I love cooking and using fresh herbs, but hate having to buy them each week at the grocery store and risking them going bad before I have time to use them. I really wanted my own herb garden, but being in an apartment with only a small balcony makes that a bit more tricky. One day while browsing Pinterest I saw the solution to my problem pinned from Home Stories A2Z, and I decided to create a stacked pot sculpture to use as my apartment balcony herb garden.
Being that we only had 6 pots, I started thinking about the herbs we use most commonly and doing research on what would grow best in our area. I decided to go with Basil, Oregano, Rosemary, Thyme, Chives and Cilantro. Here is a little bit on info about growing each of these herbs in Northern California and the reasons why we picked each of them.
Basil - By far, the herb I use most in cooking is basil. My husband and I both love pesto and all Italian foods, so growing basil seemed like a no-brainier.
Oregano - Excellent herb to use in pasta sauces and on homemade pizza.
Rosemary - Great for using on my Beer Can Chicken recipe instead of dried rosemary.
Thyme -Same as with rosemary, great for chicken!
Chives - Nice addition to salads and pastas and well as great in the chicken salad recipe we love from our P90x cookbook.
Cilantro - Being that I plan on making fresh salsa and tomatillo sauce from the bounty of my parents’ garden again this season, I thought cilantro might be the perfect fit to round out our herb garden.
Now that I knew exactly which herbs I wanted, it was time to get started on gathering my materials to make my herb garden statue. Disclaimer…The wooden dowel idea is not strong enough to withstand the weight of 6 pots with herbs planted in them. It immediately began to buckle so we used a zip tie to attach it to the railing on our balcony to help stabilize and secure the structure.
- 2 bags potting soil
- Garden shovel
- XX diameter round of plywood
- Wooden dowel
- Black spray paint
- Wood glue
- Electric drill
- 2 pony packs assorted flowers
- 6 herb plants or seeds
- 6 herb pots (4.5″ diameter, 5.5″ tall)
- 1 flower pot (11″ diameter, 7″ tall)
I had pre-painted all my pots for this herb garden in advance to give them plenty of time to cure. To read more about the process and type of paint to use visit my post on painting garden pots. Finding all the herbs I wanted ended up being a harder task that I expected. I went to 5 stores and still had to settle on seeds for starting my cilantro since no where near my house had any starts. Being a gardening novice I was afraid to tackle a garden from the seeds up, but was forced into giving it a go.
Now on to making this herb garden balcony sculpture.
1. Take your round piece of plywood. Sand it down to smooth the edges and spray paint it black.
2. Once dry, use a power drill to make a hole in the center of the wood, the same diameter as your dowel. Squirt some wood glue into the hole and on the end of the dowel. Insert your dowel into the hole and allow the glue to dry.
3. Take you larger pot and thread it onto the dowel to establish the base. Fill with soil and plant your flowers along the outside edges of the pot. Make sure the soil in the middle of the pot is firmly patted down. Now take your first smaller herb pot and thread it onto the dowel. Lean the pot to one direction as desired to begin the herb pot tower. Fill with dirt and plant your herb.
4. Continue this process with each additional pot until you reach the top. I did not pre-measure my dowel, so once I reached the last pot on my tower, I had my husband cut it down with a hack saw so that the dowel is about one inch below the top of the last pot. As I mentioned in the beginning of this post, these pots get really heavy when stacked this way, so if you plan on using a wooden dowel like I did, make sure you have a way to strap it down and add support or else the entire structure will come tumbling down!
5. And you are done! The structure ended up being 43″ tall from the base, and make a great addition to our balcony. Being that the pots are fairly small, it is important to water frequently. We are enjoying fresh herbs from our balcony herb garden