Goodness Gracious, Great Balls of Herbs!


I whipped these hanging herb balls together yesterday morning. I know they don’t look like much now but they will flush out so fast, they ARE herbs after all.

I’d furnish photos of them hanging from my Maple tree but it hasn’t stopped raining in Chicago long enough to hang them yet.

So here’s how to make them.
1. Buy these topiary forms– dirt cheap and fun to use with all kinds of things. I made one with lettuce earlier this spring- it was SUPER cute but short lived. I bought them in a few different sizes, I’m using an 8″ and a 10″ in this project.. You can buy them prefilled with moss but the price jumps up considerably.

2. Buy some spaghnum moss at a craft store or garden center, soak it in a bucket o’ water and then shove it in the form until it’s nearly full.

3. I have found that the back of the Trashy Volvo was best for this project. Part potting bench, part… I don’t even know.  I hung the ball from the doo-dad that raises and lowers the door. I then stripped away as much of the soil on the herbs as I could without causing too much root damage and then, starting near the bottom- use one hand to lift up the spaghnum and then jam the plant in with your other hand. Arrange the moss so you don’t see any soil.

4. Rinse, lather, repeat. Working up.
5. Once all the herbs are in- wrap the ball several times with thin florists’ wire, yarn, jute or in my case, hot pink vintage thread. You want to encourage the herb to root all over so there has to be some contact.

I made 2 balls- a larger Lemon Thyme ball and a smaller Mint one.

Lemme back this truck up! How many plants did I use? Well, beleive it or not I used 10 Lemon Thyme plants for the 10″ ball and 4 Mint plants for the 8″ ball and they are still a little less full and lush than they could be. Hence the thread idea. Although I could have easily used less plants and used more patience, that’s just not where I’m “at” right now.

I’m where “instant gratification” meets “what’s in my checking account” and this is the result.

So, the tricky thing is… watering them and keeping them watered. Just hitting them for a second with the hose really is enough to sustain them because of all the spaghnum moss, though. And with these rains, it seems I don’t really have to worry about it.

I can’t wait to show you how cute they look next week!
Forum, yo!

Forum, yo.

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About Amanda Thomsen

Big, loud and fun- Amanda Thomsen landscapes by day and blogs at night. Her blog, Kiss My Aster, on Horticulture magazine's website has alienated/enraptured dozens. She co-authors a blog called Plants That Suck that is about plants that suck. And she is the less popular half of the podcasting team, Good Enough Gardening, which makes her feel like the "Roy" of of Siegfried and Roy, but without the mauling. She lives in Chicago and does not EVER put ketchup on hot dogs.

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