“I like to encourage people interested in gardening or planting to begin with a simple herb garden. Even if you live in a small apartment, you can have some herb pots.” – Anna Getty
Wouldn’t it be great if you could start cooking with fresh herbs? Whenever a recipe calls for lemon balm, parsley, or chives, you just head out to your kitchen herb garden and pick what you need. Each dish will turn out more flavorful, and you’ll be able to enjoy the fresh scents of growing herbs.
You don’t have to commit to a full-sized kitchen garden, though. You could have a small indoor herb garden kit that sits neatly on your windowsill. Check out these herb garden ideas and see how you can start growing your own culinary herb plants.
1. Backyard Herb Garden Ideas
Some herbs thrive when they’re outside in your backyard. These are hardy herbs that can handle the changing seasons and cold weather. These include lavender and rosemary. If left to grow on their own, both can reach several feet in size. If you want to create an herb garden in your backyard, consider how large your herb plants will grow. Keep the larger ones to the back and the small ones to the front. This will make it easier to harvest what you need.
Herb plants are also beautiful, so why not turn your herb garden into an actual garden? Several perennial herbs, like the lemon verbena, have beautiful flowers that will last throughout the spring and summer season. You could have a small sitting area and a brick or paver path leading to it. You’ll be able to sit outside and enjoy the natural perfume of your herb plants. You could create some cute little signs that label each herb to stake into your garden. Then anyone will be able to tell what each herb is when admiring your garden.
2. Balcony or Rooftop Herb Garden Ideas
Even if you don’t have a backyard, you can still create a DIY herb garden. You could hang planters on your railings. Group your herbs by how much sun they need and the type of soil they like. If you have enough floor space, you could set up a ladder-style rack to hold several small pots. There are also herb racks that are tall with holders for individual pots.
Your greatest asset on a balcony is vertical height, so look for ways you can create more storage for your supplies down low and more space for your plants up high.
Try setting a pallet on its side, leaning up against the wall and use the cross beams to plant small herbs. You may need to add some extra wood pieces to hold the soil in place. You could buy a small trough or tub in a stand. Fill the tub with dirt, and then fill it with your favorite herbs.
3. Container Herb Garden
Container herb gardens work well because you can scale them to the number of herbs you want to grow and the available space you have. Perhaps you have a few small clay pots that fit in your hands. Or you have several large terra cotta pots that hold large potted herbs. Not all pots need to be the same size, either. Maybe you have one or two that start small; you can replace them with smaller plants once they grow and you repot them.
Look for ways you can add height. You could put some of the pots on stands. Or you could stagger them on a multi-level display. Remember that it isn’t about just making a beautiful display. You also need to place your plants so they’ll receive the ideal amount of light. You might need to arrange all of your plants on a single level, even if it doesn’t look amazing.
4. Creative Planter Herb Garden Ideas
Sure, you could use traditional flower pots for your herb gardening, but there are many other garden ideas that you could try. You could create an indoor garden by hanging a windowsill herb garden outside of your kitchen window. Or you could try growing herbs indoors by mounting a hanging herb garden. Hook small pots to a rack or obelisk that you place in a corner or near a window.
If you have open shelving in your kitchen, why not line up a few mason jars for growing herbs indoors? This will breathe life into your kitchen, give you some easy decor, and always keep fresh herbs within reach. You could even label each jar with the herb that’s growing in it.
If you want to have an outdoor herb garden, try building an herb spiral. This unique herb garden design looks like a twisting pyramid. You can then place herb plants around the spiral working your way up to the top. Why does this design work so well? Different areas of the spiral are arid; others are wetter. Some spots get a ton of light, while others get very little. This gives you the ideal growing conditions for the widest variety of different herb plants.
Other creative planter options include using a wheelbarrow, an old grill, a vintage dresser, or a bourbon barrel cut in half.
5. Pallet Herb Garden Ideas
Using pallets in outdoor home design is popular, and there’s a good reason. You can easily stand one up on its side. Then you can turn the voids into the perfect place for growing small herb plants. You’ll need to block off the underside of the void so the potting soil doesn’t fall through. Pallets are great because you can customize them to work with your space. You could paint, decorate, or leave them bare wood.
While most people leave their pallet on the ground, there’s nothing to stop you from mounting it on the wall. If you don’t want to plant your herbs directly into the pallet, you can hang pots off it. There are small round pots or long rectangular bins that come with hooks on them. You can hook these over the beams of the pallet. This setup works well becauese you can easily re-pot and move your herbs around without disrupting other herbs. You could start your herb seeds indoors and then transfer them to a hanging pot when they’re big enough.
6. Planter Herb Garden Ideas
If you already have a well-decorated backyard, consider adding one or two wine or whiskey barrel planters. You can then fill them with soil and then plant two or three herbs in each one. This adds color and life to your backyard while also giving you fresh herbs for cooking.
If you have the wall space, look for a wall hanging with several pockets. You could make one on a budget by using an old shoe hanging rack. Or you could buy one meant for planting herbs. You’ll fill the pockets with soil and plant an herb in each. This idea works particularly well because no one herb will overpower another or steal nutrients from another. If one plant starts to struggle or outgrows their pocket, then you can address that herb without disrupting any of the other plants.
7. Raised Bed Herb Garden Ideas
When you think of a raised bed for planting, you’ll probably think of a ground-level bed filled with dirt. This style of raised bed is most common for planting vegetables and other plants. However, you can also use it to grow herbs. These raised beds tend to be narrower than vegetables raised beds since herbs don’t need as much space to grow.
You could also utilize a raised planter bed with legs. This will put the bed several feet off of the ground. Many cooking and planting enthusiasts appreciate this since it makes it easier to prune and tend to the plants without bending over or crouching down. Look for one with a shelf underneath to give you additional storage space for your gardening tools.
8. Small Herb Garden Ideas
You only need about eight inches in diameter around each herb plant you intend to grow, so you can place several herbs into a small space. To ensure you have success, choose companion plants that will encourage and help each other to grow stronger. This will result in larger plants that have more leaves for use during cooking.
For the ultimate in small gardening, try growing your herb garden in a caddy. It will have a handle in the middle and compartments on either side. You could use a tool, shower, or storage caddy. You can easily transport your herbs from the ideal growing spot to your kitchen and back — no more making a mess from dropped leaves or multiple trips back and forth while you’re trying to cook.
9. Vertical Herb Garden Ideas
Since herbs don’t need to develop deep root systems, you can create a flourishing vertical garden. This lets you grow significantly more plants in a smaller amount of square footage. The easiest way to go this is with a planter stand. It could be an independent stand or one that leans against a wall. There will be several levels that start at the ground and go up to five or six feet.
If you have a larger outdoor space, why not use an herb garden to also act as a space divider? It could be a freestanding wall that you can access from both sides. There will be many levels for growing different herbs. Once your plants are growing, they’ll act as a barrier that blocks an area from view and dampens sound.
Another common solution is a three-dimensional stand, shaped like a pyramid with flat sides or a round cone shape. The bottom is always wider than the top.
10. Wall Planter Herb Garden Ideas
The wonderful thing about herbs is that they tend to be smaller plants, so you’ll have no problem growing herbs indoors. You can have a single planter with your favorite and most used herb. Or you could have an entire indoor herb garden.
Ikea has some convenient kitchen storage solutions that work well as herb planters. You’ll mount a bar on your kitchen wall that gets regular sunlight. Then hang the organizer buckets from the bar. Each bucket will hold an herb. You could mount several bars above each other for more growing space.
Another pretty idea is to mount floating shelves on the wall. Then you can set your small herb pots on the floating shelf. Don’t be afraid to use different sized containers for your herbs. Basil and oregano both grow in abundance. If you like using these herbs, you could put them in larger planters to give them more room to grow. Then you could use smaller planters for your chives, thyme, or mint.