Gardening 101 Day 17 Container Gardening Part 1: How to create beautiful container gardens with herbs, how-to grow & care for them PLUS BONUS Recipes!

“The lesson I have thoroughly learnt, and wish to pass on to others, is to know the enduring happiness that the love of a garden gives. ” Gertrude Jekyll

As all of you know I love raised bed gardening, and with that comes a bit of container gardening as well. I primarily use containers in my raised beds for more aggressive perennial herbs that have a tendency to go rogue if allowed. Such herbs include oregano, thyme, chives, and all the mints to name a few. Of course regular harvesting and not allowing the plants to go to seed help, but their root systems still want to expand their horizons!

By planting them in  your raised beds, this allows you to remove them and divide as necessary and then simply replace the pot in its allotted spot. The reason I plant the pot in the garden is to protect the roots from winter’s harsh cold here in Michigan. I also use a thick layer of mulch around them for extra protection. I generally mulch with grass clippings, old straw and even leaves.

I’m going to break this topic of container gardening into two parts, the first on herbs & then the following on veggies.

Creating a planter with herbs is an excellent way to bring the beauty and flavor of nature into your home. Whether you’re just starting out or are a seasoned plant enthusiast, this guide will provide you with all the information you need to create and maintain a beautiful herb container garden.

Be sure to read on for some BONUS recipes to make with all your herbs!

Best Containers to Use

When it comes to selecting the best container for your herb garden, there are a few things to consider. The size and shape of the container will depend on the type of herbs you plan to grow, as well as the available space in your home. I have used all of these with great success. Have you used anything different? Let me know in the comments section below… I love your feedback!

Terra Cotta or Ceramic Pots

Terracotta and ceramic pots are a classic choice for herb gardens! They both come in so many fun and whimsical shapes and sizes. Terracotta pots are porous and allow air and moisture to pass through, which is beneficial for the plants. Both terracotta and ceramic provide good drainage, which helps prevent waterlogging. The downside of both however is that they can be fragile and easily break if dropped. Proper winter storage, if not brought indoors, should be done to ensure minimal breakage. Store pots upside down so if moisture does get in, they don’t crack when any ice thaws.

Window or Railing Boxes

Window or railing boxes are another great option for growing herbs. They are typically made from wood or plastic and come in a variety of sizes and shapes. If you are in an apartment or condo, window boxes are a perfect option! Even if you have a garden you can keep these on your deck or patio railing for easy access when cooking or grilling! They can easily be hung on the side of a window or railing for easy access, and you can have several growing different herbs! The downside to window boxes is that they tend to dry out quickly, so you’ll need to water your herbs more often.

Hanging Baskets

Hanging baskets are another ideal choice for growing trailing herbs such as oregano and thyme. They too come in a variety of sizes and are made from materials such as wicker, plastic, and metal. The advantage of hanging baskets is that they help conserve space and can be moved around your porch, deck, or patio. They also can come indoors easily in the winter months. The downside is that they tend to dry out more quickly than other types of containers, so you’ll need to water your herbs more often.

Self-Watering Containers

Self-watering containers are a great option for busy gardeners. They provide a consistent supply of water to the plants, so you don’t have to worry about over- or under-watering them. These containers are usually made from plastic and have a built-in reservoir at the bottom. These are again a great option for the apartment or condo dweller, or to place on a deck or patio outside your kitchen for easy access. The downside is that they tend to be more expensive than other types of containers.

Raised Beds

If you have a larger outdoor space, then a raised bed is an excellent choice for growing herbs. Raised beds provide good drainage and allow for easy access to the plants. They can be made from wood, metal, or plastic, and come in a variety of sizes. The downside is that they require more maintenance than other types of containers, as they need to be regularly weeded and watered.

Galvanized Metal Tubs

I love to use old galvanized metal wash tubs, buckets, or any other cool container I can find. You can actually purchase these at feed type stores such as Tractor Supply Store or similar. I love the feel of a cottage garden and these fit perfectly with my theme. The key is to make sure there are proper drainage holes placed in the bottom. You can easily make these with a hammer and a nail or use a drill with a large enough drill bit. The downside is that they tend to dry out more quickly than other types of containers, so you’ll need to water your herbs more often.

How to Care for Your Herbs!

Once you have the right container and plants for your planter, it’s time to start caring for your herbs. Here are some tips & tricks for keeping your herbs healthy and thriving:


Herbs need plenty of water in order to grow and thrive. Water your herbs regularly, but don’t over-water them. Make sure to allow the soil to dry out between watering’s to prevent root rot.


Fertilizing your herbs is a great way to keep them healthy and full of flavor. Use a liquid fertilizer every couple of weeks, or add a slow-release fertilizer to the soil once a month. Be sure to read and follow the directions on the fertilizer package.


Pruning your herbs is essential for keeping them healthy and preventing them from becoming overgrown. Trim off any dead or diseased leaves, and cut back the plants to encourage new growth.

Controlling Pests

Pests can be a problem for any type of garden, so it’s important to take steps to keep them away from your herbs. Planting companion plants such as marigolds or chrysanthemums can help deter pests, and using insecticidal soap or neem oil can help control pest populations.


Harvesting your herbs is an essential part of caring for them. Harvest herbs when they are young and tender, and be sure to use sharp scissors or pruners when cutting them. Avoid harvesting more than one-third of the plant at a time to ensure that it continues to grow and produce.

How to Harvest the Herbs

Harvesting your herbs is the best part of having an herb planter, as you get to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Here are some tips for harvesting your herbs:


The best time to harvest herbs is in the morning, after the dew has dried and before the sun is too hot. This will ensure that the herbs are at their peak flavor and will retain their essential oils.


The best tool for harvesting herbs is a pair of sharp, clean scissors or pruners. Avoid using a knife, as it can bruise the leaves and damage the plant.


Once you’ve harvested the herbs, it’s important to store them properly to preserve their flavor and freshness. Herbs can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week, or they can be dried and stored in an airtight container for longer periods of time.

Now lets talk herbs!

Once you’ve selected the right container for your herb garden, it’s time to decide which herbs you’d like to grow. Herbs are generally divided into two categories: annuals and perennials. Annuals are herbs that grow and bloom within a single season, while perennials are plants that come back year after year. Here are some of the best herbs to grow in a planter:

Would you like my delicious Pesto recipe that I taught on Fox TV2? Click this LINK and enjoy friends!

Basil is a popular annual herb that is easy to grow and is great for adding flavor to dishes. It’s best to start with a small pot, as it can quickly become overgrown. Basil prefers well-drained soil and full sun, so be sure to position it in a spot that gets plenty of light.

Chives are a perennial herb with a mild onion flavor. They can be used fresh or dried, and are perfect for adding flavor to salads, soups, and sauces. Chives prefer well-drained soil and full sun, so be sure to position it in a spot that gets plenty of light.

Would you like some recipes for Herb Infused Olive Oils? Click this LINK!

Oregano is a perennial herb that has a strong, pungent flavor. It’s versatile and pairs well with a variety of dishes. Oregano prefers well-drained soil and full sun, so be sure to position it in a spot that gets plenty of light.

Thyme is a perennial herb with a strong, lemony flavor. It can be used fresh or dried, and is perfect for adding flavor to soups, stews, and sauces. Thyme prefers well-drained soil and full sun, so be sure to position it in a spot that gets plenty of light.

Rosemary is a hardy perennial herb that has a strong, earthy flavor. It can be used fresh or dried, and is perfect for adding flavor to roasted vegetables and meats. Rosemary prefers well-drained soil and full sun, so be sure to position it in a spot that gets plenty of light.

Sage is a perennial herb with a strong, earthy flavor. It can be used fresh or dried, and is perfect for adding flavor to roasted vegetables and meats. Sage prefers well-drained soil and full sun, so be sure to position it in a spot that gets plenty of light.

Creating a planter with herbs is an easy and enjoyable way to bring the beauty and flavor of nature into your home. With the right container, plants, and care, your herb planter can provide you with a bounty of fresh herbs for years to come.

I certainly hope you are encouraged to garden. Even if you start with only two or three of these things, that’s a great start! 

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Until next time friends, eat fresh, shop local, & have a happy day,

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Kitchen Tips & Tricks, Cute Curtain Tie Back, Herb Garden Spritzer & Citrus Raspberry Tea

Yummy & refreshing Herb Garden Spritzer… see recipe below!

Really cute curtain tie back… see how to below!

I spend a lot of time in the kitchen especially in the summer when we are busy with all the canning & freezing we do around our home.  I love to can as you will learn more this summer through my blogs I am sure!  Right now I am excited with spring and all the bounty she holds… rhubarb, asparagus, fresh greens, spinach, fresh garden tea… oh spring is delicious.  But I think all the seasons can be, especially with the season extensions that we have now with hoop houses and heated green houses at our farm.  With our Winter CSA they allow for fresh stuff all year!  Today I am kitchen mode so here are some fun ideas, tips, decorating ideas and yummy drinks to read about! Have a great day and wonderful weekend!

Handy Kitchen Tips…
“Food should be prepared with butter and love.” Swedish Proverb
*If you are in need of a Cake Stand simply use an inverted bowl and a pretty plate set on top! Presto- cake plate!
*To make colored sugar for decorating cupcakes or whatever simply start with 1 cup of sugar in a zip lock bag, add 2-3 drops of food coloring, knead the bag of sugar until completely blended; lay out evenly on cookie sheet and let air dry before putting in air tight container.
*Chocolate Cut Outs are easy to make and add an elegance to your desserts.  Simply spread melted chocolate thinly on a sheet of wax paper and chill until nearly set.  Cut out whatever shapes you would like using cookie cutters, chill again, then gently peel off.  Store flat in plastic freezer containers if you have extra!
*If you soak your wooden kabob skewers in water for about 20-30 minutes before you are ready to grill they won’t burn and your goodies won’t stick!
*Don’t open your oven door when baking especially, it drops the temp down almost 25 degrees every time- not good for those cakes & brownies!
*When you make hard boiled eggs, have a bowl with ice cubes in water ready to put them in; leave set for 1 minutes and watch the peals come right off!
*Don’t have an icing piper- no problem, use a one gallon plastic bag, put icing in bag, twist top as to push down towards one corner of bag; snip off a tiny bit of corner and there ya go- pipe away!
*Use a muffin pan to put your baked potatoes in- stand them up and bake as normal!
*Need to soften butter fast and don’t want to use a microwave~ shred the butter with a cheese grater, it will thaw faster!
*Your lettuce won’t brown if you tear it with your hands instead of cutting with a knife.
*Cut your bacon into 1 inch bites before frying if you are going to add it to a salad or other dish that calls for crumbled bacon- no more burnt fingers because of impatience 🙂 !
*Use a veggie peeler to make chocolate or cheese curls- so slick and fast!
*Use cookie cutters to cut cheese into fun shapes for your appetizer tray!
*Cut the center out of mini melons or even pineapple halves to serve your yummy fruit dips; use hollowed out bread rounds to serve veggie dips in- place in center of serving plate and put veggies all around.
*Need a lot of ice for a punch bowl~ use a muffin tin to make jumbo size ice cubes that won’t melt as quick. To make them extra special, boil water first and then add viola blossoms and freeze.  Boiled water freezes clear. 
*Use blue Mason can jars, small vases or pitchers to stand pretzels for dipping in, cuter & clever!
*When making muffins use an old fashioned ice cream scoop, they will all be the same size. To ensure they have nice round tops, only grease the tin half way up where the batter will stop.
*When getting ready to start a kitchen project, make sure you have all ingredients before you start!
*For faster, easier clean up start your project with a clean sink of hot soapy water, and wash as you go! No big mess at the end!
*Substitute apple, orange or pineapple juice for the water in cake mixes- adds a nice flavor!
Cute Curtain Tie Back & Napkin Rings
See attached photo’s!
Here is a super cute idea for your kitchen or dining room curtains.  To make this nifty tie back, simply drill a small hole approximately one inch in from the end of the fork’s handle.  Hold the utensil face up, then use pliers to bend the prongs back toward the handle, making sure to form a rounded C shape rather than a V.  Finish by screwing the tie back into your window molding.

Brighten up your table for entertaining with these floral napkin rings. Buy faux roses in your favorite hues at a crafts store, then sew them, singly or in pairs, onto regular hair elastics with a few stitches.

To fit standard dinner napkins, cut a bandanna into 6- by 9-inch strips. Fold each strip in thirds lengthwise, then fold in thirds width wise. Sew a button on one end, about 1 inch from the edge. (Choose any colorful loose buttons you may have on hand; they don’t need to match.) Then cut a corresponding buttonhole on the opposite end of the strip.

Here are samples of the home made napkin rings described above!  Be creative and change them up to suit your decor and taste!

Here are a couple recipes for refreshing drinks… a nice change from the usual!
Citrus Raspberry TeaMy two favorite flavors of teas are raspberry and any citrus… When Taylor threw this concoction together it was an instant hit for the whole family… a bite of citrus with the earthy goodness of raspberry.

4 cups water
6 Raspberry Tea Bags
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 12oz can each frozen Orange Juice AND Lemonade concentrate, thawed
10 cups cold water

1. Bring the 4 cups of water to a boil in pot; remove from heat and add the teabags; steep overnight or for at least 8-10 hours; discard the teabags.
2 Pour into a large pitcher; add remaining ingredients.
Serve cold and be refreshed!

Herb Garden Spritzer
A refreshing drink for those hot summer days that are on the way.

1 bottle (750-ml)of Sparkling White Grape Juice
1 cup Real Lemon juice
2 cups Lemon Lime soda
1 1/2 cup raw organic sugar, divided
5 Tbsp. lemon zest
2 cups lemon thyme leaves (2 bunches)
1 1/2 liters tonic water

1. In a large pot, bring first 3 ingredients and 1 cup of sugar to a boil; add lemon zest; reduce heat to medium low and let simmer for 5 minutes until sugar is completely dissolved.
2. Remove the pot from heat; add 1 cup/bunch of thyme leaves and steep for 15 minutes (let set).
3. While mixture is still hot, add a few more thyme sprigs plus 1/2 cup sugar.
4. Set a 2 quart container in a bowl and fell bowl halfway with the ice.  Strain the mixture into a container; place bowl in freezer and add water to cover ice; chill until cold and mixture is slushy, about 8-9 hours.
5. Divide among glasses, then top off with the tonic water, add ice if desired; garnish with thyme sprigs.

Happy Day,