Illustration by Alix Ayoub

There in a Pinch

You don’t always need a big plot of land to garden. You just need a window. Perhaps a taste for moonshine.

And also this handy little DIY guide to your own fresh herb container garden.

I absolutely adore everything about fresh herbs. Their perfect balance of aromatics, the always bold, but never too powerful flavorful additions to food and drink—fresh herbs just make everything better. In this warm period of the year, fresh herbs heighten everything—fresh-picked basil on your pizza, muddled mint in your julep cup, some floating lavender in a bath—and are a great natural boost to so much in your day. Sadly, they always seem to be used once, and then they turn into that browned gross thing in a plastic bag buried deep in the fridge. Instead of buying herbs and constantly letting them go bad, a kitchen-window garden is a great solution for fresh herbs whenever you dang please!

Using mason jars or cans is a great way to keep your cost low for this project, and most likely, will utilize items you already have in your home.

Plus, you have an excuse to drink some moonshine.


Glass mason jar or rust-proof can

Various herb seed packets or pre-grown seedlings

Planter labels


Organic potting soil

Sunlight (be sure to keep in mind the herb care recommendations when picking out your varieties)

I chose two mason jars and two cans and I purchased pre-grown seedlings because I want fresh herbs NOW. I picked out rosemary, lavender, basil and lemon balm.


1. Fill each vessel with soil almost all the way to the top and either drop a few seeds in or, gently loosen the roots of your herb starter and dig a little bit of a hole in the soil for the roots of the plant to rest in. Cover with more soil to the top of the container.

2. Be sure to label your various herb containers so you know what is what.

3. Water each container so that the soil is moist. (Keep in mind that you don’t ever want to blast your plants with a lot of water pressure; slow and steady wins the race)

4. Give them plenty of sun and water everyday and be patient! Keep in mind any special instructions/recommendations from the herb packets for growing and care.

5. Enjoy the beautiful flavorful and super fresh herbs from your DIY kitchen window container garden!

Vanessa Jean Speckman is a visual artist and jane of all trades, constantly fascinated with the art of creating, repurposing and figuring out how to do it herself. For more, visit