Patio Herb Garden

I really wanted to have a little herb garden in my backyard this summer. A couple of summers ago, I tried to plant an herb garden in the ancient garden bed in the corner of my backyard, but the very day I got my cute little herbs planted a gigantic maple tree fell on them. A few of the plants recovered, and have even come back every year since, but I realized I couldn’t keep the less hardy plants there and expect them to live, tree or no tree!

This year, I am bound and determined to do better. I don’t know about the ancient garden bed (my house is 100+ years old, and I think the overgrown garden is, too), but I decided I needed to plant a little herb garden on the patio.

An easy patio herb garden using cheap IKEA buckets, a thrifted basket, and a little bit of spray paint

The first order of business was to find some sort of container. I already had a bunch of cool metal buckets I’d purchased at IKEA during a trip to Chicago last year, fully intending to plant last summer. But I obviously forgot just how much time the music festival takes. The buckets are called Socker and are $3.00 each online. They’ve been living in my office all year holding all manner of junk, so it was nice to dump them out and use them for their intended purpose. Finally.

But I didn’t want to just line up buckets—cute as they are—on the deck and call it good. So I went to the thrift store and walked around a lot. I saw a few things here and there that could  work, but then I saw this partitioned basket-type thing and new I had found exactly what I was looking for.

I used this thrift store basket thing as the basis for a fun, new herb garden for the patio

I was not a fan of the green color. Everything is so green here, it wouldn’t pop enough for my taste. My patio furniture is red, so I decided to paint it a beautiful bright red to match. It took several coats of glossy spray paint to get the wickered sides totally covered, but I love the result.

A little glossy red spray paint fixed up this thrift store find and turned it into a great container for a patio herb garden.

While I was waiting for the basket to dry, I got to work planting my herbs. My husband and I had purchased them at the nursery and decided to only buy the herbs we use a lot in cooking. So we ended up with two rosemary plants, two basil plants, a dill plant, and a parsley plant.

I used IKEA Socker buckets to pot the herbs for my patio herb garden.

The herbs we purchased came in the biodegradable planters, so they were a breeze to pot. I just threw a bit of dirt in the bottom, popped them in, and put a bit more soil on top and watered. It took me about ten minutes, so I used the rest of the afternoon to sit in the sun since I’ve missed it so much during the winter from hell.

Update: I neglected to add that my husband first made drainage holes in the pots with an awl and hammer.

I used IKEA Socker galvanized buckets to pot the herbs for my patio herb garden

I don’t even care that my photos are all a little too sunny, I just wanted to lie there as long as possible. And don’t worry, I did! I also let the basket bask in the sun for a day or so before I put the herbs into it. I wanted to be sure no paint fumes were left to harm the plants.

In the meanwhile, I was shopping at our local ShopKo, and found these cute herb markers in the garden center. I had to buy them, because…adorable! I thought they were the perfect finishing touch.

You can find similar herb markers here: Box Sign Herb Picks

Easy DIY Patio herb garden--cute, too!

My cute little herb garden is currently living on top of the picnic table on the patio. It makes a lovely centerpiece, and is easily moved for when we are using the table for eating.

We’ve already used some of the rosemary, parsley, and basil. There’s nothing quite like fresh herbs, is there?

Make a small tabletop herb garden for your patio.

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How fun! This would be perfect for us, since we don't own our townhouse or have much room to begin with. Thanks for sharing!

Evelyn @ My Turn for us

I am loving this sweet little garden!! And so handy!


Such a cute little herb garden – love it ….


I have been wanting my own herb garden! What a cute way to DIY one.


This is so bright and colorful…the perfect summer addition!

Megan Kubasch

How cute is this? This looks like something I could actually handle. My mom has a super green thumb… but mine is black as death haha. I love the herb markers. I like that they have pictures of the herbs on them for easy identification.


So cute! I have an old basket that I was going to get rid of, but I think I'll throw some paint on it and do this!


I could learn so much from you. I put a picture of Sulley from Monsters Inc. on my computer screen the one that made him realize just how scary he must have looked to Boo. It helps keep me in check most of the time. Still, I admire you.


I like how your patio herb garden turned out. Maybe I can do that next season. I'm so bad with plants of all kinds – even house plants tend to die in my care!

Paula Parker

Great job. I like taking the not so pretty green basket and making it a firey red! So cool. Project turned out to look so amazing. And useful.


Spray paint can do wonders, that's for sure!


I'm leaving the care to my husband, whose thumb is much greener than my own!


Oooh! I want to see it when it's finished!


Yes, I loved that about the markers, too. Along with how colorful they are. And my thumb isn't very green, either, but The Maestro's is.


It is nice for not having much room. I would have had one in my kitchen all along, but it is much too small and there's no space for such a thing. I'm going to love having fresh herbs all summer!


Such a great job. I've been wanting to start one of my own. Gardening isn't my thing so this will definitely come in handy.


I'm not a great gardner, either. In fact, I am noticing my parsley isn't so happy, so I'm researching that. The rosemary and basil are very hardy though, which is good for me!

Alexandra Stacey

Lara this looks great! This would be a great way to have an herb garden in an apartment!


Oh… you brought me to TEARS. My daughter is 3 1/2 and she too is fiercely independant and incredibly sensitive… I've found myself yelling at her for the same reasons you described in your posts (clean room/playroom etc.) I'm striving to do better because I hated the way my mother yelled at me. Thanks for sharing.


I think of Sully a lot, too. It's a great idea to have his picture somewhere you see often like that as a sort of a touchstone.


This mom gig is a tough one, and I've learned more about myself trying to do this than any other thing in my life. I'm improving, and I've found that I have to take care of me so as to not let all the triggers take themselves out on my children

Renee @ Moxie Bright Events

Did you cut drainage holes in the bottom of your pots? If so, how did you do it?


Yes, I did. I should have indicated that in the post–sorry! I just had my husband do it with an awl and hammer.


My mum wasnt much of a yeller, and I wasnt much of a hater (although we definitely had our differences) but I couldnt help but smile reading about your daughter making something with her craft supplies instead of cleaning. She sounds just like me as a kid. Or now. My rooms (in various houses) for my entire childhood had a path from the door to the bed, and the rest of the room was scattered with most of my belongings. I remember it getting so bad at one stage that my door was permanently open for many months because there was too much in the way to close it.
I live on my own now, so I can spread my stuff out over my apartment, but I am still messy. I TRY to be clean. And I keep my house in a constant state of it'll-only-take-me-a-day-to-tidy. (This doesn't include those little things like window frames etc though). But I can be in someone's house for half an hour and I still manage to scatter my stuff around. I think some people are just like that. I've set up as many systems as I can, to keep as tidy as I can. But it's just not me.
However i LOVE your list for cleaning. I had a book when I was younger called "What to do when your mum tells you to clean your room". I'm not sure I ever got more than half way through the book each time, but it was my go-to when I just had to tidy.
Long post sorry! Thanks for the interesting read!