Last month, Grace potted up an herb garden to live on the patio and we’ve found that not only is it pretty to look at but also very useful for a quick snip or two of herbs. I have many herbs in the garden, but sometimes the convenience of popping out the back door in a jiffy while the eggs are scrambling can’t be discounted!

For the center of the pot we wanted something on the taller side, but still an herb. A rosemary topiary fit the bill and I knew just where to go to get one. Grace loves topiaries — in fact, she wrote an article all about them — so I knew that she would enjoy a visit to the topiary nursery Atlock Farm. Atlock Farm, located in Somerset, NJ, is owned by Ken Selody and is open to the public on most Saturdays. Inside his greenhouses lie the most beautiful and astonishing topiaries, citrus trees, succulents, and other treasures. It’s a feast for the senses with its tidy rows of neatly trimmed shrubs — a balm for those looking for an orderly hour or so.

If you are lucky, while there, you may get to chat with Margaret, who seems to be the keeper of all topiary knowledge and one who freely shares it with you when you ask. We had a delightful visit with her and walked away with a fair bit more knowledge than we walked in with. Grace deeply enjoyed speaking with her.

When we got home, it was an easy task to plant the herbs (we picked up the rest of the herbs at a local nursery). Since we were potting everything up in a rather large pot, we used the bubble wrap trick at the bottom of the pot. By putting packing bubbles in the bottom, we don’t have to use as much soil to fill the pot, while still giving the roots lots of room to grow! Just be sure not to fit the bubble wrap too tightly so that water can still move through and drain easily.

Grace put the little herbs around the edges and the rosemary topiary in the center.

The result is a useful and sweet kitchen patio pot!