Vertical Cocktail Herbs

Cocktail gardening. It's a thing. If you want fresh ingredients, you gotta grow them. Even if you don't have a ton of space.

That's why I adore this whole plant-stuff-in-a-hanging-shoe-organizer thing. First of all, hanging shoe organizers are pretty damned cheap and easy to get (IKEA has plastic versions for $4.99 each, in both black and white. I mean, come on!!!). Depending on what store you go to to get them, they can come in canvas (like mine), plastic, nylon, and vinyl versions. There are various colors and sizes. And they come with a hanging mechanism built right in. Does it get easier? I'm gonna answer for you. No. No it does not.

Hanging Shoe Organizer Vertical Garden | Drinkingwithchickens.com #cocktailgarden

Every bartender and home bartender needs an herb wall. Just sayin'. Park one of these suckers on at least a partially sunny wall, somewhere within reach of your cocktail-making zone. You won't be sorry. Or if you don't have a sunny wall within reach of your cocktail zone, leave it on a sunny wall and move it when you need it. Too easy.

These things come in a variety of colors and materials, and generally range in price from around $12-$20 each (except for those super cheap IKEA ones, dang). I chose to go with the natural canvas, because I like the look of it, but they also come in clear vinyl and black nylon (and probably many other options). This is a much more cost-effective way to get that ‘living wall’ look of those more expensive wall pocket planters (the image above shows two organizers, each with 24 pockets, side-by-side).

You can just go ahead and fill the pockets with soil and plant directly in them (if they are canvas or nylon they won’t need drain holes, but if you go with the vinyl or plastic variety, you’ll need to punch some holes in the bottom of each pocket), but I decided that I wanted the structure and tidiness of plastic pots in mine. However, I wanted to give my herbs a little more legroom (ie: root room) to grow than what a four inch plastic pot would offer, so here’s what I did:

First, I removed the plant from the plastic pot it came in and carefully trimmed the bottom of the pot off, and then re-inserted the plant.

Herb planting for the cocktail garden | DrinkingwithChickens.com

Next, I took another empty four inch plastic pot (of which I have tons laying around because I'm a hoarder), and trimmed off the top inch or so.

Vertical cocktail herb garden | DrinkingwithChickens.com

Then I filled the trimmed pot with potting soil and set the planted pot on top of the soil-filled pot. You'll have to adjust the height of the soil in the lower pot so that the overall height of the stacked pots fits perfectly into the shoe pouch.

Vertical Cocktail Herb Garden | Drinkingwithchickens.com

Again, you can plant directly into the shoe organizer with a little less work–but this makes it a little easier and tidier to swap out the plants, if/when needed.

Now you never, ever have to skimp on the garnish.

The cocktail garden at DrinkingwithChickens.com