It’s not what you think…I don’t have an “organized” garden, nor do I have organized spreadsheets listing all the perennials, the kazillion varieties of hosta, or even the annuals I need to buy… annually. Gardening is a passion of mine that I approach more with emotion and instinct than organization.

BUT! (yes, that’s a big “but,” not to be confused with a “big butt.”) I do approach the process of tending our gardens the same way I encourage my clients to tackle large organizing projects – using BABY STEPS. Yep, baby steps.

When Mother Nature finally delivered Spring weather to us, there was much for a gardener to do: rake, gather winter’s abandoned trash, weed, edge, thin certain plants, as well as some general examining and pondering. If I were to look at that as one giant task, I’d feel completely overwhelmed. Instead, I mentally separate our garden beds into sixteen sections. By breaking things down into sixteen parts and then sub-categorizing each part into tasks, it becomes much less intimidating. I tackle tasks based on my available time as well as the mood I’m in. See? Not particularly organized, but certainly more doable.

My husband and I are homebodies for sure. We enjoy eating dinner on the patio or relaxing in the hammock, cooled by a gentle breeze.  We work to entice birds such as hummingbirds, orioles, and catbirds to visit the feeders and flowers. We’ve even got two raised beds filled (this year) with kale, a variety of salad greens, basil, three kinds of peppers, tomatoes, and snap peas. Gardening isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it sure is mine.

If you’d like to learn more about my “baby step” approach to tackling otherwise overwhelming projects, you can check out this blog post.

I’m not a particularly crafty person – not because I don’t think creatively, but because sometimes it seems like it takes WAY more time and effort to complete some of the projects I see floating around out there than I’d be willing to spend. Plus, it’s often not worth it in the endHerbGarden if you put an actual dollar value on your time – but that’s a post for another day.

Anyhow. Craftiness aside, I DO like the whole concept of repurposing and recycling things; of using things for something other than what they were originally intended rather than tossing in the trash.

Here’s a link to an herb garden made out of a vertical hanging shoe rack. Totally cool, huh? I wouldn’t personally go out and buy a hanging shoe rack in order to make this, but if I didn’t have a big yard to garden in and I loved cooking with fresh herbs, this could be a fun, inexpensive and viable project. It could add some visual appeal to an otherwise boring fence, or even act as a screen on a porch if you hung it from above and somehow tethered it below.

I did notice a few things I’d tweak, though. It mentions you should test the drainage and if it’s not sufficient, poke a few holes in the bottom of each pouch. Plants need drainage; as a gardener, I know that.  I would put supplies in the top row of pouches instead of at the bottom so they don’t get wet when you water the plants. Even if water drains down the back, the bottom row would probably still get wet. So I’d move my supplies up high and eliminate that worry.

The other thing I noticed is that the items and steps suggested for making plant tags is WAY more effort than I’d ever put forth. This was obviously written by a legitimately crafty person, which I’ve already confessed I am not:

Round up some fabric scraps, ultra-firm stabilizer and iron-on adhesive. Adhere the stabilizer to the middle of the fabric (leave enough fabric around the edges to fold over) using an iron and the adhesive. Cut triangles out of the corners so you can make a nice fold. Attach the flaps with iron-on adhesive. Attach a piece of canvas or other heavy cloth to the front of the tag so you can label it. Use a permanent marker to write the plant name. 

Yeah, not gonna happen. I’d probably use some of the little plastic lawn stakes from our lawn care dude, (since we pull those out and recycle them anyhow) print the herb names on mailing labels, stick ’em to index cards, trim, “laminate” with clear packing tape and I’m done in less than ten minutes and I’m STILL utilizing things I already have around the house. My point here is, don’t be put off by a project with components that seem beyond your skill set if you can tweak it and make it more doable for you.

Have you got a favorite  reuse/repurposing project you’d like to share? We’d love to hear from you!