This tabletop garden is great for growing kitchen herbs and greens without having to bend over.
PHOTO: LYNN KARLIN
After a series of back surgeries, I thought I would no longer be able to grow my own greens. But then my husband created a tabletop garden for me from an old workbench that had belonged to my father. The bench was originally made from a section of laminated wood saved from a bowling alley. It’s strong and stands up to the harsh Maine winters. The 8-inch boards around the edge of the grow box are secured with screws and angle iron to prevent warping. The base of the table has holes drilled every 4 inches to allow excess water to seep through.
The garden bench has a drawer for gardening tools and gloves, and an extended board allows me to hang my favorite watering can where it can be reached easily. The bottom shelf is great to store extra pots and watering cans. I used a solid stain to paint the table, and even with constant watering, it has not peeled. On the side, I stenciled “Herbs and Edibles” so all would know the flowers in the grow box could be enjoyed in a salad as well!
Each year I use a mixture of soil and dehydrated manure to ensure lush growth for the plants. It’s amazing how much produce this garden yields. Even though my back is healed, I continue to appreciate the ease of tabletop gardening and have no intentions of planting my herbs anywhere else.
Each year my garden grow box has a different “personality,” and I have chronicled these changes in a photo scrapbook. Recording which herbs and edibles grow most successfully helps me develop a plan for the next season. Regardless of the yearly choices I make, the result is always the same: a delightful array of the salads and garnishes I love to serve during our short Maine summer.