You all know I have this fascination for herbal cocktails. And no, herbal cocktails are not a part of my anti-inflammatory diet I set up for my osteoarthritis. Yet mixing up cocktails for my friends and sitting out in the garden contemplating birds, and trees, and life is one of my favorite things to do. That’s why I dreamed of a garden bar. You know — a bar that has an herbal garden growing in it so that while I’ve pulled myself up on the bar stool I can actually reach over and pluck a hint of scent for my glass. Love me a good hint scent. For years I fantasized about how I would build my very own garden bar. Then Gardener’s Supply reached out to me and told me they ALREADY HAD THIS ASTOUNDING CREATION – a premade Plant a Bar. Be still my heart – a real garden bar is going on my patio!!!!
Once we assembled the Plant a Bar garden bar, we placed it in position on the front patio and filled it with soil. This season’s soil of choice is the Organic Mechanics Potting Soil which is earth-friendly, peat-free, and 100% organic. The Plant a Bar holds 180 quarts of potting mix, however, I used a little less than that so I can add more amendments next season (above). Below you see additional amendments I added to help prepare the soil; Dave Thompson’s Organic Healthy Grow® Vegetable and Herb organic fertilizer and Organic Mechanics Worm Castings. Be sure to follow package directions and mix in thoroughly. I like the Ergonomic Cultivator from Radius Tool (below) because it works well to spread and mix the ingredients around.
Plants Used For This Garden
- Basil ‘Italian Large Leaf’
- Beet ‘Bull’s Blood’
- Lemon Grass
- Mint ‘Mojito’
- Rosemary ‘Roman Beauty’
- Supertunia ‘Vista Fuchsia’
While rosemary and the supertunia prefer part-sun to full-sun, they do surprisingly well in this part-shade location due to a large amount of reflective light from the street and patio. Experiment with herbs and leafy vegetables in your garden to see which one’s perform well outside of their traditional sun recommendations. I have discovered many herbs and vegetables do extremely well in part shade. I am curious to see if the ‘Roman Beauty’ Rosemary from Monrovia will flower in it’s current part-shade situation – I will let you know soon.
Lay the plants out for the garden in advance so that you can make sure the plants all fit the garden bar layout. I used a combination of herbs, colorful vegetables, and a few flowers (see links in above list). Essentially my goal is to build an ornamental edible display that is practical as well as attractive for the garden bar.
When my friends sit down at the bar on the retro bar stools I want them to see color and be physically wrapped in delicious herbal smells so whether I serve cocktails or lemonade, they will feel a little better about life because they have this garden up at nose level. You can see my rainwater harvesting fountain from the seating area and the water sounds add to the cocktail concerto. The garden was remarkably easy to assemble and I have an automated drip system attached to water every two days so I do not have to water. Look for great martini recipes coming from this patio very soon. This is the perfect garden bar for entertaining on your patio or balcony and brings eye- and nose-level scent as well as color to your garden.