One of the best things about summers at StoneGable are the outdoor spaces! We love to spend summer evening in the garden and back porch and patio.

Now I have a new favorite place to spend long summer evenings!

Bobby and I have been very busy lately rearranging the landscaping to make room for my potting bench and a quaint kitchen herb garden.

And I'm thrilled that I have a space to putter and plant and clip herbs and listen to the birds... right off my back porch! This is a part of StoneGable I have never shown before.

Here is the potting bench's new home...

The potting bench is tucked in a little corner of StoneGable at the end of our wrap around porch near the laundry room door and just steps from the kitchen door.

It was not only a great place to put the potting bench, but my kitchen herb garden too! It is so easy to go from the kitchen to this mini garden!

It's a working area... not just for "pretty"... it works hard for it's keep!!!

Can you see my old fashioned retractable laundry line?  I use it almost every day! This part of my house is really busy with homekeeping duties!!!

I've had my potting bench for 4 or 5 years. I got it for Mother's day. It's very basic and very very utilitarian!!! 

It has everything a potting bench should...

An old enameled wash basin as a sink and a spigot with running water.

 I keep the work area pretty clear because the veggies from the garden and the fruit from the trees stop here for a good cleaning before they go inside! I try to keep most of the mess here!

The sour cherries are ready to be picked this weekend. This is where they will get a good cleaning!

Here's a picture of some of last year's cherries getting washed at the bench!

When I want to drain the water from the basin I do it the old fashioned way... I pick up the basin and throw the water out... usually watering the herbs!

There is just something about this simple way of doing things that makes my heart sing!

This year I found this great galvanized organizer at HomeGoods and put it to work holding little gardening odds and ends.

It's still a work in progress. I have to get a few garden tags, small stakes and old seed packets that I want to put in ball jars to keep in the organizer.

Do you like mint? I love love love it! This year spearmint, peppermint and applemint are all potted on my bench!

If you can get applemint it is fabulous in iced tea!

Lemon balm and catnip are also planted in clay pots. My cat Hobbes is always at my feet and chattering to me when I am gardening. Cutting a little catnip for him will be such a big treat for his attentiveness! You are welcome, Hobbsie!

The bottom shelf of the bench holds extra pots, gardening tools, an old-watering-can-turned-planter and a bee skep.

I found a wonderful way to keep potting soil on hand... I keep it in a small trash can!  When I need to plant something I usually put the whole pot in the can and fill it from inside it! So much easier than lugging around a big plastic bag of soil when I need it!

I recently picked up an old rusty metal stool. Gardening can be rough on the back... so sitting down while I'm at my potting bench really helps! And I love the idea of having a seat in this area!

This year I moved my kitchen herb garden next to the bench! I found this fabulous old double wash tub at one of my favorite antique haunts early this spring (The Antique Village, Strasburg Pa) and repurposed it into an herb garden!!   

Herbs and marigolds and rubbeckia play so nicely together! Do you mix herbs and annuals? 

I pick herbs like flower bouquets. They smell divine inside!

The low, pottery bowl is literally a salad bowl. It's getting too hot in my area to grow lettuce... it's beginning to bolt. So I am keeping it in a cooler area near the house and hoping that I can have baby lettuce all summer long. We'll see!

Herbs will grow riotous throughout the summer and I'll have to do lots and lots of clipping! Oh, joy!

The leaves that look like little lily pads are nasturtiums. They are the most colorful edible flowers!!! 

So much fun to put these peppery flowers in salads.

The old barrel is also filled to the brim with herbs... do you think I like herbs? Just a little?

Not only are herbs and annuals welcome at StoneGable but so are local birds! Cardinals, blue birds, finches, red winged blackbirds, robins, mockingbirds and barn swallows are just a few that visit us daily.

They sing from dawn till dusk and entertain us... so we give them something to eat and a place to take a bath in exchange!

A mockingbird sits outside our weeping cherry tree and wakes us up everyday! Most mornings we love it's enthusiastic song but some mornings we want to throw a shoe out the window at him!

These easy to make CHINA CUP BIRD FEEDERS are fun and unexpected! I fill them daily.  The bigger birds like doves and grackles don't like to sit on the cups.

I hope you have enjoyed my little kitchen garden tour and have gotten some ideas you might like to use yourself!

If you come to visit me at StoneGable and I don't answer the door. Follow the walk around back... I'll probably be be puttering at my potting bench or picking herbs for the kitchen!

I'll pick an extra bunch for you to take home after our visit!

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