My mom is a pretty fantastic lady, if I say so myself. And she always had quite spectacular gardens while the 4 of us were growing up. And when I say spectacular, I mean spectacular. Gobs and gobs of juicy tomatoes, the biggest zucchini and cucumbers you will have ever seen. She’s definitely got the green thumb in the family. Which is fitting, since her birthday is St. Patrick’s Day after all. And for her birthday I thought I would whip up something special for her in the good ol’ joyosphere fashion!
You might recall seeing something on our Facebook page or on Instagram about how I took an adventure to a local architectural salvage company, Columbus Architectural Salvage (who coincidentally have been featured on the DIY channel’s Salvage Dawgs…!!!)- which I have determined to be my happy place…- and found this really neat old shutter that was saved from a old home in Columbus. It looked a little lonely and didn’t have any matching pairs to him, so I didn’t feel bad about separating one from a group and I brought him home to clean up!
I had plans for this little shutter of mine. I had been seeing little hanging herb gardens on Pinterest (like this, this, and this) for a while now, and thought hey, this little shutter would work perfectly for that and for mom!
So my husband and I set off for Home Depot (as most of our projects do…) where I picked up some small screws, 4 duct clamps, a small bag of garden rocks, and 4 small potted herbs. I intended to go the mason jar route for planting the herbs in, and I had those handy from our summer celebrations!
While I loved the bold green color of the shutter, I knew I would have to tone it down a bit to fit in with my parents decor in their house, but I wanted to keep the old weathered feel of the shutter. So I decided to white wash it. To do this I mixed one part white paint with one part water and started painting. I was a little worried at first that it didn’t cover enough, but once it dried, it looked like a million bucks. I only ended up doing one coat of white wash on each side to get the look I wanted. I did take a sanding block to it to rough it up a little bit and let that green paint shine! After it was all dry I took it outside to clear coat and seal it all in.
I then filled it in with potting mixture and carefully transplanted the herbs to their new homes in the mason jars. I gave them plenty of water to get used to their new homes and set them in the sun (they had previously been in our laundry room, with no windows…).
The next day, Josh helped me to attach the 4 duct clamps to the shutter using the screws we had bought. I needed his help to make a hole in the duct clamps that was big enough for the screws to fit through (he did this with a pair of metal snips).
After they were attached, we slid the plants through the clamps and tightened carefully (don’t clamp them too tight, the jars WILL break, we learned this the hard way…) and take a step back to admire your work!
Pretty great, right? How’s that for recycling to make a one of a kind piece?! Personally, I love how we were able to maintain the character of the shutter, all the cracks, peeled paint, scratches, etc. but gave it a face lift at the same time! Ah, whitewash, you are amazing! Rustic, yet modern. I’m in love! Eventually, I think I’ll make a couple of these for our house, but this was just such a perfect gift for my mom. It’s all about recycling and gardening!
Have you guys been itching to get into the garden this year? It’s officially the first day of spring and I can hardly wait to plant some new (low maintenance) plants out front! I did peak into the flower beds this morning, and our tulips are just beginning to sprout! I can hardly wait! Spring is here, spring is here!