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Upper Midwest Gardening: Plant a High-Rise Herb Garden

Brought to you by Lowe's Creative Ideas

Use the vertical space in your garden creatively by growing herbs in a series of cascading flower pots supported by a length of copper pipe.

pot sculpture

Who says you can't grow a garden if you don't have the space? Look up! There's a lot of room up there to grow great stuff--you just have to think about growing things a bit differently.

Here, pole gardening was a perfect solution for growing a collection of herbs in a small corner. And don't stop with herbs. Colorful flowers cascading from one pot to another is a lovely sight. And it becomes a great focal point in any space.

potting materials

Here's what I used for this project:

  • One half-inch-diameter copper pipe (can use PVC or metal) Copper is nice and strong, I love the color, and it easily can be cut to size. I had mine cut to about 7 feet.
  • One 14.5-inch clay pot (the base of the collection)
  • Five 8 ¼-inch clay pots (to stack on pole)
  • Potting soil
  • Collection of plants: (one or two per container)
  • Flat leaf parsley
  • German thyme
  • French marigolds (dwarf)
  • Rosemary
  • Common sage
  • Basil
pot with pole

Building Up

I started by placing the larger pot on level ground. Through a drainage hole in the pot, I inserted the copper pipe at least 12 inches into the soil below.

I filled the bottom pot with new potting soil, with water polymers and timed-released fertilizer mixed in. This will help keep the plants hydrated and fed at the same time.

pot with pole

Adding the Pots

To keep pots in position you need to create a stopping point on the copper pipe. Wrap a large rubber band or create a collar, using electrician's tape, around the pipe. The collar needs to be thick enough, or larger than the drainage hole of the smaller pots, to act as a stopgap and prevent slippage. Then slide the pot onto the pole, tilting it to the side. Alternate the tilt of each pot so they can rest on each other.

adding plants

Carefully plant herbs in each of the pots. In the base I planted rosemary, which will anchor the pot and give it a heftier feel. For color I added marigolds between pots. In the smaller pots I alternated thyme, parsley, sage and basil.


Herbs are really easy to grow. Just don't kill them with kindness! Don't overwater or overfeed them.

What I love most about this kitchen garden is that I can clip and eat on a daily basis.

Lowe's Materials List:

  • 8.25-inch pots
  • one 14.5-inch pot
  • Marigolds
  • German thyme
  • common sage
  • curled parsley
  • basil
  • 10 feet of half-inch-diameter copper pipe