Herb Garden for Mother's Day

I have been looking online and in catalogs at window boxes.  They ranged from $80-$250 depending on the material, style, and paint.  It is cliche but I have a fascination with Pottery Barn and Williams Sonoma.  I saw a similar window box in the WS catalog and Joe said "I can build that".  And so he did.  He dropped his other 535 projects and built this for me!  It was my Mother's Day gift from him and I love it.  It is unstained, unpainted cedar and looks perfect with the house.  

This is the William Sonoma one.  Hmmm....maybe I need to imprint Farmer G on ours :)
And they must use muscle grow miracle grow!!  Or fake plants for the picture.

I am not a craft person at all.  A facebook friend posted that her trick to writing on chalkboards was the chalk paint pen.  I love these things...where have I been??  They really do wipe off.  So I wrote on each pot.   

I am letting the herbs grow a little before I start using them.  They have already taken off.  I was a little worried about the sun because they are under a covered porch and just get the morning sun but they are doing really well. 

My view of the herb garden from the inside.
We did not have a chance this spring to get our garden started.  But after spending more money than I wanted on squash and zucchini we decided to put this up and grow a handful of vegetables this year.  We have cucumber, okra, zucchini, and squash.  A raccoon/possum was digging around the first week we had it up and killed a green bean plant that Jackson had planted from seed at school.  But we have not had a problem the past few weeks.  

Joe's barn-shed is on the way.  Thank goodness!  After all his equipment etc leaves our garage I will finally get to park under cover.  Rushing 3 little ones in and out from the rain is doable but I'm a garage parking kind of girl. 
He hopes to have it ready for siding by this weekend so I will post pics of the completed project.

Build it....

Joe got to work this February building bird houses and putting up bird feeders.  He built 4 and bought 2.  We also have about 4 feeders spaced over our 16 acres.  They are designed to attract blue birds (not to be confused with blue jays). 
After being on the property working most of last year and living here almost 4 months we had never seen a blue bird so our expectations were low.  (to qualify for the wildlife ag exemption you just have to provide the habitat even if no creatures are present). 
Well you know the saying, build it and....

....they will come.


Hello momma and daddy blue bird!

The daddy's are the beautifulest blue I have ever seen with bright orange chests. And the mommas are more grey tone with blue tipped feathers and lighter orange bellies.

At this point we were not sure if they would nest in the houses.  Joe was extremely excited!  He has become quite knowledgeable in bird world :)

Every day Joe would make the rounds checking all the houses and one day he saw this in 2 of them!!
And then a week or so later he saw this!!!  You can imagine the excitement around our house at this point.  You would have thought we adopted 10 kids :).  (2 nests each had 5 eggs)
Before Joe would open the door of the nest he would approach making a little noise and softly tap on the box.  On one of the checks the momma was actually sitting on the eggs and just looked at Joe. 
It goes without saying that the kids were super involved also.  They did the box checks with Joe and would report back.  They also know quite a bit about blue birds themselves. 
We did have to keep a watch out for the momma and daddy.  Blue birds are protected so if we noticed anything out of the normal (like momma and daddy not being around) there was a number to call so that the eggs could be picked up and hatched. 
Then one day we saw this!  Cuddly cute little baby blue birds.

They have left their nest and wondered out into this big ol world!  We are hoping the momma and daddy nest again.  If they liked the location they will nest 1 to 2 more times this spring/summer.  And what's not to like with this much TLC :)

We had a critter eating the bird food.
We released him at the front of the property and haven't had a problem since.

And we were approved!  All the efforts paid off...it is pretty neat just doing for fun but to save a little money and help populate a species are pretty nice extras!