The tree stump planting project has turned out great and I am very pleased with the results and overall look of the planters. It remains to be seen how the plants actually grow in them but I was accept some trial and error given that the stumps were free and I just really like them.
I filled the bottom 2/3rd's with mulch and some small rocks to allow for some drainage and the top 1/3rd I filled with a mix of good soil and organic fertilizer. I watered them all thoroughly and let them sit overnight to give the soil a chance to settle and to let me see where there might be any leaks.
The basil is doing ok - I find that I have to water it daily - sometimes twice a day in hot weather. I may decide to plant it elsewhere next year and pick another herb that better tolerates the full sun here.
I had originally thought of putting rosemary in one of the planters but I did not want to have to dig up the plant to move it indoors for the winter. So I grew it in a nice pot which is now sitting in the garden but can be brought into the kitchen this fall without any digging.
The calendula are the ones that I am really looking forward to working with. My goal here is to make a cream or ointment to use for skin irritations and acne, and for a general body lotion that will include an anti-inflammatory bonus.