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Turn That Old Wooden Ladder Into An Herb Garden

Unpainted Herb ladder It all began on a sunny day while chatting with my neighbor.  We were in her garage and I said to her ” why do you still have that old wooden ladder? It looks dangerous.”  She replied, “I don’t know.  It works.” I say  to her why don’t you let me make an herb garden out of that old ladder so we can really get some use out of it, ie. grow mint for Mojitos and basil for pizza. She then looks at the ladder then turns to me and nods in agreement. “OK, you can take the ladder,” she says.

And thus began the final Cent-sational Salvage Challenge of the summer. I set forth to make the most awesome of awesomest (did you know that was a word?)  of herb ladder gardens.



I took the ladder and headed to my workshop (my garage).  Using scrap wood I secured the  ladder in a 90 degree position and began to assemble the planter beds.

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To fit the wood panels into the ladder to make the shelves of the planter boxes I cut out notches with the jigsaw to work around the legs.  I didn’t want to dissemble the ladder in anyway so that I could maintain the structural support.

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Using a table saw I cut off the decorative molding from the wood panel and used it as the front of the planter boxes.  I then constructed the sides and back of the box using old 2×3 scraps.

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After making 3 planter boxes within the ladder I drilled holes in the boxes to aid in water drainage.

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Once the ladder was complete it was time to secure it in the garden in its new home.  I dug down about 6 to 8 inches to secure the ladder in place and to ensure it was on level ground.


Once I’d secured the ladder it was time to paint it.  I had a ton of sample paint I’d picked up from my local Habitat ReStore Center. I decided to include my “kid helpers” in the process of  painting the ladder.  With summer here I wanted to have fun activities for everyone.  My thoughts were…its just paint.  What’s the worse they could do, besides ruin their clothes.

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Well they discovered the water “spicket”.  They say “spicket” (I know it should be spelled spigot) outside of Charleston, SC? Outside faucet for you Northerners 😉

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They were covered in paint, the side of my house had a new paint treatment and the ground a muddy, slushy mess.


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Oh well,  they had fun.  The next day once everything had dried, and the ground was safe to walk on, I sanded down the paint with a coarse sand paper.  I wanted an aged, vintage look.

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Filled the planter boxes with weed mesh and pebbles to aid in water drainage.

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Made these super cute garden markers. And planted my lovely, fragrant herb garden,

Garden Markers
NOTE: Writing by hand does not come with spell check….Oregano SMMMMmmm Oregeno 😛 Raise your hand if you caught that. LOL

  Basil Marker

Herb Ladder Garden view from bottom   HerbGardenLadderandPinkBirdfeeder    FullLadderFrontView copy

oregeno marker  Rock ArtSage Marker


Even I’ll admit, This is absolutely “Cent-Sational”! And the best part about it….it was FREE!

Big Thank you to my friend and neighbor.   Margarita pizza on me 😉  –T.


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  1. Timisha, this is AMAZING!! I love that you added the boxes…that is so clever! The color is perfect and it looks like the kids had fun! Great upcycle!

    1. Thank you so much Karla! You are my inspiration. The kids had fun but I’m not sure their parents had fun cleaning their clothes and shoes LOL.

  2. You totally rocked this project! Thanks for sharing at Totally Terrific Tuesday Link Party! #tttparty

  3. This is insanely beautiful! Pinning to my gardeniing board now. Gotta find me an old wooden ladder….

    1. Thank you so much for the very kind words! If finding an old ladder becomes a problem think of ways to repurpose old thrift store drawers. Good Luck.

  4. What an incredible job. That ladder herb garden is awesome!

    1. Thank you so much Leslie! I loved the was the ladder turned out. It’s a pop of color all year long.

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