This spring I’ve been busy planting flowers for the pollinators to enjoy, and this week I finally planted pots of fresh herbs for us to enjoy! One of the great benefits of summer gardening is planting and decorating with fresh herbs, so I hit the garden center and stocked up on some of our favorites!
Recipes taste so much better with the addition of fresh herbs. What would tomato bruschetta or Caprese salad be without fresh basil? Or imagine homemade salsa without cilantro?
My favorite kitchen herbs are Genovese and French Boxwood Basil for making lots of pesto! And Italian parsley, oregano and thyme are a must for adding to Italian dishes and grilled vegetables.
Fresh dill and fennel are wonderful cooking herbs too. I plant them in pots near the kitchen and add extra dill and fennel to the garden. Along with parsley, they act as host plants and will attract beautiful butterflies! They lay their eggs on host plants and the caterpillars have big appetites. So locate them at the back of your garden if you don’t like the look of plants that have been chewed on!
Lavender is another wonderful herb to add to your garden, and it grows great in containers! Just make sure it has adequate drainage and air circulation. Its lovely flowers can be used in sauces and desserts. And the aromatic dried blossoms are wonderful in teas and sachets!
Inspired by herb gardening, I created a kitchen towel design that was sold at Kohl’s. And the watercolor herbs I painted for that project are part of the printable design I’m sharing below.
Using the printable, I made a sign to display with my herbs and flowers. I bought an unfinished wood plaque at Michaels and painted the edges and inside of the plaque with sage green acrylic. When the paint was dry, I cut out the print and glued it onto the plaque. I later added a sealer coat of Mod Podge matte sealer/glue.
A laser printer will give you the best quality print. If you don’t have one at home the prints are inexpensive and available at copy centers, office supply stores and shipping locations.
If you use an inkjet print, make sure it has had time to dry or the inks may bleed a little when Mod Podge is applied as a sealer over the print. I’ve found it works pretty well to first lightly spray the print with a matte clear acrylic spray to keep the inks from bleeding. When it’s dry-the Mod Podge can be applied over it with no problem! The Mod Podge will dry clear and protect your herb plaque. The step isn’t necessary for an inkjet print as it won’t smear.
If you’d like to make a sign but can’t find the wood plaques, the design could be glued on a piece of wood, about 8 1/4″ x 4 3/4″. That size would leave an edge around the design that you could paint.
Or the design could be decoupaged onto planters or anything you’d like to decorate!
Fresh herbs make a wonderful gift too. I love to give (and receive) fresh bouquets of flowers, but herbs are a gift that keeps on giving! And it’s so simple to grow a pot of fresh herbs, even if you’re not a gardener!
I used fresh herbs to create a housewarming gift for a friend, using an unfinished wood basket as a holder. If you can’t find a similar item at your craft supply store, a wood box would work too.
I stained the basket a pickled white (acrylic paint would work too) and decoupaged the small herb label printable on the ends. I added a sealer coat of Mod Podge over the labels.
I tucked in 3 little pots of herbs and added a welcome to the neighborhood greeting on one of the blank tags on the printable. I tied it onto the basket handle and it was ready for gift giving!
The sign label, herb labels and 3 gift tags are formatted on a printable page as shown. So just click, save and print at the end of the post.
Another way I like to use herbs is to combine them in container plants with flowers, ferns and trailing ivies. I have a vintage flower cart on my deck that’s perfect for displaying flower pots and the garden themed treasures I’ve collected over the years.
They’re some of my favorite things, and since the flower cart is on the deck right outside my kitchen door I can grab fresh herbs for cooking even when it’s raining! And at the end of the growing season, I pop the perennials in my garden so they’ll come up the next Spring.
Another great way to have fresh herbs at your fingertips is a raised box planter like the one my sister Janet and her husband Glenn have in their beautiful backyard garden.
They bought a raised box planter at Target and it’s located right outside their kitchen door. Glenn has a green thumb and Janet is a great cook, so their herb garden is well tended and put to good use!
Make sure you snip your herbs regularly so they don’t become leggy. And if they grow faster than you can use them, drying herbs is a great way to make summer flavors last all year!
I’ve added another herb design to the garden art printables here. It’s formatted to fit an 8×10 frame or could be used for DIY projects!
Time to plant herbs and enjoy summer thyme!