Are you familiar with a cocktail garden? It’s a small garden full of ingredients you can harvest for fresh garden-inspired cocktails.
Creating an Impromptu Cocktail Garden:
Today, we’re looking at how I designed and put in a cocktail garden. I realize it’s a bit late in the season to be planting, but if you like this idea, it’s something you could also tuck away for next year.
About a month ago I was majorly pumped about this project. – Don’t get me wrong, I’m still excited about it. – It just didn’t come together in the way I expected. Let me explain.
I got the idea to plant this cocktail garden from Laura of Garden Answer. (If you love gardening and don’t follow her YouTube channel, you are missing out. Gosh, even if you’re not into gardening, she’s a joy to watch.)
She posted a video about how she put her cocktail garden together, and I thought it was so lovely and creative that I wanted to do something similar. Since my main garden is full of dahlia tubers and other edibles, I decided to get window basket-type planters and hang them from my deck railing. This would make accessing the garden easy since the deck is right off my kitchen. Plus, being on the deck would keep the plants high off the ground and safe from the deer.
As I was sourcing and shopping online, I found these beautiful hay rack planters from Terrain. They were a perfect size and on sale. Unfortunately, they were out of stock until June 5. I figured that would still give me enough time, so ordered them.
In the meantime, I bought all of the veggies and herbs that I wanted to put in the planters, and I picked up soil for planting. Shortly before June 5, I got an email from Terrain notifying me that the backorder was extended through July 7. Whomp. Whomp. I was bummed. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do.
Then a couple of weekends ago my mom came to visit. We put on our masks and hit up a few local antique shops. Luck was on my side when I spotted this long wooden box in the first store. I immediately thought it would be the perfect size for my cocktail garden. And it would be easy enough to screw it on my deck railing.
Long story short, I was ready to create my cocktail garden!
When I got it home, I lined the box with plastic to protect the wood somewhat. I also drilled holes in the bottom and through the plastic to allow for drainage.
I inserted several screws through the inside of the box to securely attach it to the railing.
Once the box was up, I added the soil. I was finally ready to plant!
What Do You Plant in a Cocktail Garden?
Generally speaking, you plant things you’d use in a cocktail. Herbs are a great choice. But you can also grow berries, tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers.
Since I was working with a smaller space, I kept that in mind when choosing plants. It was also a little late in the season when I purchased my plants, so the pickings were a bit slim. I didn’t get exactly what I wanted, but I’m happy about what I got.
My Cocktail Garden Plants:
Based on some of the cocktails I’m hoping to create, here are the plants that I selected to plant in my garden.
- Everbearing Strawberries
- Super Verde Tomatillo
- Yellow Canary Tomato (Determinant)
- Cherry Hot Pepper
- Pineapple Mint
- Barbecue Rosemary
- Red Basil
- Amazel Basil
- Tricolor Sage
Depending on the size of your cocktail garden, here are other plants to consider:
- Nasturtiums – A beautiful and edible flower. There are some in my main garden.
- Cucumbers – So refreshing in a cocktail.
- Celery – Great for Bloody Marys.
- Rhubarb – My love! (You can find my favorite recipes here.) I have this in my main garden.
A few more considerations:
When you’re selecting plants for YOUR cocktail garden, think about the cocktails you like. If you love mojitos, then make sure you have mint. If you’re fond of spicy cocktails, plant peppers. If you enjoy garnishing cocktails, put in edible flowers.
Also, keep in mind the size of your garden and the size of your plants. Because my garden is small, I opted for plants that would still fit when they are mature.
I think my little cocktail garden is cute. And I can’t wait for things to fill in so I can start to harvest what I need for my summer cocktails.
I’m not sure if you can tell from the photos, but I do have one issue with this planter. It leans back.
Even though the planter is securely attached to the deck railing, after I added the soil, plants, and water, the combined weight caused the box to lean away from the deck. I’m not worried that the planter will fall. I just think it looks a bit askew.
Edited to add: I’m happy to report, since taking these photos, I fixed the leaning issue. I found these small wood wedges on Amazon. I was able to hammer them in between the bottom of the box and the railing. Problem solved!
I could try to level it, but that won’t be easy since the box is screwed to the railing from INSIDE the box. I would have to remove everything from the planter, reattach it, and then replant it. At this point, I’m trying to decide what will drive me crazier: looking at my leaning cocktail garden or tearing it all apart and starting again.
Looking for more gardening ideas? Try these:
Looking for more more of my gardening ideas? Check out these posts:
- Growing Dahlias
- My Favorite Hanging Flower Basket for Shade
- DIY Vertical Herb Garden
- How to Make a Terrarium
- DIY Succulent Planter
Despite the less-than-perfect results, I am thrilled to have this handy little garden, and I can’t wait to harvest its bounty when I stir or shake up delicious summer and fall cocktails. I promise to share the recipes with you.
What are your thoughts about a cocktail garden? Have you planted one? Will you plant one in the future? Please let us know in the comments below.
Want More from Inspired by Charm?
I’m so happy you are here! Are you looking for more ways to create your happy place? Be sure to join the IBC Mailing List so you never miss a thing. You can also find me on social media for daily updates.