A planter on a windowsill filled with herbs being watered

Grow your own: 20 indoor and outdoor herb garden ideas

Whether you're strapped for space or looking for outdoor planting solutions, here are our top ideas for creating an indoor or outdoor herb garden. 

We’ve picked products we think you’ll love and may earn commission from links on this page. Read about why you can trust BBC Good Food reviews.

Home-grown produce delivers taste that you simply can’t buy. Not only do you get the satisfaction of having nurtured your crop from seedling to serving, but you’re saving money and eating with the seasons, too.

Advertisement

Whether you’re already a keen veg grower or new to green fingers, we’ve compiled some of our favourite pieces of kit for making the most of whatever space you have. From balconies and patios to porches and windowsills, here’s a bit of inspiration for creating your own indoor and outdoor herb garden.

What can you grow in an indoor and outdoor kitchen garden?

Herbs are a good place for any beginner gardener to start. The growers guides on the Gardeners’ World website give advice on how to sow, maintain and harvest crops, plus tips on optimum conditions.

Parsley is easy to grow in beds or containers and can even flourish in shade. Rosemary is an evergreen plant that can withstand winter frost. Thyme is another hardy herb that also looks attractive. Pots of herbs can be kept indoors.

Tomatoes are a good option as there as so many varieties. Start them off on a windowsill before moving them outside in summer. If you have a patio or terrace, use a tomato growing bag. Find advice in our tomato growing guide.

Robust potatoes require little regular maintenance. Like tomatoes, they can be grown in pots if you’re short on space. Alternatively, choose your preferred type of potato to plant outside.

Crisp and fresh salad leaves grow well outdoors or in pots, boxes or trays. Read more on growing your own salad in our gardening guide.

For more advice on planting popular ingredients, read the Gardeners’ World growing guides: 

How to grow garlic
How to grow French beans
How to grow courgettes
How to grow runner beans
How to grow raspberries
How to grow blackcurrants, redcurrants and whitecurrants

When is the best time to start your kitchen garden?

Early spring is a great time to get planting and start your kitchen garden. Seeds are cheaper than plants to buy, although they take a little more effort to propagate.

Whatever you choose, pick a warm spot in your house to pop the planters and give all your plants plenty of natural light once they’ve broken through the soil. Deep and draft-free window sills are great places to keep your kitchen gardens.

20 clever indoor and outdoor ideas for your herb garden

Once you’ve decided on which plants you’d like to grow, you’ll need the right equipment to get started. Here, we’ve rounded up the best grow-your-own gadgets for indoor and outdoor planting. Products selected by Anna Lawson and Anya Gilbert.

Indoor kitchen garden ideas

Jevdes LED grow light

If you’re lacking natural light at home but need to grow or start plants indoors, give seedlings a boost with this grow light. It imitates sunlight with a spectrum of light that promotes growth.

Available from Amazon (£32.99)

Beaded metal hanging planter

Limited on space? Herbs and even some veg (such as lettuce) can be grown in hanging baskets – just leave in its pot and pop inside the planter.

Available from Oliver Bonas (£19.50)

Self-watering triple-potted herb keeper

Struggling to keep potted herbs alive? Put them, still in their pots, into this attractive planter and fill the bottom section with water. The plants will absorb just the right amount of moisture through hydro-felt pads in the base.

Available from Amazon (£33.32)

Ferm Living flower box

Contemporary in design and crafted from powder coated metal, this plant box by Ferm Living is a combination of form and multi-function. It’s as suitable for storing books and small items as it is your indoor garden.

Available from: 
Nest (£185)
Utility (£185)
Amazon (£161.02)

Råskog trolley

Load grow bags onto each shelf and let tomatoes or other veg grow, hanging over the sides. The trolley can be kept indoors, then wheeled into the garden or balcony when the sun shines.

Available from IKEA (£39)

Natural slate and solid oak window box

Whether you favour flowers or herbs, the slate sides of this oak kitchen planter can be written on with chalk allowing you to clearly mark whatever you grow inside it. Its interior tray can also be lifted out for easy maintenance.

Available from Amazon (£46.49)

Click and Grow smart garden 9

This is the kitchen garden of the future: this food tech tool comes with NASA inspired smart soil and sensors that water, light and maintain your plants.

Available from Amazon (£174.90)

Outdoor herb garden ideas

Textured Fibrecotta cube planters

For that classic Mediterranean terracotta vibe, these Fibrecotta cubes are a modern and innovative option for building your perfect outdoor kitchen garden. The material is lightweight compared to stone, plus offers breathability without compromising durability.

Available from: 
Primrose (£14.99)

Vence window box

If you have a generous windowsill or low garden wall, this trough is a durable planter for keeping your herbs happy throughout all seasons.

Available from:
Garden Trading (£50)

Latchmere raised planter

This stylish pine planter can be used for growing fresh herbs, salad or fruit. Plus,
the lower shelf is a handy space for storing growbags and accessories – great for a small garden.

Available from: 
Garden Trading (£120)
Amazon (£126.90)

Artstone trough in grey

This recyclable planting trough with drainage is suitable for planting both inside and out, made from a unique composite of stone powder and resin, it is particularly durable against British weather. It’s simple, stylish and functional.

Available from Amazon (£41.61)

Accessories and tools for your kitchen garden
Niwaki garden snips scissors with red handles

Niwaki garden snips

With a comfortable handle and slender 50mm blades, these lightweight snips are great for use on flowers, fruit and veg.

Available from Niwaki (£12)

Slate plant tags

After sowing your seeds, don’t forget to label what’s growing where! The chalk pencil can be wiped off with a wet cloth so the tags can be reused. They come in a set of six and the pencil is included.

Available from Garden Trading (£12)

Indoor watering can

This 1.7-litre can has a narrow-angled spout for precision watering, and comes in stylish duck-egg blue.

Available from Annabel James (£21.50)

Personalised buffalo leather tool belt

This durable tool belt made from buffalo leather is a functional addition to any gardener’s arsenal. Its design is simple, natural and will gain character with age and use, plus it can be personalised online, making it a great gift.

Available from Not On The High Street (£64.95)

Mini copper garden tools

Copper naturally doesn’t rust meaning these little tools will last. Just 19 x 3.4cm in size, they are the perfect size for tending to small plants and pots.

Available from Not On The High Street (£11.95)

Burgon & Ball potting gloves

These potting finger gloves by Burgon & Ball are designed to stretch and protect in the right places to give you ultimate mobility whilst planting. Plus they can be conveniently thrown in the washing machine after use.

Available from: 
Burgon & Ball (£15.99)
Farrar & Tanner (£16)
Amazon (£15.98)

Gardening tips

Common grow-your-own questions answered

How to grow your own salad leaves

How to grow your own strawberries

How to grow your own courgettes

How to grow your own tomatoes

Advertisement

This guide was last updated in September 2020. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at goodfoodwebsite@immediate.co.uk.