Tea tin herb garden

Herb garden tea tins

I am a terrible gardener. Really, truly terrible. I cannot make carrots grow, or radishes, or tomatoes, or any of those other things that are supposed to be so easy that even children can grow them. The last time we had a backyard garden, the only thing that survived was… one zinnia.

And yet, something possessed me to make an herb garden for my brother and sister-in-law to keep in their kitchen.

(I first saw this idea on Pinterest, of course. This idea plus this idea equals–shazzam!–herb garden.)

I figured if I planted the herbs and then GAVE THEM AWAY, they’d have a better chance at survival.

“Did you grow these yourselves?” my brother asked the children.

“Hahaha! Ha! No,” said the children, very truthfully.

Here’s how we really made them.

Planting herbs in tea tins

It helps if you drink a lot of tea.

You will need

Tea tins in various sizes and shapes. Bonus points if you collect the tins naturally over time, as you drink the tea.

Potted herbs, about the same size as your tea tins.

Potting soil.

Small rocks, for drainage. (See me, pretending to know what I’m talking about re: plants? Mm-hmm. Faking it.)

We put them all on a tray, but if yours are going on a shelf or windowsill, you might skip that.

I made garden markers for each herb out of balsa wood and rubber stamps (mostly so I would not forget… which herb was which…)

Potting the herbs

Put a layer of small rocks at the bottom of each tea tin.

Add a small amount of potting soil–not too much, since you still have to fit in the actual plant.

Take the herbs out of their little plastic pots, and shake some of the excess dirt off of the roots. They may need some convincing (aka “squishing”) to get into the tin, depending how big the opening is.

Add more potting soil, to cover the roots and fill the tin.

Water just a little. This usually compacts the soil a bit, so you can add more dirt and make the roots happier.

Herbs in tea tins, on a tray

Ready for all your culinary adventures.

Adding the garden markers

I used Design Mom’s balsa wood gift tag idea to mark each plant. Just buy a strip of balsa wood at the craft store, stamp the name of each herb, cut to size with an exact-o knife, and insert into the soil.

Stamped garden markers for growing herbs

“Perfectly straight” is not among the requirements.

Throw away the lids already

I haven’t quite let go of the tea tin lids yet. Don’t they look like they ought to be useful for some crafty purpose?

(Said my husband, helpfully: “Can you make a garland out of them?”)

Lids from tea tins

They’re still waiting.

Oh, and lest you think I was joking about that whole lousy-gardener-thing before: this is the plant that currently lives on my bathroom counter. I think it may have been thyme, at one point?

dead houseplant

It used to have more leaves. Or at least less-crispy ones.

Let us avert our eyes from that mess of houseplantery. Back to the pretty pretty herbs! Ahhhh.



Writer, mom of six, and person who drinks all the teas. Reminding you to be who you were made to be and live the life you're meant for.

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