Container garden ideas: mixed herbs and succulents

mixed herbs in hypertufa pot

Visiting my family this week – so I thought I’d show you some of my mother’s garden. Here is lime thyme and lavender thyme in a hypertufa container.

Herbs and succulents are the easiest things you can grow in containers. Just pot them up and put them in the sun. Green succulents can take a little shade, silver ones need full sun. Use whatever bag of potting soil is the cheapest. You don’t have to anything different with the soil for the succulents. Herbs get watered twice a week, and succulents get watered once a week. More on growing herbs here and growing succulents here.

lavender and thymes

Lavender and lavender thymes in a ceramic strawberry pot.

Mixed sedums and hens and chicks

Mixed hens and chicks and sedums in a ceramic strawberry pot. The varieties in the pockets were found in a nursery section for miniature gardens.

Edible garden ideas: espaliered fruit trees

espaliered fruit tree

Espaliered fruit tree underplanted with herbs: a beautiful way to save space and make your fruit easy to reach. Note the dark green painted fence. Here are two very good how-to guides:

Homestead Revival: Espalier Fruit Trees for Potager

Vintage Garden Gal: The Art of Espalier Fruit Trees

A DIY edible garden

Front yard orchard

This is the garden that sparked a million escape fantasies where I go live off the grid on a small farm. Another one from the Gamble Garden Tour, the garden is 100% DIY (one of the homeowners is an architect) and supplies the couple with all of their produce.


Front yard orchard:

  1. Growing: Pluots, cherries, apples, pears, plums, figs, and a grapevine grown along the fence
  2. Each “tree” was actually three semi-dwarf varieties planted in a triangle, not more than a couple of feet apart
  3. The trees are underplanted with daffodils
  4. A bougainvillea is planted along the house wall
  5. Mulch is alfalfa pellets and the neighbors’ leaf and grass clippings

Back yard garden:

  1. All of the trellises are bent rebar, custom made by the homeowners. Pipes were sunk into the ground, and the rebar was set into the pipes. The rebar was then wired and welded together.
  2. Vegetable beds have a north-south orientation so they get maximum sunlight and the plants don’t shade each other.
  3. Growing: asparagus, tomatoes, berries, beans, peas, lettuce, chard, radishes, eggplant, squash, garlic, leeks, cauliflower, herbs,
  4. Chickens clean up the garden and control insects, and their manure supplies all of the fertilizer
  5. Living fences are Camellia and Irish yew
  6. All of the vegetables are started from seed in the greenhouse
  7. A Zareba Red Snap’ R solar powered electric fence, motion-activated sprinklers, and netting keep out raccoons, squirrels, rats, skunks, deer…

DIY edible garden

DIY edible garden

DIY edible garden tomato supports

Side view of the tomato trellis

DIY edible garden tomato supports

DIY edible garden berry trellises

The chicken coop

DIY edible garden chicken coop

The side yard was crammed with abutilon – genius

DIY edible garden side yard

Edible garden ideas: a formal garden

Edible formal garden

How cool is this? An edible garden planted as a formal garden. That spectacular silver plant in the middle is an artichoke. You don’t have to grow artichokes as food, you can grow them as an ornamental plant in any garden because they look amazing. They are easy to grow, fairly drought tolerant, perennials. Put down ant baits or your chokes will be full of ants. If you don’t want to eat them, you can let them flower. The garden is edged with a boxwood hedge.