Category Archives: Outdoor Gardens

Herbal Gutter Garden


If you have always wanted to grow an herb garden but have not done so for lack of garden space, consider using a rain gutter as a plant container. They can be suspended or hung along any fence or inside/outside wall to grow your favorite herbs at an affordable price.

Materials needed – Repurpose an old gutter or purchase a 10’ section with end pieces and hangers, or rope for ~$10.00 – $20.00 at your favorite home improvement center. If you do not have room to hang a 10-foot section, cut it to a desired length using a hack saw.

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Although the depth of most gutters is ~3-5”, keep in mind many herb roots grow deeper than this. However, they do colonize and will make use of the entire gutter space and thrive as long as the roots don’t extend much beyond 10-12” and spaced accordingly.

When hanging gutters outdoors and exposed to the weather, I recommend drilling holes every 12-16 inches at the bottom of each gutter using a ¼” round drill bit. Gutters can also be stacked vertically and spaced using rope, brackets or other means. Be sure to use gutter ends. This will make the gutter more rigid, contain the soil and provide good water drainage. Select a loamy soil [high-quality earth, a mixture of sand, clay, and decaying plant material], or potters’ soil for healthy plant growth and yield. Before hanging and filling gutters with soil, consider helping your children spruce them up with colorful all-weather paints – fun for the whole family.

The tilted gutter design allows water distribution and drainage from top to bottom. It is not necessary to drill holes at the bottom of your gutters for drainage when angling gutters for drainage.

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When hanging gutter gardens indoors, do not drill the bottom of the gutter unless a secondary drainage gutter is attached below it as a catch basin. Indoor watering instruction – If your plants are green and wilted and the soil feels moist within a 1-2” depth, wait 2-3 days before adding water. If leaves appear dry, add water. When green and vibrant – no water needed.

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The herbs I selected were based on plant growth in shallow containers and desired herbs criteria: 1) Find a gutter location that provides 4-6 hours of sunlight daily 2) Plants must thrive in a 3-5” shallow container. 3) Space between plants must be no less than 6-8”, with a minimum 1-foot overhead clearance. 4) Herbs must be useful in-home recipes. 5) Selected herbs have a desired health benefit, i.e., antioxidant and anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial/viral health benefit. 6) Some herbs are not compatible growing next to others. Read the seeds package for herb plant compatibility.

After considering the plant selection criteria, the herbs I chose for my herbal gutter garden: Parsley, Chives, Cilantro, Oregano and Thyme.

This is a fun gardening project and experience for the whole family. Your children will take pride in growing and farming fresh foods to table, and share those lessons learned. Including how favorite home recipes with farmed fresh-to-table herbs benefit their health.

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Marc Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, ARNG, CPT, RET., is a Fit Healthy Lifestyle Consultant with MirrorAthlete Corp., and Former Tigard City Councilor. A strong proponent of City involvement in providing recreational opportunities for its residents. 2021 Copy right. All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Inc., “To learn more about MirrorAthlete and free monthly newsletter, visit:

Get Your Mojo Back with 35 Things to Look Forward To


I know many of you have not felt positive about life in general over the past year. Mostly because of a virus that has limited certain freedoms, harmed health and for many caused economic challenges. But if one remains mindful of how much there is to look forward to, a plan can be put in place to get that mojo back in both good and bad times.

If you want to change a situation and feel better, consider creating a “list of things to look forward to.” Then plan to pursue and participate in a few areas of personal interest. There are literally thousands of life changing things to look forward to that keep life interesting. And when planning to participate – than do… provide a state of wellness and piece of mind.

I have listed “35 things to look forward to” to help you develop a list

1) Holidays and Annual celebrations with family and friends 2) Learn to play a musical instrument 3) Begin a home exercise routine 4) Take a road trip with a friend 5) Make date nights with spouse 6) Sip wine with a significant other watching the sun set

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7) Begin a home improvement project 8) Host a theme party 9) Meet with friends on a sunny day in a park 10) Becoming a grandparent

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11) Turning 18 and 21 12) Knowing you’re going to be a parent 13) Participating in an online chat group of interest  14) Learn how to plant Indoor and outdoor gardens

“Learn how to Plant an Indoor/Outdoor Garden” Indoor Herb Garden Starter Kit – Heirloom, Non-GMO Herb Seeds – Basil Thyme Parsley Cilantro Seed, Potting Soil, Pots, Scissors – DIY Grow Kits for Growing… Click on image to view multiple home exercise equipment options.

15) Becoming independent and figure out what you want in life 16) Learning a new hobby

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17) Work towards the job you’ve always wanted 18) Meet your future husband or wife 19) Take a college course 20) Purchase your first house 21) Make a bucket list – plan to complete it  22) Celebrate a big birthday

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23) Take a dream vacation 24) Attend a favorite concert 25) Raise children 26) Buy your first car 27) Hike and camp within a mountainous area  28) Watch your children graduate from school

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29) Cook a new recipe 30) Adopt a puppy 31)  Experience a different culture  32) Start an online business 33) Volunteer for a cause 34) Begin a daily walking program  35) Leaving a legacy

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Do not allow any environment situation to depress you to the point of not living life to the fullest. Recall, as Americans we have a lot to be thankful for with the freedoms for anyone to get through challenging times. By remaining mindful of things to look forward to and actively pursuing an engaged and active lifestyle, people are more likely to sustain a state of wellbeing and good health to weather any storm. Create a list that is right for you, select a few areas of interest to participate in and plan to live the lifestyle you need, want and deserve now… and get your mojo back!

Marc Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, ARNG, CPT, RET., is a Fit Healthy Lifestyle Consultant with MirrorAthlete Corp., and Former Tigard City Councilor. A strong proponent of City involvement in providing recreational opportunities for its residents. 2019 Copy right. All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Inc., “To learn more about MirrorAthlete and free monthly newsletter, visit: