Setting up a veggie garden

I can’t believe we waited as long as we did to set up a little veggie garden. It took us what, 2.5 years? How silly. We don’t have anything big – a small raised 1.5m x 1.5m box that Rob put together just out near the kitchen so we can grab what we need easily, and as we are always in this part of the garden we can keep an eye on things, watering, and pulling weeds as we need to. I used to spend a fair bit on herbs at the fruit shop…now no more!

ANYONE can create one of these. You can use a styrofoam box even on your balcony. Either big or small there isn’t anything much better than being able to USE something that you have grown. Simple pleasures my friends!

Think about the things you use most in your cooking and plant those first. For us it was:

  • mint
  • thyme
  • shallots
  • coriander
  • parsley
  • basil
  • chives

The rest of the selections have been trial and error and fun for the girls to get involved in. Things like carrots and chili plants. After the last few days of rain the patch is positively PERKY!

Thyme is perfect for roast chicken. Whack it up the bum with a lemon cut in half, some garlic cloves, butter, salt and pepper and you are SET.


I use shallots pretty much every day. I am SO proud of these – look at them standing tall!


These tomatoes are Rob’s. I will leave them to him until they are fruiting and ripe whereby I shall claim their success my own. Standard practice round here.


Daisy is addicted to chives – strange, but true. If you love scrambled eggs, you’ll love chives. If you love boiled potatoes with lashings of Lurpak, you’ll love chives. Plant some!


Carrot are essential for smug Instagram photos. Also good for eating.


If I was inclined to roll a green smoothie, I do believe the odd spinach leaf could come in handy. But for us it will be used in salads and tossed through roast veggies.


Mint is for mojitos. Well DER.


And if a baby cos leaf doesn’t complete your sambo, then NOTHING will.


This little patch is in full sun which is perfect for all the herbs. We just used a regular potting mix to fill it up and haven’t had too many problems with pests or weeds (so far). The frosts of winter only killed with basil – who knows HOW put the coriander went mad over winter. One thing you need to remember is that you have to water, water, water and then water some more.

It’s not big. It’s not fancy. But it’s all we need and it’s VERY good. I’m never going back. You should really give it a go, you should!

What’s good in your veggie patch at the moment?
What’s missing from ours?
What’s your secret weapon with growing food?


  1. Bek @ Just For Daisy says

    Do you compost too!? That’s my hot tip – free food for your soil! 🙂
    We’ve got the last of our Winter greens all loving it up after this rain… SOOO much spinach (come grab some if you like!), broccoli, bok choy , red cabbage like it’s going outta fashion thanks to a kind neighbours seedlings!! ha! And our rocket/coriander have gone nuts after the rain!
    We’re aiming for mostly herbs, salads, tomatoes etc over summer…so just about to rip the rest out and blanch/freeze then prepare the beds for new seeds!! Love getting things fresh out of our patch!
    Your pics look divine! Love me some veggie pics!

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says

      Me too! I could photograph the garden forever. That, and bowls of lemons. Am a little weird. Good luck with the summer garden!

  2. Holly Barlow says

    Looks amazing Beth! One thing I’ve learned about growing coriander is that it loves the cold and always grows well winter but in summer it tends to go to seed very quickly, sometimes as soon as it sprouts!

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says

      Interesting Holly – perhaps that’s why it has done so well. I’ll be interested to see what happens over the summer.

  3. I miss my little veggie patch – I used to have a balcony garden but apparently a few pots of herbs were unsafe!
    Well done you!
    Also, great to see you at PB 🙂 loved the kaftan.

  4. We have heaps of kale and beetroot at the moment. Soon we will have broad beans, and peas. We have a huge vegetable garden, mainly because my husband is crazy about growing them, and also we have the space. Sometime I think he will cover the whole farm in vegetables.

  5. Lisa Mckenzie says

    I have herbs at my laundry door i made a mean potato salad yesterday with parsley,chives and shallots ,i also have mint,rosemary,roma tomatoes,thyme,Basil and some baby cos lettuce,coriander and some strawberries in a pot and some aloe vera for cuts and burns.Not much space but lotsa herbs to go pick ,best thing you have ever done ,no looking back now Beth.

  6. Emma Steendam says

    It won’t stop with the rain, sunshine, rain, sunshine down here on the Limestone Coast so my veggie patch is loving it. We’ve got some Chinese cabbages, as well as some good ol’ savoys, baby spinach, iceberg lettuces, rainbow chard, silverbeet, beetroot, artichokes…can’t think what else. That’s all in our veggie patch out the back near the orchard (enormous fig tree, plum, apricot, grape vines and a few gnarled apples I think…will be our first fruit season so I’m just guessing really!) Out my kitchen window though I have pots of herbs – mint, coriander, Italian parsley, chives, marjoram, sage, basil and rosemary. Haven’t ever grown thyme, as I don’t use it a lot in cooking, but you’ve made me question myself now?! I use HEAPS of sage and mint usually. Can’t stand buying herbs, ick! Happy gardening young Beth x

  7. Robyn (Mrs D) says

    Yay!!! This is perfect. We have just moved to a new house with a yard and I desperately want a veggie garden but had no idea where to start :)))

  8. 1. rosemary and mint

    2. bush turkeys, thieving possums, general non specified old Testament style varmints

    3. I threaten the varmints. And I go in HARD with the phosphigens and nitrates. Hard.

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says

      You are a stalwart in the garden FF, even in your difficult conditions. Stay strong this summer x

      • Oh I didn’t first look to see who posted…but I knew that person MUST live in Brisbane…and she does. It’s FF…nicest online garden ever. And yes…I have blasted bush turkeys in my garden. If they weren’t a protected species I’d slingshot them. All that is surviving the bush turkeys and possums is herbs, lots and lots of herbs…pesto is a coming. The possums ate all my rose buds, paw paws, sweet potatoes (they dug them up!) and even the chillies.

  9. elisha hayes says

    Everything in our herbalicious herb garden is growing well. The self seeding coriander smells so good and the broad beans are about to start growing the beans. I found a single asparagus stalk hiding under the trailing snow peas. What a nice surprise that was yesterday. (now I remember where I planted it from last year.) I think you should definitely grow capsicum and though its not the right time yet, pumpkin. As my hubby’s parents are on a farm raising the bovine kind. COW SHIT is our secret to our growing success. The veggies cant get enough! Happy growing.

  10. Elizabeth Boyle says

    I am renting and moving at the end of the year so all my herbs are in pots. I used slimy coriander from my fridge to start my coriander pot. I wrote a blog post about it. You might like to have a read.
    I really enjoy reading your daily musings.

  11. I’ve recently moved to the city, so I have little more than a tiny balcony. I tried a couple of pots of herbs, but they quickly died off over winter! Now that spring is coming up I’m trying again though – fingers crossed! Yours looks fantastic though, I can’t wait for the day I have a REAL garden!!

  12. vacationbarbie05 says

    You should also try some Oregano. We grew some this year and I washed and dried it and made my own dried version and it tasted nothing like store bought. Also made my own crushed red pepper flakes. One tip…your mint will take over your entire garden box….grab an old pot and bury it in the box and replant the mint in it to limit spreading.

  13. We just started on ours last weekend. This year I asked hubby to extend the existing veggie patch. Now I’m planting corn, leek, all herbs, baby spinach, rocket, strawbs and more! And I want to give potatoes a go after seeing how easy it is on Better Homes and Gardens last week (I have an exciting life).


  1. […] know when I planted my veggie garden and people told me not to plant mint because it runs? Well I pulled it all out but yet, this. […]

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