“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden,” writes Frances Hodgson Burnett in her cherished book The Secret Garden. Whether it’s “a little bit of earth” in a community plot, a collection of planters on the deck, hanging pots from the porch or a simple window box, they can all be considered a garden (of sorts). So can the humble window ledge—especially in the kitchen. Herbs grown in the window frame your view, while giving you the power to transform bland meals into mouthwatering creations – all year round!
Choosing a Container
Any container can house your herbs. Terra cotta pots are the perfect material for growing drought-tolerant herbs, as they easily wick water away, improving drainage. Ceramic, recycled plastic and stainless steel are options too. Just be sure to have a hole in the bottom for drainage. Get creative! A recycled tin can of tomatoes with a bright yellow label can look very vintage.
If space allows, a repurposed strawberry pot, old or new, is the ultimate one-stop herb garden. Plant one of your favourite herbs in each hole of the pot, and voila!, a beautiful window garden cascading with fresh-grown herbs.
Tips for Longevity
- The perfect potting mix for containers is one that holds the moisture in but still drains well.
- When growing herbs in containers, the soil will dry out more quickly than herbs planted outside.
- Set up a watering schedule to make sure your pots do not dry out.
- Always make sure to have a plate or tray underneath your planter to protect your windowsill from water damage.
- And, pruning your herbs will encourage them to grow back bushy and full, ready to transform your next meal.
Choose your Favourites to get Started!
Oregano, thyme, rosemary, basil and mint are popular choices. Often found at the grocery store, in the produce aisle, this selection provides you with those herbs most used in a number of delicious dishes and scrumptious sides.
Photo by Dominika Roseclay