Every time I use fresh herbs in a recipe, I say out loud (sometimes to no one in particular), “It’s the fresh herbs that make this dish!” There’s no substitution. Don’t get me wrong, I still use my dried herbs when I have to, but when I want a dish to be really special, I reach for the fresh herbs. Before I get into the details of how to create a living wall herb garden in your home, let me share my herb-growing journey.
Long before I considered myself a gardener (let’s call those the “Dark Days”) I would find myself in the produce section of the grocery store griping about the price of what looked like the smallest container of fresh parsley known to man. So expensive! So tiny! Then I saw the light and began growing herbs in my outdoor garden and for about 8 months out of the year (I’m in Zone 5b) I harvested fresh herbs with delight. But what about the winter? Even though I harvested my herbs and preserved them for the winter months, I could never quite get that fresh herb flavor.
Time to move indoors
I started a simple indoor herb garden in my kitchen and that was a move in the right direction. For some folks, a countertop herb garden is nice in theory but takes up too much counter space. And there’s not always a place to put a plant stand, especially in a more compact kitchen. Enter, the living wall herb garden! Get the benefits of a countertop herb garden without sacrificing that counter space! Here are some ideas and tips to create a living wall herb garden inside your home.
Look for the natural light
Your kitchen might seem like the obvious and certainly most convenient location for your living wall herb garden. But for some, the natural light just isn’t great. Your dining room or living room may have better natural light and that will work just fine.
Decide on wall space, material, and style
Choose and measure your wall space and think about what types of living wall herb gardens will work. For tight quarters or narrow sections of wall, it could be better to treat each plant individually and mount separate planters. For a larger wall, you may consider a fully integrated kit. Choose a style of planter or container that works best both visually and logistically. You can upcycle some mason jars or stick with simple terracotta pots. Think about how you will hang your planters. Hooks are great for planters that hang from woven plant holders. I also love these simple wall-mounted flower pot rings, that make rearranging your herbs super easy.
Things to keep in mind: drainage and weight
When you’re creating a living wall herb garden, you’ll want to keep drainage in mind. Since this will be an indoor garden, you won’t want open drainage holes that will leak all over your walls and floors. Choose containers that come with inserts or have other drainage solutions designed for indoor use. Another thing to keep in mind is the size of each container, especially if you plan to hang individual pots. Anything bigger than a 6” flower pot is going to require a lot of soil which will make the container heavy. If you’re just hanging on drywall, you may need to use screw anchors or other supports in order to bear a heavier pot.
Do you have plans for a living wall herb garden? I’d love to hear them! Share your ideas in the comments.