How to plant herbs: create a charming herb garden full of basil, rosemary and thyme using vintage pots on your kitchen windowsill

Plant basil, rosemary, thyme or any of your favourite herbs in vintage tins for a quirky kitchen display. 

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You can buy vintage-inspired tins easily online, but you can use tins with any designs you fancy. You need to use small plastic pots of herbs for this simple project so that they fit inside the tins.

Plant a selection of different herbs of your choice – my favourites are basil, rosemary and thyme – and remember that plants tend to look better grouped in odd numbers. I think five or seven look perfect for a kitchen windowsill.

To care for your herbs, make sure the topsoil is moist and if they become dry, mist them with water. Do not pour water into the tins as they do not have any drainage holes and too much water will make the herbs rot.


  • a variety of different herbs
  • vintage-inspired tins
  • multipurpose compost


1. Take the herbs out of their plastic pots. If you buy them from a supermarket they are often pot-bound – where the roots fill the pot and start to grow through the drainage holes – so be wary of this when pulling them out of their plastic pot.

If it is tough to get the plant out of the pot, tickle the bottom of the roots coming through the pot and the plant should come loose.

2. Gently remove the majority of t he soil from around the plant’s roots with your fingers. 

3. Add enough multipurpose compost into the bottom of the tin for the top of the plant’s roots to sit about 2 cm (¾ in) below the top of the tin. Put the herb into the tin, then add some more compost around (if there is space) and on the top of the plant’s roots. Press down to make sure it is secure in the tin, but do not press too hard as you do not want to compact the compost too much and squash the roots.

4. Repeat steps 1–3 until you have planted up all your herbs. Arrange them on a windowsill ready to use in your cooking and add a gorgeous vintage touch to your kitchen. 

Tag your finished #LivingWithPlantsTins #LivingWithPlantsHowTo @geo_fleur

Sophie Lee started geo-fleur, a studio in Stratford that specializes in geometric homewares including indoor terrariums, hanging planters and ceramic vases in 2014. Her book, Living with Plants: a guide to indoor gardening (£15) is published on May 3 by Hardie Grant.

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