Herbal teas have never been more popular than they are now. Make room this spring in the garden for these herbs.
Apple mint. Known for its fruity aroma and flavor. Chop fresh leaves to flavor hot or cold drinks. Prefers rich, moist soil and does well in full sun or part shade. Space plants 12 to 15 inches apart.
Bergamot. Steep leaves in boiling water to create a mild tea. Adding leaves to ice drinks imparts a flavor suggestive of Earl Grey. Plant bergamot 12 to 15 inches apart in rich, moist soil in full sun. Bergamot grows to a height of 24 inches, but you can pinch out the top growth, and this will keep the plant shorter.
Chamomile. A soothing tea with a hint of pineapple.Harvest the flowers on the stem and hang them upside down in a dry and airy location. Discard the stems before using. Chamomile likes to grow in a warm, sunny location in regular garden soil.
Lemon balm. Refreshing, lemon scented leaves. Delicious in hot or cold tea, the leaves can be used to flavor soups, sauces and puddings. Tender young leaves have the best flavor. Plant it 12 to 15 inches apart in fertile soil and water it frequently. Lemon balm prefers to grow in partial sun, early morning sun is best.
Lemon grass. Leaves are harvested while small and tender. It makes a delicious tea, hot or cold. Plant the lemon grass in full sun, keep the soil moist. Lemon grass also does well growing in large containers.
Spearmint. A sweetly scented herb. Harvest the leaves just before flowers appear. You can dry the leaves on waxed paper and store them in a glass jar, or freeze the leaves for future use. Spearmint is often used as a restorative tea at bedtime. Steep a handful of the fresh leaves in a cup of hot water. Add a little honey and drink it for a restful sleep. The plants prefer fairly moist soil and full sun for the best flavor.
I’ll be back later this month, and write out some tea recipes for our friends here at Mystical Magical Herbs.
~ Meadow Walker