I absolutely love cooking with fresh herbs – they enhance the flavors of an otherwise ordinary and even bland tasting dish and make it shine.

Before we moved to the “farm” as we like to call it, we lived in a subdivision where the yards were about as big as a postage stamp. It took minutes instead of a day to cut the grass and having chickens and a large vegetable garden was just a dream. Even then, I knew I wanted my fresh herbs on hand, but I thought I needed more land to be able to grow them myself. Thankfully, we were blessed with Mrs. Thompson as a neighbor. She had one of the greenest thumbs you can imagine. It seemed as if they could just walk through my yard and make flowers bloom and otherwise dead-looking foliage green again. I only slightly exaggerate.

One afternoon, Mrs. Thompson knocked on my door while holding a basket full of beautiful herbs – basil, thyme, chives, rosemary, and mint. I opened the door and she walked straight through my home onto my back porch, placed the herb basket on the porch table and began telling me how to care for them. “Use them often,” she said, “and for goodness sake keep them watered.” That was it, that’s all she said.

Since that day, I continue to keep a small herb garden on my back porch. It allows me to grab the smaller containers to take with me as we travel in our RV and enjoy my own fresh herbs away from home.

Here are some tips I’ve learned for my container herb garden:

1. Choose a Container – select a container with good drainage and that allows room for the plant to grow. I have used various types and styles of containers previously, from each herb having a separate large container on my porch to having one large window box or urn holding many smaller containers. This year, I’m using a large table urn filled with garden pebbles in the bottom and smaller herb containers placed in the urn.

2. Select Your Herbs – choose your herbs carefully based on the types that you will utilize regulary. I’ve noticed the more regularly I use my herbs, the more they grow! Those that I plant on a whim because I think I “may” use them and rarely do, do not do as well as they could if I used them or pinched them back more often. Read about each of the herbs you choose to determine sunlight requirements and if they are invasive plants – such as mint.

3. Water Often – during the summer months, check your herbs daily and water as needed. In the heat of our Georgia summers, I usually need to water my herb garden daily.


I still do not have Mrs. Thompson’s green thumb. Gardening just doesn’t come naturally to me yet, but when I grab a handful of fresh herbs to cook with in my kitchen I feel like I’m a master gardener.

What are your favorite herbs?

Welcome to Add A Pinch

About Robyn

Robyn Stone is a cookbook author, wife, mom, and passionate home cook. Her tested and trusted recipes give readers the confidence to cook recipes the whole family will love. Robyn has been featured on Food Network, People, Southern Living, and more.

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  1. Robyn,I live in north ga.do you think it’s possible to have a herb garden here or is it too cold,I’m actually in Blairsville ,very close to N.C. Thanks for any info you can provide..

  2. It’s about that time! Thanks for all the great info. I’m getting excited about planting and I’m going to do this for sure!
    xo Robin
    All Things Heart and HOme

  3. How thoughtful of your neighbor. I keep getting reminders from tweets and now from your post that I need to start my herb container gardens. Last year was a disaster…I like you, do not have a green thumb! I can’t wait to have tons of basil to make some pesto.

  4. You make me excited for spring! I have a small area carved into the landscaping outside our back kitchen door. It is just so much fun to take a few steps outside and retrieve a handful of freshness for a meal. My daughters love it, too. I often find herbs in their pockets at the end of the day. πŸ™‚

    1. I love that your girls have herbs in their pockets at the end of the day. So precious. I usually find some rocks and odd ball discoveries my son has found around the farm. Herbs would definitely be a nice, sweet change! πŸ™‚

  5. I am so excited about this post! I want to go out this weekend and get started. I have been wanting to do this forever but just haven’t taken the time to actually do it. πŸ™‚

  6. Thanks so much for posting this! I’ve decided that this is my year to have an herb and vegetable garden! Your information was so helpful!

  7. Oh, I love fresh herbs! I always plant a big herb garden outside each year, but I’m thinking I’ll have to give this a try in a container in my sunroom so that I have herbs throughout the winter. πŸ™‚

  8. I just love fresh herbs, too. Even though I don’t have the greenest of green thumbs, I’ve always had an herb garden. As a matter of fact, we just spent an hour or so yesterday afternoon preparing it for this year’s planting. Good luck with yours this year!