How to grow your own gin garden

How to grow a gin garden


Quite why I decided I wanted to plant a gin garden four years ago, I don’t know.  Hell a decade ago I didn’t even like gin.

But then I discovered that it was tonic water I didn’t like and that I actually did like gin.  A lot.  Though in my defence I do drink it with waaaayyyyyy more lemonade than any recipe would recommend so when I have three a night it is not like your average drink but a heavily watered down version.

Am I making any sense?

Am I being a bit too defensive about my gin drinking?

So anyway.  I think it was after I visited the Bombay Sapphire distillery down the road (less than 25 miles away from my actual house is where every bottle of Bombay Saphhire gin made is produced) and saw them growing the botanicals that I got the idea for my own gin garden.   But then I pondered whether I actually wanted to grow those and make my own gin.

What even is Orris Root? Cassia bark anyone?  And if the Grains of Paradise are shipped in from West Africa I am not going to have much luck growing them in Fleet, am I?  I don’t really have much luck growing things full stop.

What is a gin garden?

A gin garden is a small garden that grows botanicals or herbs that can be added to your gin and tonic.

Known as “muddling” its when flavours are added prior to drinking, it’s a few leaves picked, dropped into the cocktail shaker and mashed before pouring it through a strainer.

How do you plant a gin garden?

I bought the planter in Asda for about £90 and then Ellie got to work with a blue wood stain to make it look slightly more Mediterranean and gin garden like, rather than it just being light brown.   It also brightens up a dull piece of fence on our patio.

Herbs to infuse in gin

I lined it with an anti weed membrane (probably the wrong thing to use but I couldn’t find planter liners in our local garden centre) and used drawing pins to hold it up against the edges.   Then I filled it full of compost.

Planting a gin garden at home

What sort of things to you plant in a gin garden?

It’s entirely up to you!  I used plants that I thought would be good infused in gin so I have pineapple sage, three types of mint (which I know can be a bully in a garden so I need to keep an eye on it), basil, lemon balm, chamomile, thyme and rosemary.  But honestly, you can plant whatever you think might be tasty in your gin.

How do you plant a gin garden

I also bought a little olive tree.  I can’t stand the things, murdering bastards if you ask me, (long story) but the little tree looks quite cute on the back of it and I know some friends like a dirty martini.

Growing your own gin

I want to get a little lemon tree too, and also cucumber so that it can be a bit of a Pimms garden next year too.

Your own cocktail cabinet on the patio

So there you have it, how to grow a gin garden in a few easy steps, what you grow really is up to you.  Over the years the gin garden has changed from the above mixture of plants to now look like this


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I beg your pardon. ⠀⠀ I never promised you a gin garden. ⠀⠀ With apologies to Lynn Anderson but I’m not green fingered enough to sing about rose gardens. I can, however, sing about growing all the stuff you need to add to a mean gin and tonic. ⠀⠀ Three types of mint, basil, rosemary, lavender, sage, thyme and rhubarb are all now on the go in my gin garden. And having sorted out the actual gin collection, clearing out the duplicates and empties, I’ve shoved little lights in the bottles and used them to decorate it. ⠀⠀ There’s something about picking herbs and shoving them in a glass that makes me all kinds of happy. #ginlover #ginloversofinstagram #containergardening #gingarden #botanicals #thanksimadeitmyself

A post shared by Tanya Barrow (@mummy_barrow) on

There is rhubarb in it now, no more olives (nasty things anyway), three types of mint, and a collection of old bottles with some little lights in them so the corner is lit at night.

If you have a go at making your own gin garden do let me see the pics!

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  • you go!! this is my husband’s dream right here. he’s always wanting things to grow tot hen distill or fuse with something else. i wish you all the luck with you gin garden. gin cheers! (although i am more of a vodka girl)

  • Very arty! Congratulations!
    BUT –
    1) Check the frost resistance of one or two of your plants. Move any doubtful ones inside before the frosts come. Dead ingredients don’t work!
    2) WRT mint plants may I suggest getting some plastic drainpipe and sawing off bits the same length as the depth of your compost?
    Take the mint plants out. Put the bit of pipe in the hole where the plant had been. Fill with compost and re-plant the mint. Mint cruel but it will arrest the underground spread of the mint. [In an open garden bash the bottom out of an old bucket and use it instead of drain pipe.

    • Top tips there indeed! Thank you. I was thinking about a frost-proof lid for it and turning it into a greenhouse type thing in the winter. I will do some more homework.

      • Why not put castors on the legs?
        Harness Cheeky the dog and tow it into the garage.
        OR- ditto Mr B!
        Usual fees, please.

      • Why not put castors on the legs?
        Harness Cheeky the dog and tow it into the garage.
        OR- ditto Mr B!
        Usual fees, please.

  • I just need the chamomile and I’m there myself. We bought a pot of pineapple sage in the reduced section last month for 50p and I haven’t used it yet. My husband will be delighted of the new possibilities of my herb garden. He puts cucumber in his gin but none of our seeds germinated this year.

  • Amazing! Always gin o’clock at the Barrows? I might have to move into the shed…

  • LOL – I love it. I too dislike tonic water but love gin and grapefruit. I wonder if I could grow a grapefruit tree? #HDYGG

    • oooh if you like gin and grapefruit, add a splash of vanilla syrup and it tastes like liquid chocolate. Don’t ask me how!

      Thank you for sharing the link on Twitter too.

  • How fantastic, I’m with you on the Olives, disgusting things. My favourite tipple is Bombay Gin, mainly because it’s always on offer at Dubai Duty Free. I love the planter, I really need to get back in my garden now the endless summer is coming to an end and get my planters sorted also.
    I’ve infused vodka in the past and will be doing some gin soon, i prefer liquorice roots but it all takes a lot of straining to get the alcohol bit free