DIY Hanging Herb Garden (Part I)

herb planter6 1024x680 DIY Hanging Herb Garden (Part I)

This DIY project was inspired by a lovely meal on Mother’s Day last year at Baltimore’ s Fleet Street Kitchen.  My eyes are always peeled for inspired ideas wherever I am, and this day was no different.  The gorgeous stylized look of the green herbs in wooden, stained plant boxes in front of the open kitchen combined with my annoyance at having to pay crazy prices for fresh herbs at the grocery (which only survive 1 week) made this a perfect project.  So, when we were in the process of designing our new condo, which we moved into in October 2013, my husband and I incorporated this stylized idea into our home.

I bought 3 unstained, wood planters at Home Depot, along with their plastic inserts (there are 2 inserts per planter, one for the soil/herbs and the other catches the water that drips through).  For extra flare and to complement the gold mirrors in my dining room, I added gold accent stripes to contrast with the wood.  To get the gold color I wanted, I tried a few options (acryllic paint and gold leaf), but metallic gold spray paint turned out the best.

I also experimented with the order:  initially, I tried staining the box first and then spray-painting it, but as it turned out, the reverse order worked better.  I found that taping and spray-painting the gold first and then staining the box resulted in a more polished look.


Unstained wood planters, painter’s tape, Krylon Metallic gold indoor spray paint, paintbrush, Reeves gold acrylic paint, and Varathane Wood Stain (Cabernet interior).

herbplanter1 1024x680 DIY Hanging Herb Garden (Part I)

I also spray-painted the sides and bottoms of the boxes and used my gold acryllic paint for touch-ups.

Oddly enough, what I was most surprised at with this project was how many funny looks and sarcastic comments I received while standing in the crackly, nearly-frozen bushes in front of our building this afternoon, spray-painting my boxes.  Does the crafting-world come to a halt because it’s January in Maryland?

I think not.

herb-planter8Part 2 of DIY Hanging Herb Garden will cover how to attach herb planters to the wall and tips for growing various types of herbs.  We’re currently testing two mechanisms for starting the garden–in one planter we used seeds from a packet (make sure to get organic and non-gmo, if possible) and in the other we nestled into the soil two already-grown herb plants from the grocery store.

herbplanter9Here is the location for our future herb planter boxes.  (I didn’t bother to take down my Valentine’s banner for this picture, which is already up–can you tell I’m excited for V-day?)


My clever husband came up with the idea of installing a grow light to speed the process along.  We are thinking that the light will be especially useful for wheatgrass, which should be juiced regularly and takes time to regenerate.

The grow light has a timer, so it pops on at night. And the light just happens to be neon pink.   I was driving home last night and spotted our neon-lit windows from a mile away.  If the herb garden doesn’t work out, we can always install a pole and start listening to techno.  (Phrase I never thought I’d google: “Do they still listen to techno in clubs?”  I go to bed really early, is what I’m saying.)

I’m actually beginning to genuinely enjoy the pink glow: it provides quite an endearing ambiance for slow-dancing or reading in the evenings with my sweetie.


Stay tuned for all of the dreaming and scheming I have in store for wonderful ways to incorporate these fresh herbs into vegan/vegetarian cooking.



Link-Up:  DIY Show-Off

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January 17, 2014 - 5:09 am

Mindy - Wonderful! My banner is up too!

January 17, 2014 - 3:19 pm

jo Casey - That’s a fantastic idea! I love the ingenuity of using the boxes with the light – awesome!

January 17, 2014 - 3:57 pm

Kungphoo - That is a very neat idea.. and it looks like it could be a kids afternoon project.

January 17, 2014 - 4:09 pm

Luzivone - That shows amazing solutions to enhance the interior ambient!

January 17, 2014 - 7:34 pm

Sue - That is a great idea! I have wanted to grow my own herbs too, but don’t have enough space with sun. Never thought about a grow lamp either. Brilliant!

January 17, 2014 - 8:29 pm

Meli Horowitz - Going to have to tell my son about this. He’s a great cook and has a construction business!

January 17, 2014 - 9:56 pm

Jim Striegel - What a great idea and to put the grow light there too.

January 17, 2014 - 9:58 pm

Marjory Johnson - What a fabulous idea! I buy those herbs too that don’t last long at all.

January 17, 2014 - 9:59 pm

Stephanie Clopton - Wow! I totaly love love this idea and the grow light that is on a time is such a wonderful idea!

January 17, 2014 - 10:00 pm

Jeff Brand - I have shared this with my office staff because it’s so unique and a great idea when you don’t have room or it’s too cold for an outdoor garden.

January 17, 2014 - 10:12 pm

veronica - I love this idea a lot. Can’t wait to see it up

January 17, 2014 - 10:38 pm

Tom's Foodie Blog - I love this ideas and I really like how the herbs provide food and color to the room

January 18, 2014 - 7:44 am

danisdecadentdeals - I love all of your ideas! Great do it yourself home projects;)

January 18, 2014 - 7:47 am

danisdecadentdeals - I am trying to comment one more time cuz it did not work. Great ideas!

January 18, 2014 - 1:21 pm

Badley Finnearty - I really like that. The boxes hanging on the walls with the greenery is fantastic. You can eat them too.

January 18, 2014 - 1:34 pm

Denise Pattton - This is a fab idea. I did something similar once … the only problem I had was that our lovebird and rosella trashed it within the week! The rosella has also now taken to pushing crockery and glass off surfaces just to watch them smash!

January 18, 2014 - 4:10 pm

Jennifer Clay - Oh, I love this! I want to do one in my house! Thanks for sharing this!

January 19, 2014 - 2:22 am

Vicki Bezio - I love this idea! The light coming on at night.. brilliant. Thank you for the step by step photos they are worth a thousand words… Keep up the great work!

January 19, 2014 - 2:45 pm

Dov Shapira - Great idea and a good project for the family

February 13, 2014 - 6:31 pm

DIY: Herb Planter (from Michaels Stores) — Snazzy Little Things - […] DIY Hanging Herb Garden (Part I) […]

March 25, 2014 - 2:14 pm

Spring Home Tour: 5 Ways to Get Into Spring » fat vegan baby - […]  Plant something.  Remember my DIY hanging herb garden?  Well, it’s really started to take off.  Okay, maybe […]

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