Tea Gardens – Hold on for Spring!

I’ve written about tea gardens before. But today happens to be a gorgeous, sunny day with highs in the 60s, and I just can’t quite believe that spring is still two months away, and our last frost date several weeks after that.

I’ve been spending the past several weeks bent over gardening books, scribbling notes. Even now, when I have ordered seeds and seedlings, I’m still finding things that I want to add. Our garden plan is pretty well set, however, so I’ll have to rein myself in for this year.

Part of our garden will be devoted to well-loved vegetables, such as the ever-present tomato. Part of it will provide a home for various herbs, and overlapping with the herbs will be the herbal tea garden.

I toyed with the idea of ordering Camellia sinensis for the garden, but they are not hardy enough to grow outside in our zone; plus, when you take only two leaves and a bud from each plant, it would take quite a few to put together one good cuppa. Not to mention all the processing. So I refrained, and I’m sticking to the herbal tisane route.

Right now, downstairs in our basement, under a grow light, tiny green things are poking their heads out of the soil. Little tiny German chamomile plants. While I’m not a big fan of chamomile on its own, there is a lavender seedling on the way, and we’ll pick up a peppermint plant at the Farmer’s Market once that starts up again. Lemon verbena will have a home in the garden as well, and although it may sound odd, basil might show up in some of my herbal blends. It’s refreshing in the same way as cucumber water, although the taste is obviously dissimilar.

When everything is settled in and growing, I’m planning to experiment with a blend of chamomile, lemon verbena, and lavender, with just the slightest hint of peppermint. I’ll let you know how it goes. In the meantime, hold on for spring!

Stephanie’s blog, The Tea Scoop, is a great place to kick back with a cup of tea and do some reading!

3 thoughts on “Tea Gardens – Hold on for Spring!

  1. Your plans sound delicious! I just read about another use for chamomile in regards to starting seedlings indoors: a very mild chamomile tea solution can help prevent dampening-off disease from attacking your indoor seedlings. By brewing a pale yellow liquor, letting it cool, putting it into a spray bottle, and gently misting your seedlings daily, you can prevent the dampening-off fungus from attacking your sprouting seeds. I’m not sure exactly how it works but why question the powers of tea?! Just think, next year you’ll be making your seedling tea out of your very own chamomile!

  2. Good for you! I have one two, with Chamomile, several lavenders, several mints, some chinese chrysanthemum, and others. this year I am goiong to grow tulsi, a kind of basil that is beginning to be talked about. I also have a pot of lemongrass that I may get something from if my cats don’t eat it all first. Are you going to try some of the scented geraniums? A leaf or two floating in your pot adds a nice hint – try one of the rose or lemon, apple or lime ones. Have fun!

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