try to suck at gardening.  It was courtesy of igardendaily‘s suggestion the “What’s Lollipop Tuesday” page, and boy was it a treat.  

Cut bottom, poke holes in it, reposition it, tape the junk out of it til it stays.

I imagine someone who indeed gardens daily and runs a garden blog would perhaps have the patience for such shenanigans, but I, sir, do not.

In order to start the mess I made of my dining room area, I consulted an online tutorial from on how to turn coffee cans into cute little hanging herbs.   The title was promising: “The Lazy Lady’s Guide to DIY: Hanging Herb Garden”.

Why do online tutorials make everything look so freaking easy?  These little craft and DIY bloggers with their beautiful pictures and their artsy websites and their super awesome things that make me wants to recreate their awesomeness in the comfort of my home.   They emphasize how easy something is and when something’s incredibly hard, they use words that keep you from getting discouraged like “tricky”.  

For future reference, don’t trust “tricky”.   It’s the same as saying “this is a gigantic pain in the arse”.

I trusted this tutorial.  It lured me in with a false sense of security.   When I hear “The Lazy Lady’s Guide to….”, I feel capable.  I feel maximum output for minimal effort.   I feel good.

This is not a tutorial for a lazy gender of any sort.

Perhaps part of my problem was that I didn’t splurge on the coffee cans at first.  You see, the hanging herb garden made from coffee cans requires you to buy coffee cans.  But I’m not a coffee drinker and golly is it expensive.  And since the tutorial called for cans with a plastic lid on one end and tin on the other, I thought I could get away with buying Hershey’s syrup cans.  

Now, chocolate syrup is something I can use.

Flip them over, gingerly transplant (and thereby kill half of) the herbs, throw a coffee filter around them, and tape the junk out of it all again.

Unfortunately when I bought said syrup cans, came home, emptied them all into a big vat, and rinsed them, I found that it was necessary for me to be able to use a can opener to cut off the tin side.  And since Hershey syrup cans are rounded on the bottom ever so slightly, my can opener would not comply.  So I went back to the store to drop a bunch of money on coffee I’ll never use for cans I should have bought 3 hours prior.

Note to self: follow instructions.

With gallons of chocolate milk to fuel me, I carried on.  Through the hole-punching and the taping and the glueing and the messing up and starting over – I stuck with it all.   And I dragged Dave along for the ride.  Because by golly if I’ve gotta make four cans, I was going to have an assistant.

It was actually pretty easy for Dave.  Which made me think that perhaps I just don’t have the DIY gene.  There’s gotta be something in these people that makes them awesome at whipping up things from out of absolutely nothing.   They don’t even look like cheap crafts; they look like genuine groovy things.  It’s baffling.

Anyway, I eventually finished it.  I mean – it was hard.  And I spent a lot of money.  And I’m not even sure I can keep these suckers alive

Cover them in glue and paper. Try not to make it look like a 4-year-old did it. Also, pick all the glue off yourself when you're done and throw out half your belongings, which undoubtedly got dipped in glue along the way.

now that they’re in my window living in fear of what I did to my orchid (which, by the way, is sitting below them growing a very exciting second healthy leaf).   I’m a little concerned that I may have spent more time assembling a hanging herb garden than I will actually be able to keep them alive, but that’s a risk.   Especially when you have cats…

I’m sure that dangling the plants from the ceiling that they already loved on the ground was a sound decision.

But hey! I have an herb garden! And until it dies, it looks pretty darn cool.  I can breathe in the super awesome oxygen-rich air around me and pull from the fruits of my labor for cooking experiments while I toast my achievement with chocolate milk.

I really don’t know what else to make with an entire vat of chocolate syrup.   

In the amount of time it took me to write this post, Dave used the leftover paper from the project to fashion a lamp for the dining area to match our new herb garden.

These natural DIY-ers just slay me. 

Treasure it, friends. They won't be alive long.


13 Responses to “The (Not So Lazy) Lady’s Guide to DIY: Hanging Herb Garden”

  1. misswhiplash August 30, 2011 at 10:44 am #

    Okey Dokey..let us assume and possibly agree that you cannot make an apple-pie and you cannot make garden pots out of coffee cans, BUT Dave can!

    Ah! BUT can the clever Dave write a blog as well as you do. Maybe your talents lie in your keyboard and writing posts. That surely is something to be proud of. AND look at all the things you have done on Lollipop Tuesday…I would not have had the guts to do half of them, actually all of them….

    So blow your own trumpet, you DO have talent


    • Jackie September 4, 2011 at 3:16 am #

      oh cmon P – I’m sure there’s SOMETHING on my list you can take a stab at 😉


  2. lunarmoth August 30, 2011 at 10:51 am #

    The cans of herbs look good, even if they don’t last long! I might try this myself, although I am far from a natural DIY-er. Plus almost everything I try to grow dies. I was lucky one year with some bulbs and morning glories, but that was over 20 years ago! I admire your determination, however, and I’d like to think of myself as determined also. Plus, I already have the coffee cans. 😉


    • Jackie September 4, 2011 at 3:15 am #

      I am also far from a natural DIY-er – but alas everything I grow does die as well. And they are.

      but they looked lovely for a time.


  3. pegoleg August 30, 2011 at 5:42 pm #

    I’m impressed with your handy-dandiness. This is just like the hanging gardens of Babylon, which was one of the 7 wonders of the world. Or at least it was before ancient Babylonian cats chewed up the plants and then gacked all over the ancient Babylonian apartment.


    • Jackie September 4, 2011 at 3:14 am #

      this made me laugh out loud. and unfortunately, my wonderful hanging gardens are going limp. fast.


  4. Lori August 30, 2011 at 6:07 pm #

    What a great idea! I hope it works out for you. I hope you were at least able to find someone who was willing to take the free coffee? Perhaps the next time you need items for arts & crafts and/or Lollipop Tuesday you can acquire them on freecycle 🙂


    • Jackie September 4, 2011 at 3:14 am #

      ah yes – freecycle. what a hot, unorganized, non-user friendly mess that is.

      they need to find a way to make a sliver of revenue off it – just enough to have a decent engineer work on it. ugh.


  5. Cindy August 30, 2011 at 10:00 pm #

    These look fabulous! But next time you need arts & crafts supplies, give me a call! I have a very large room on our third floor filled with nothing but, including coffee cans! Yeah, I can craft, and garden, and I won the Betty Crocker “Future Homemaker of Tomorrow” in high school (I couldn’t even make that up!) but I surely can’t write like you do!


    • Jackie September 4, 2011 at 3:12 am #

      oh I sure wish I’d have known earlier 😉 LOL I love the high school award. kudos 😛


  6. igardendaily October 31, 2011 at 12:59 am #

    It looks great! I just saw this post tonight…how are the herbs doing. You’ve got courage…I would never attempt this DIY project…although I am a gardener, I’m not a crafter… Great job for taking on this challenge!


    • Jackie November 2, 2011 at 9:35 pm #

      I only have 2 out of the four left, but those 2 are going strong! If I went back, I would take the time to find herbs that only need late afternoon sun and nothing more. I didn’t even think ahead so I signed the 2 “sun-needy” death warrants before they were even potted just because of the location. Lesson learned 🙂

      You should try it. I’m a crafter and not a gardener – I’d love to see what the opposite could do. And all said and done, it’s tedious but not difficult.


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