Hil’s Balcony Herb Garden

There is something so fulfilling about running out to my backyard to grab a  handful of herbs to use in dishes I’m preparing.  My mother always had herbs growing just outside our back door (and we grew up in the city, just outside of L.A.)  When I was a tiny tot, my grandfather had what seemed like a large garden  growing in his front yard in South Central L.A. – so while we were all “city” dwellers, we grew up valuing growing as much produce as possible in our yards.

Recently, my good friend (and hype girl for Tea With Betty) moved to a somewhat smallish place – she has a neat little balcony area which when my sister spotted it, instantly thought, “aha, a great area to grow herbs.”  She had seen these functional, efficient planters  in a catalogue which have built in water catching trays and gauges for letting one know when to water – perfect for the space Hil’s had on her balcony railing.

Hil's patio ledge self-watering planters...from Gardener's Supply

Hil’s patio ledge self-watering planters…from Gardener’s Supply

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We planted chives, Italian parsley, rosemary, thyme, two types of basil, micro greens (for a quick salad) and even strawberries for a summer treat.

Wherever you are, if at all possible, plant an herb garden.  It is so wholesome and healthy and somehow makes you feel like you are a bit of a gardener, bringing you closer to the food you consume.  It takes little effort and very little space to have enough herbs at your fingertips to enhance any meal or recipe.

In the winter, the thyme, rosemary, and chives do well in our climate, as well as, various small lettuces.  Instant organic salads available steps from your door.

Put a little mint in a separate pot and use it in your teas or add a bit to your salads for a nice lift.


  1. I cannot thank Valerie (and you) enough!! And if I could post a pic in the comments here, I’d show you how much my “little” herb garden has grown. It is simply beautiful (my neighbor commented on it the other day how much he enjoys seeing it) and convenient it is. And you are so right about how there is something about stepping just outside your own door to pick the food you are going to eat. Truly wholesome and fulfilling!

    • Will have to post the picture of growth, they are beautiful, consumable planters

  2. This is a great idea, I love it! I agree with you, plant herbs for a happy life!

    • Yes, not sure which types grow in the cold weather…do you have an herb garden?

  3. I truly understand the satisfaction you experience going out into the herb garden and harvesting a handful of fresh herbs for cooking!! I have had a herb garden for many years, and dearly miss it when the weather turns cold here in Minnesota. Fresh herbs are marvelous in cooking, salads and …yes, desserts. I grow 4 or 5 pots of lemon verbena (and over-winter them indoors) for using in ices, ice creams, custards, lemonade, tea’s, simple syrups and for baking. Along with lemon verbena, I also grow rose scented geraniums, the scent of which is ‘true roses’ for baking, syrups, freshing the carpet, linens and rooms in my home.

  4. One of my favorite jams is a rose jam I used to get when having tea at the Four Season Hotel in Carlsbad California…it is now gone…but I sometimes crave that rose jam. Will have to try preparing my own with your info here of using rose scented geraniums – do you achieve the scent of true roses on your own? or from someone who makes it?

  5. May I ask what company you purchased your planters from? I would like some myself

    • Hi Amy,
      The company we ordered these containers from is Gardener’s Supply Co. phone is 800 427-3363 …their website is gardeners.com
      They come in a couple colors and are under $40 each, depending on size. They are called “self-watering windowbox” and come in 23″ – 39″ widths.
      Thanks for your comment and hope these work out for you.

  6. Oh thank you so much for the info. I do appreciate it!

    • You are most welcome… I actually just had to talk to their customer service dept about an item I had ordered and they were so helpful…superior service. I recommend them highly. (and fyi I am not affiliated with them )