Posted on Apr 15, 2011

Paint Your Thumb Green And Get Crafty With Your Garden!

Green Thumb

If you’ve ever had a garden then you know about the caring and maintenance involved in having a healthy edible landscape. Every so often it’s necessary to paint your thumb green, pull out the pruners, and get trimming. Sometimes we prune to remove the dead or unhealthy leaves and stems, while other times we prune to redirect and promote growth in our veggies, herbs, and flowers. This week I went to town on my garden. The fennel became a shady forest over the cilantro and parsley, the broccoli rabb bolted, flowered, and towered over the rainbow chard and well, the lavender just smells so good that I couldn’t resist cutting it back just to be engulfed in its scent. I ended up with two different piles of plant cuttings: the dead and the living. The dead pile went directly into our home compost and the living was transformed into home decoration.

After all the hard work that goes into keeping a beautiful landscape producing, it’s a heart break to cut back the good stuff and just toss it. So, this time I was determined to reuse all the healthy cuttings in some fashion. Here are a few easy ways to recycle your plants after they’ve been pruned:

Edible Bouquet:

Some of my herbs and veggies were getting a little crowed, so I made a centerpiece bouquet out of: fennel, broccoli raab, parsley, cilantro, purple kale, and lavender. Making the edible bouquet was such a simple and beautiful way to reuse the clippings from my garden.
Edible Bouquet

Dried Flower and Herb Greeting Card:

My Pansies produced, my Poppies popped, and once again lavender is just the best thing ever. I gathered the fallen petals and it became necessary that I cut back the flowers so they could better produce in the future. Going along with my scheme of reusing the plant clippings, I set my colorful collection in the middle of a heavy book to dry for a couple of days. With the dried flowers and herbs my girlfriend Whitney and I made a cute greeting card for my grandma, sending her a bit of everything from our garden!
dried flower greeting card

Hanging Lavender:

This is the easiest project in the book. In fact it shouldn’t even be deemed a project; but it’s amazing how simple and decorative hanging lavender can be. Just get some thread, tie the bundle together any way you like, make a loop at the end and enjoy it’s beauty and scent.
hanging lavander

If you’re interest lies more in kitchen projects than home crafts, here are some great resources for other methods of utilizing those healthy clippings!

5 Cool Things To Do With Herbs

Preserving The Harvest

Maintaining our gardens can be a lot of work. But… it is for our bounty and pleasure that we tend to and make use of our gardens to the fullest and share our rewards with one another. What crafty projects have you done with your garden clippings?


  • Bear says:

    Amazing ideas! Another brilliant post, Cait.

  • Sheila says:

    Hey Cait, your writing is so captivating, poetic, and descriptive. I love the small garden concept. Living in Pacific Grove, where the sun is minimal, with your’s and Whitney’s inspiration, I now have an herb and lettuce container garden right outside my front door. There is a Tomatillo pepper paired with parsley that must like this spot as it is growing by leaps and bounds! Very cool! Thanks. I look forward to your next post.