How to Plant an Herb Garden

Homeowners are always seeking ways to breathe new life into the spaces in their homes. Using nature to achieve this transformation is beneficial in several ways. Planting an herb garden not only helps to make your kitchen feel fresh and sustainable, but it can make your food taste better, too. Here are some tips for getting your herb garden started.

How to Plant an Herb Garden

Like other indoor plants, the key to properly supporting your herb garden is to cultivate fertile growing conditions. Herbs love sun, so you’ll want to position your plants in an area where they have access to sunlight. If sunlight is hard to come by in your local climate, consider investing in a grow light. Even if space is limited, the following locations can be a fitting home for your herb garden:

Container Garden

Container gardens give you the flexibility to move your herbs around the house. This can be especially helpful if you get inconsistent or spotty sunlight.

There are various options when choosing materials for your containers. Terra cotta, plastic, and ceramic planters all have their respective advantages, but what’s most important is that you pair the herbs with a container whose size is conducive to its growth and has proper drainage holes.

Hanging Garden

A hanging garden is a stylish way to incorporate nature into your home. To properly set up your hanging garden, you’ll need adequate wall space. Again, prioritize access to sunlight and easy accessibility. Vertical bookshelves can make for a simple, multifunctional hanging garden, while other DIY options can help to spruce up your kitchen. Whichever route you choose, consider using lightweight materials. A mobile hanging garden can come in handy when doing chores and rearranging the house.

Window Box Garden

Box gardens are a fixture of landscaping and gardening design and can help to improve your home’s curb appeal. Once they’re filled with soil, plants, and water, window boxes can be much heavier than you’d expect, so sturdy woods that don’t rot easily—cedar, mahogany, redwood, etc.—are popular material choices. As always, proper drainage is important when crafting your window box garden. If you’re building your window box yourself, drill the proper drainage holes before assembly. Add a layer of landscaping fabric along the bottom to prevent soil from leaking.

 

Image Source: Getty Images – Image Credit: deniskomarov

 

Easy Herbs to Grow in Your Garden

After you’ve decided where you’ll set up your garden, there’s the question of which herbs to grow. The following herbs are perfectly suited for a beginner gardener’s touch and happen to be culinary staples.

  • Basil: Fresh basil is a game changer. Sow basil seeds around twelve inches apart to allow them to reach their full potential. This herb will take your homemade pizzas to the next level, kick your pesto recipe up a notch, and provide the perfect garnish for countless other dishes.
  • Thyme: Rich soil fused with organic matter will create ideal growing conditions for thyme. This herb loves the sun, so making sure it gets plenty of sunlight will maximize its flavor. Thyme pairs perfectly with roasted and slow-cooked dishes, adding a perfect layer of warmth and depth.
  • Cilantro: Make taco night unforgettable with fresh cilantro. With enough heat, cilantro plants will grow quickly and are known to self-sow for multiple rounds. To clear up confusion, cilantro and coriander come from the same plant. “Cilantro” refers to the leaves, while “coriander” is the name for the plant’s seeds, which are often ground up when used in cooking.
  • Mint: Potting mint is key to keeping it well maintained. Without a proper container, it will run wild. There are many varieties of mint, ranging from classics like spearmint and peppermint to exotic strands such as chocolate and cinnamon mint.
  • Parsley: Parsley takes its sweet time to germinate, so consider buying plants rather than seeds to speed up the growing process. Countless recipes lean on the fresh taste of parsley, so you can’t go wrong dedicating a decent amount of real estate in your herb garden to it.
  • Oregano: Oregano thrives in sunny conditions. To maximize growth, plant its seeds some time in spring when the soil is warm. A staple of Italian cooking, having fresh oregano in your herb garden will give your pizza and pasta recipes an extra kick.
  • Chives: Known for their grass-like look, chives are closely related to onions but have their own distinct taste. Sow their seeds in spring and water regularly to keep their soil moist. Chives are a flavorful alternate for onions or scallions, while their bright green color makes them a perfect garnish for soups, salads, and sauces.

For more information on cultivating your home garden, read our Quick Guide to Urban Farming

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5 Ways to Incorporate Nature into Your Home

Home décor often focuses heavily on the latest and greatest trends. But even the most well decorated home can feel like it’s missing a natural element. Here are five simple ways you can incorporate nature into your home to make it feel more connected to the environment it inhabits.

5 Ways to Incorporate Nature into Your Home

1. Natural Light

Natural light has the power to breathe new life into your home. Place your furniture in your living room and/or dining room to make your get-togethers feel more connected to the outdoors and orient your workspace in your home office near a window to stay productive throughout the workday. By finding ways to let the sunshine in, your home will feel refreshed and lighter. Fortunately, this doesn’t require a heavy investment. Try sheer curtains or new blinds wherever your home’s large windows are. This will help to balance the light in the larger spaces around your home, so you don’t have to rely on artificial light sources.

 

Image Source: Getty Images – Image Credit: TomMerton

 

2. Hardwood Floors / Wood Accents

To truly feel a connection to nature throughout your home, you’ve got to work from the ground up. Making the switch to hardwood floors will significantly impact the look and feel of your home, given the large surface area of such a project. A job of this scale is likely to require the help of a professional, and you may have to find a temporary housing solution while the remodel is being carried out. But you don’t have to go to great lengths to incorporate wood into your home.

Wood accents can deliver much of the same feeling. Experiment with different combinations of driftwood, bamboo, sculptures, and signage throughout various rooms to keep your home thematically consistent.

 

A living room with hardwood floors and various wood accents.

Image Source: Getty Images – Image Credit: Scovad

 

3. Organic Materials

Materials like stone, marble, and fabrics will not only help to incorporate nature into your home but will make it feel relaxing and cozy as well. A small collection of rocks or stone pebbles with trickling water in the bathroom work every time to evoke a natural tranquility. Stone or marble tile designs and/or backsplashes help to ground a space by providing an earthy foundation. Natural fibers like wool, cotton, and linen can be sprinkled throughout a home to deliver warmth and comfort while reinforcing a natural theme.

 

A modern bathroom with a marble backsplash.

Image Source: Getty Images – Image Credit: LumiNola

 

4. Decorating with Houseplants

Sometimes you don’t have to replicate nature to make your home feel more natural. You’ll be amazed at how refreshed the spaces feel by decorating with houseplants. However, there are certain rules you’ll want to follow when creating your own personal indoor ecosystem. Research the needs of each plant variety you’re interested in buying before making your final purchases. This will allow you to orient them appropriately throughout your home based on their sunlight needs. Plants that can survive with less sunlight are well suited for the darker corners of your home. If you’re not home often to tend to your plants, consider low maintenance varieties like succulents. Houseplants will add color to your home and improve the air quality while they’re at it. 

 

A man sprays water on the leaves of his houseplants.

Image Source: Getty Images – Image Credit: svetikd

 

5. Decorate with Earth Tones

All the aforementioned ways of incorporating nature into your home—natural light, wood accents, organic materials, houseplants—have a signature color palette. Once you’ve decided how these categories can fit into your home, you can decorate around them with complimentary colors.

Fortunately, you won’t be limited for choice. Earth tones run from darker, rich colors like brown and rust to lighter, vibrant colors like light green and sunlight yellow. The use of these colors can be carried out in your remaining accent pieces, such as towels, carpets, pillows, and more.

 

A living room decorated with earth tones.

Image Source: Getty Images – Image Credit: CreativaStudio

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