I’ve always admired Ina Garten, not only because of her master class cooking skills, but because she can pluck some fresh rosemary and thyme at a moment’s notice, in her kitchen. I think it goes back to when I was a kid; the idea that there were some plants that you could just straight up eat (like mint), and it’s enjoyable.

Well my wife and I have been kicking around the idea of getting some herbs inside the kitchen – inside decorative little pots like the Barefoot Contessa.

Well she totally surprised me with, “I’ve got you an early Father’s Day gift…but you’ll have to work for it…I’m taking you to Lowe’s to pick out your very own herb garden to put on the back patio.” Dismissing all other gifts that I’d have to work for, I immediately did the Super Bowl shuffle. My love of cooking can only be complimented by a complete herb garden.

Then I was stuck with the thought, “Which herbs do I get? I can’t take Lowe’s home with me…” Off we went with a few ideas.

I came home with the following: sweet basil, rosemary, greek oregano, peppermint, german thyme, cilantro, parsley, red bell pepper, squash and jalapeño peppers.

It’s just a start, you know, to get my hands dirty.

We had to get a sign system of some sort. There were a few DIY ideas with stakes or paint stirrers. Thankfully Hobby Lobby (Hob Lob we affectionately call it) had some chalkboard party signs. I got them and a bistro marker pen.

Of course I had to come home with a gnome. He keeps the garden. It’s his domain. His name is Herbie. Of course.

I spent the better part of half a day clearing out the old plants in the back patio, tilling the ground, pulling up roots and bulbs with the help of my wife. Despite having a baby strapped to her by way of Ergo, my wife was eager to help where she could.

The funny part is, I don’t think she thought I’d complete it in a day. I had already mowed the front and back yard, leaf blew the roof off AND cleaned the gutters out. By that time, she sprung the surprise on me. No better way to say thank you than to hop to it!

I’m looking forward to where our herb garden will go. It’ll be great to see our kids grow up with it. It’ll be great to teach them about science, all the while enjoying it on the plate.

It’s important that herbs get at least 4 hours of sunlight. Also, filtered light is optimal. Whenever the ground isn’t wet to the touch, then we need to water it. (I thought it was the perfect time to get one of those watering wands like the employees have at Lowe’s in the garden section. #DadBuys)

So here’s to many a Bontreat dish garnished with fresh herbs, spices and ingredients!

Do you have an herb garden? Share with me down in the comments below!