I used to have an herb garden. It looked like this:
Tucked into a nook between our back patio and chimney, just steps away from the kitchen door, it was overflowing with potted herbs. They seemed to love the partial sun/partial shade in that little spot, and I loved having so many delicious fresh herbs so close to the kitchen. We were happy, my herb garden and I.
And then this happened:
Yeah. The dog, who came to live with us in September, pretty much napalmed my fall herb garden. He ate everything down to twigs, and what he couldn't or didn't want to eat, he dug up and scattered across the yard. And then he salted the earth, summoned demons, and started the apocalypse.
And I was sad. Very, very sad.
I am okay with not having a vegetable garden (I GUESS) because there are so many awesome farmer's markets in my area that are open year-round. But I NEED my herbs. I have a biological imperative to walk out the kitchen door, snip a few stalks or leaves, give them a rinse, and transfer them immediately into a pot or pan or bowl full of vittles at any given moment.
Sure, I could plan ahead and buy fresh herbs at the store so I'd have them on-hand when I need them, but ... have you met me? "Plan ahead" is not in my vocabulary. Herbs are delicate and on those few occasions when I do remember to buy them ahead of time, already cut and whatnot, they tend to wilt before I have a chance to use more than a very small portion of them. That is money down the drain, people!
I need MY OWN herbs, growing right outside my kitchen! NEED THEM. I just do. But the dog will eat them if he can get at them. Husband P and I spent a large portion of this past winter trying to decide what to do about this -- build some more raised beds? The dog is big enough that if I can reach into the raised bed, so can he. Plus, I like the control that POTTED herbs give me -- I don't want to plant them in the ground. Chicken wire or bird netting? Not ideal, because it's kind of a pain for me to navigate around it (I know this because for the past few weeks my herbs have been living in the berry patch, which is covered in bird netting)(and full of completely dead berry bushes, but that's another story). A hot wire? Potentially expensive, and no guarantee the dog won't find some way around it (hello, he's a poodle -- he is nimble AND clever)(also: evil).
Then P proposed building me a dog-proof table for all of my herbs, in the same location where I used to keep them. And now, after a couple of weekends' worth of labor, my herb garden looks like this:
Hello, amazing! I love this little table so, so much. It's deep from front to back and it has fence pickets all around it, so the dog can't reach my plants even if he jumps up there. The wire grate surface allows for drainage. I can open the gated door to access the storage area below and/or to reach the plants that are way at the back. And P even extended one of our sprinkler heads so it would reach way up through the grate and water my herbs automatically when the sprinklers run! HOW AWESOME IS MY HUSBAND?
So now I'm happy. And so are my herbs.
As for the dog? Well, he can go back to eating grass and devouring souls.