I have always found it challenging to be a container gardener without spending loads of cash on pretty pots, but as time goes on I find myself becoming more resourceful with what could make a good plant home. One of the latest spontaneous containers uses an old plastic nursery pot. The japanese maple we received as a gift came in the large container and it has been sitting empty in a hidden spot outside for about a year now. I decided it would be a fitting spot for some drought-tolerant herbs.

Rather than buy starts, I took cuttings and separations from existing plants. I dug up a clump of oregano, lime green thyme, garlic and traditional chives, purple sage, curly parsley and rosemary. They were gently laid on the dirt as I arranged them into the perfect spot, then dug into place in their new home. I tucked a few seeds of cilantro in the center as well, so there is an annual surprise in there with these perennial plants. The taller plants are positioned at the back so they will not shade their low-growing neighbors in the front.

Not too shabby for a free herb garden – and very portable. The plastic pot will overheat easily, especially since it is black, but keeping this container near the backdoor will help. I will walk by it multiple times a day and easily spot when water is needed. At some point I may wrap the outside of the pot with one of those beach mats, just to disguise the black plastic. That added heat may help the transplanted herbs get a good start though this spring, before the real hot days start up.

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