Growing your own greens, shoots and mung beans is not only delicious – it’s a great way to dress up kitchen counters and other small spaces. You don’t need a lot of room to cultivate a pint-sized herb patch. And quirky vertical gardens make unique wall art as well as keeping your family fighting fit.

Homegrown herbs and sprouts are extra zesty and for such little things, they’re packed full of nutrition. Alfalfa, soybean, flaxseed and wheat grass are great sources of anti-oxidants, Vitamin B, C and protein? They help guard against heart disease, osteoporosis, cancer, and even menopausal symptoms.

Want to add fresh green accents to your décor? Check out our handy tips for creating your own little cabbage patch.

#1 Look at your space with new eyes

Your home holds many opportunities for innovative design. But sometimes you have to take a step back to see the untapped potential. Think outside the square. Sure, exploit horizontal spaces, like the benchtops in your kitchen, but also think vertically.

Could you hang a planter of flowering rocket from your ceiling? Utilise the space on your balcony railings for fresh rosemary and thyme? Is your windowsill crying out for an adorable DIY terranium or a crop of sprouts in a set of uber-chic mason jars?03=DIY terranium with succulents via andchristina.com


04-Vertical mason jar garden via upcyclethat.com


#2 Match your plants to your microclimate

Observe your space before you get your hands dirty and start potting. How much sun does it get? 6 hours counts as full sun, 3-6 hours as part shade and under 3 hours as full shade. The trick is to pick plants that will suit your environment. That way they’ll look vibrant, be easy to maintain and – most importantly – tasty.

Most indoor spots are at least partly in shade. As a rule, green, leafy plants flourish in full shade while fruits need full sun. Some great shade-tolerant options are mesclun, kale, mustard greens, lettuce, strawberries, mint and mushrooms… It’s enough to make you hungry!

#3 Find the right vessel to fit your space

Muslin-covered mason jars make perfect homes for your baby sprouts. Cover a fine layer of seeds with a few inches of warm water. Then cover the mouth of the jar with muslin, screw the lid down tight and soak overnight. In the morning, drain and rinse the sprouts. Repeat morning and evening until your sprouts have… well, sprouted!


Greenbo make great railing planters in vibrant colours. And Have You Met Miss Jones has just released some uber-chic geometric hanging planters made from porcelain available online at Zanui. Vases also make elegant homes for edibles and succulents.

01=Greenbo planter available online at Zanui02=Greenbo planter available online at Zanui - 2

#4 Give the gift of rainwater

Keep your soil moist with rainwater for the best results. Capture nature’s nutrients and nourish your plants with it. Try not to let the soil completely dry out – it can damage it permanently. Organic matter is also great for nurturing your sprouts.05-Sprout farm in mason jars available online at Zanui via optimyz.com

#5 Dare to fail

Be courageous! You only live once. If your plants don’t flourish – don’t take it personally. As the wise Thomas Edison once said, “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” And he’d know!

But! If you’re finding it frustrating consult the experts – gardenate.com is an excellent resource.

What are your fave herbs and sprouts? Tell us your gardening stories. We’d love to hear about your successes and failures.

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  • Those pictures sure do look pretty.


  • I have old guttering on all my windows and gave herbs planted in all of them. I also have pots with veggies in. Great space savers


  • I am very lucky to have a reasonable sized backyard. That enables me to not only have my kitchen staples right at the back door but with a few more steps around the garden I am able to harvest vegetables and fruit. With a nice variety of flowers mixed in there to keep the bees, birds and me happy most of the year round.


  • Such an awesome idea, I have wanted to start a herb and veggie patch for ages but never got around to it.


  • I love the herbs in the jars, they look fabulous…i am going to try it.


  • It’s awesome and trendy idea to decorate home


  • What wonderful and inspiring ideas


  • Great ideas and gorgeous pictures!


  • it is great to make the most of your space. it will also really bring life to your patio etc. i love having plants around the home


  • Thanks again for sharing; great ideas!


  • I love how these plants look but don’t think they’d survive with my broken thumb.


  • really great read! i have the rail planter but would love a kitchen herb garden


  • I love the jars affixed to the walls. http://www.thewhoot.com is a great website with those sorts of project ideas if anyone is looking for more inspiration.


  • Thanks for sharing this clever and creative idea. Love it and will get creative.


  • I love all of the ideas for inside herb gardens


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