How to Build a Wall of Potted Herbs
Create a tasteful (and tasty!) privacy screen along a sunny deck or patio with a wall of potted herbs. You can build it in a few days—and snip flavor all summer long.
Our herb wall is a king-size version, but you can adapt something similar to your site and budget.
Here are a few tricks we learned along the way.
1 We used 6x6 cedar posts and carved a simple embellishment on top with a router. Set the posts at least 3 feet deep in concrete.
2 After the concrete sets, measure the distance between the posts, as they may move slightly. Ask a hardware store to cut 1⁄2-inch pipes into lengths about a half-inch shorter than the distance between the posts, and have the pipes threaded on both ends.
3 Screw plumbing flanges onto the ends of the pipes. Shimmy pipes into position between the posts, then secure with galvanized screws, using a level for accuracy. (Plan for 13 inches between tiers.)
4 Drill holes in the rims of 8-inch plastic pots. Plant herbs, then hang pots from pipes using S hooks.
Planting Guide: Growing Herbs
Herbs (or succulents, which would also thrive here) love sun, so a south-facing wall is best. Water daily during hot spells, and trim regularly to avoid legginess. For such a prominent high-traffic display, it's worth visiting a good nursery to get unique varieties that look and smell as nice as they taste.
Color Herbs come in gorgeous shades of chartreuse, dusty blue and even purple. We planted three types of sage alone, including the golden ‘Aurea' above and white-rimmed ‘Tricolor' (shown on top row in hanging plant photo).
Scale Basil is a water hog that struggles in small pots, so we chose dwarf varieties. This ‘Spicy globe' above looks like a mini boxwood, and you can sprinkle the whole leaves over a tomato salad or eggs.
Texture Our nursery trip turned up this Cuban oregano, which has plump, velvety leaves. In our herb wall, we also opted for curly parsley over Italian, because its frilly leaves are prettier.
Scent Rosemary and thyme are kitchen workhorses that smell lovely when you brush past. We also planted this French lavender and the lemon-scented geranium ‘Cy's sunburst' for aroma alone.