Tuesday, April 16, 2013

easy patio herbs

I wanted to share a simple project we started last spring, in case you might like to try something similar while it's still early in the season.

We had a few empty strawberry pots that our parents had given us, and last spring my partner had the idea of creating a little herbal table out of one of them. He loves to propagate plants, and it seemed like the perfect situation to create an easy, tiny, functional herb garden. We didn't yet realize at the time just how much we would enjoy this living table.

We started at the top by planting some lemon thyme, and then worked down from there. We filled each of the smaller chambers with cuttings of established herbs we have growing around our home, including a couple varieties of thyme and oregano, marjoram, savory, and chives. Thyme, savory, marjoram and especially oregano, propagate quite easily if the soil is kept moist. The chives were divided off of a larger cluster.

The pot is beautifully full now, (and chives are about to burst into bloom!) but even last summer - just a few months from the time of starting - there were plenty of herbs filling out the planting vessels.

For the table top, Steven nestled 3 long stones into the soil, and then set a piece of salvaged stone tile on them. The triangular arrangement of the stones makes it easy to keep the top level, with a simple push or pull of a high or low side.

We eat a lot of meals out on the patio during the warmer months, and it's a real treat to be able to pick fresh herbs right at the table.

What are some of your favorite fresh herbs? We have been working on expanding our choices. I love to pile fresh herbs on my plate, adding healing properties, and a complexity of flavors to my food. Herbs can bring the simplest of meals to the next level.


  1. this is great - and that last photo is simply delicious.

  2. Love that planter! And that open face sandwich... everything perfect about spring and summer.

  3. Totally stealing this idea--the stones-and-tile setup is genius!
    I've been trying to incorporate herbs into my landscape to free up garden bed space for the annuals. I have a bed of flat-leaf parsley (one favorite) and a section for cilantro (indispensable). Most herbs are attractive so it's easy to keep even the ones you don't use a lot around just in case.

  4. this is gorgeous abby! one of my favorite herbs is lemon balm- so fragrant and delicious in tea. i'm also planning on growing a bunch more chamomile this year. and of course lavender is my number one all time favorite.

  5. lovely! i'm not sure i can pick a favorite herb. i love them all.

  6. this is such a wonderful idea, abby! i love it!

  7. hi abby!
    awesome creation, between the two of you, it turned out beautifully. my must-have faves" lemon verbena and pineaple sage ...both great for teas and summer stuff like ices/sorbets. hoping to try lemon grass this year, i think i can coax it along with protection (we are a wintry zone 7A) xo

  8. love this abby!! i love lemon verbena and mint for summer drinks. and i think my all time favorite herb is cilantro. i can't wait for fresh salsa!!!!

  9. thanks ladies! Interesting the number of mentions of lemon herbs.. we grow lemon verbena and lemon balm, but somehow don't use them very much. I will try to make more use of them this year! I do love lemon verbena tea.

    And Amy, cilantro is one of my all time favorites too. I am hoping to grow lots of it this year. I missed it completely the last couple of years.

    Erin, I will try to find some pineapple sage. Sounds awesome!

  10. That was such a beautiful pot, it has many spot to plant with, I wonder how the water linked to each spot.

    Broomfield Xeriscape