Rather than a Before & After, this post is like an After & Before. Here's the After photo, referred to in the title of the post:
Of course the problem with the picture is that there are no living plants in the containers. This was my mini indoor herb garden, with was being the operative word.
This spot was in real need of a decor element when the kitchen remodel was completed a few years ago. The adjoining breakfast bar and full-height counter needed something to smooth the transition. For awhile I had a painted rectangular box here holding three asparagus ferns. It looked OK, but the dark color of the box wasn't ideal and the plants floundered.
Then a friend gave me these three containers that fit the space perfectly. So this spring I condensed the floundering asparagus ferns into one pot and moved it into the mudroom which serves as an indoor garden room (where it's now doing very well, by the way), then planted herbs in the new containers. Here's what they looked like in May. So far, so good:
(L-R) Rosemary 'Arp', lemon thyme, spearmint
By June the rosemary had died and I replaced it with parsley. The other two herbs (with the spearmint now in the center) were looking a bit peaked:
And now, in July, the shape they're in (that is, non-existent) is demonstrated in Exhibit A at the top of the post. While the containers sit just inside a window, it's a southern exposure and the light is dim. I've considered going faux with my plants here, but I just can't bring myself to do it. So I'm on the hunt for the houseplant(s) with the height and/or bushiness to fill the space but also with enough hardiness to live in low light. If you have any suggestions for a plant that fills the bill, please leave a comment. Thanks!