Whether inside or outdoors, herb gardens are easily personalised to your taste and add freshness to your decor and cooking.
With cooking shows like MasterChef and My Kitchen Rules dominating Australian TVs, more families are being inspired to become creative with their cooking.
Over half of Australian households are growing their own food, says the Australia Institute, which found that 52 per cent did so in 2014.
It also notes that despite the apparent popularity, numbers have remained steady for the past 20 years. Its research found that the main deterrents are a lack of suitable space and time.
The simplest way to start growing your own food is by creating your own personal herb garden.
With the onset of spring, there is no better time than now to make one.
You don't need green fingers to maintain herbs
Herb gardens require minimal thought, time and money as they are ordinary garden varieties that do not cost much to replace if need be.
Herb planters can add that extra touch to your lawn and garden, with brighter plants adding to the decor.
They can work just as well indoors, acting as a rustic addition to your kitchen as well providing easy access for cooking. They are flexible in the ways they can be grown, which allows more creativity, such as planting the herbs in individual mason jars or creating a hanging mini herb planter.
Not only do they add something special to your garden, but also to your dinner! Who doesn't love adding fresh herbs to their cooking?
Top 5 herbs for an indoor garden
Mint is a popular herb in many classic dishes and can also be used ground up to create a sauce to complement lamb dishes or vegetable soups. Mint grows very quickly, so it's best grown in its own individual pot to prevent it from taking over the planter.
A staple Italian herb that adds a touch of freshness to your food, basil is a good herb for beginners as it grows easily. Basil is a traditional Italian ingredient, recently popularised as the main component of pesto alongside parmesan cheese, pine nuts and olive oil.
Thyme is a perennial herb, which means it can last for up to two years if looked after properly. Thyme is a wonderful addition to most dishes - adding it with lemon to rice is the perfect accompaniment.
Dill not only tastes great but also looks nice; growing dill in a jug or vessel of your choice adds a pop of green to any kitchen bench. Dill is an essential for fish and also works as an extra flavour for yoghurt dips or omelettes.
Just the smell of rosemary is enticing, and a small amount provides flavour for chicken, lamb, pork, salmon and tuna meals. It is important that rosemary is kept damp but not over-watered.
Herbs and spices provide extra flavour to a dish and are best when used fresh, and once you have the right tools, planting your herbs is not a difficult task.
Herb gardens are easy to make, take up limited space and add rather than take away from your decor. Here are a couple of ways for the more adventurous to get creative with their herb gardens.
Think outside the box
For the more artistic, an easy way to personalise a standard planter is by panting it.
Firstly, make sure you have the appropriate painting equipment, and that it is tailored for the material you wish to paint. Painting a store-bought planter box allows you to individualise it, as well as create unique designs, or even label your different herbs.
Another way to get creative with herb gardens is in the labelling. Little sign posts in the planter, tags on jars or even using mini blackboards can truly make your herb garden your own.
Making sure you have the right tools before starting a DIY project is essential to ensure you aren't wasting time. Drop by your local Stratco for any questions on this or any of your home improvement or garden needs.