It's my mum's birthday today. When I asked her about 6 weeks ago what she wanted for her birthday (yes, I know, I'm organised!), she said she'd like a replacement rosemary plant as hers had died over winter. As it happened, when I went to buy a rosemary plant the garden centre had an offer on on herbs. Buy 4 for £10. So I bought rosemary, marjoram, parsley and golden thyme. Then I hunted around for a container to plant them in and came across fake half barrels for sale. They looked just like half barrels but were actually made from a type of polystyrene so were incredibly light. This was £19.99 so I added that to my trolley and headed home.
Once home I asked my husband to drill holes in the bottom, which he did, although he said he probably could have pushed a skewer through instead as it was easy to drill through. I then half filled the bottom of the barrel with chunks of polystyrene packing material. I figured that if the barrel was light in the first place I may as well keep the overall weight down by adding this drainage material to the bottom rather than grit or similar. This also reduced the amount of compost I needed to put in, keeping the cost as well as the weight down.
I then planted the four herbs I had bought that morning as well as a small sage and thyme plug plant I'd got from Lidl's a few week before (£1.50 for 4 if I recall). I also had a chive plant I'd propagated from my garden so I put that in too. Finally, I mulched the surface with chipping from my garden shredder. Four weeks later when I gave my mum her present the plants had settled in nicely and even grown a bit.
So an impressive herb planter containing 7 herbs for less than £35 all told. Not bad!