eclectic design inspiration

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

DIY: Herb Wall in the Kitchen

On my birthday back in February, my mom surprised me with a special delivery at work: a potted herb garden! For the past few months, two rectangular terracotta planters full of mint, thyme and oregano sat on my kitchen table, and I absolutely loved them. I was actually growing herbs indoors! But... they took up a lot of tabletop space.

I eventually decided that I wanted to find a way to hang the herbs on the wall so they would be out of the way but still receiving good sunlight, and guess who saved the day? Ikea. (They got no love on Monday so they're getting some today.) They had several different options for hanging pot-like containers on the wall, and I decided to go with this set-up because I wanted a modern look, and I thought I could paint the pots.

Well, due to my lack of experience with DIY projects and a tendency to follow my intuition over a plan, this project turned out to be a lot more involved than I wanted it to be. I finally gave up on my idea to paint the original plastic containers after my first attempt started chipping off and the second attempt smelled so toxic I've now been suffering from severe allergy-like symptoms for the past three days. (Read that last line in a Revenge of the Nerds voice.) Dear spray paint, you and I are done!

After driving all over town for acceptable replacement containers, Fred Meyer turned out to be my saving grace with their stock of 100% biodegradable bamboo pots. They came in an assortment of colors, cost only $1.99 each and were the perfect fit. I decided to keep it simple and just go with purple since it's what will work best with the other colors in my kitchen.

One of the coolest things about these bamboo pots is that they can be planted directly into the ground in a couple of years. Here's to hoping I have a backyard with a garden by then!

 Over the course of this project, the herbs I already had decided to shrivel up and die (when it rains it pours!) so I went out and got some new ones - the ones I'll cook with most often: mint, parsley, basil, oregano and cilantro! Word to the wise - the guy at Home Depot freaked out when I grabbed regular potting soil for this project ... he said I MUST see vegetables on the bag if I'm planting something I plan on consuming. (Mom, why did you never tell me this!?) So I went with Miracle Gro Organic Potting Mix.

After removing the plants from their containers, I broke up the roots a little bit so they weren't as tightly packed. (Gardening 101)

After putting a small handful of dirt at the bottom of the pot, I carefully set the plant inside and gently packed potting mix around it. The base of the plant and soil line were about a 3/4 inch below the top of the pot.

After planting all of the herbs, I removed the outside stickers, watered them, and after the water stopped dripping, hung the pots on the Ikea rack that I had already attached to the wall. (If you decide to get the same rack and set of pots, note that, in my experience, the pot holders do not come with the appropriate screws, so I had to go to the store to get the right size screws, washers and nuts to hold it all together.)

Ta da! First thing I'm making? Guacamole with fresh cilantro. :)

Do you have herbs in your kitchen? If so, which ones do you use the most?


  1. It looks great! I'm taking care of my first herb garden and so far so good! I'm so happy! Never thought it would last!

    1. I know, me too! I was so skeptical when I first got them, but they've done pretty good (as long as I water them!). I'm not sure what will happen when they grow a lot bigger, but I have time to google it :)

  2. That looks absolutely beautiful in my opinion. I do not have a green thumb so must pay egregious prices for my herbs from the supermarket - but good for you!

    1. Thank you!! Herbs are so expensive so I know what you mean. I read somewhere about freezing them in ice cube trays if you aren't going to use them all before they go bad. It's something I need to test!

  3. This is an amazing idea! I'd use it but my walls are taken up with picture frames! I think it looks gorgeous too. My herbs live along our kitchen window ledges, lol... love the smell of herbs and dirt in a morning!

  4. Wonderful idea. I used to grow herbs from seeds. I love to cook and itis very useful to have them handy. Yours look great.


    1. Thank you! I would love to grow herbs from seeds - that didn't even cross my mind! Great idea! :)


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