Chocolate Mint Herbal Tea
Chocolate Mint Herbal Tea

I am presently creating an “herbal tea” garden this year and next spring, so this post was perfect to write this week. I want to place my herbal tea and culinary herb garden next to our kitchen.

Culinary + Herbal Tea  area developing.....
Culinary + Herbal Tea Garden to be located outside Kitchen this next year….

This next week I have to tear out the rock and plastic that the previous owner put near our front porch.

Sitting near the herbal and culinary garden should be a great place to relax...
Sitting near the herbal and culinary garden should be a great place to relax…

There is an enclosed area right out our front door that has a nice sitting area which was one of the reasons we purchased this old house. When we moved here in 1999 they had this area covered with a thick plastic (I mean the old, THICK type, not the breathable one!) that is comparable to EXTRA DUTY garbage bags. YIKES!

Shiso Britton  Perilla Frutescens
Shiso Britton
Perilla Frutescens

When I first started adding plants to this section, I would have to take both my hands and pull up the thick plastic with my entire body! There was no life under this stuff!! NO organic life in the soil at all it was very tan, heavy compacted clay. On top of this lifeless soil was(and is) a thick layer of red lava rocks. I mean THICK where you need to shovel rock for an hour to get to the plastic.

Shiso Britton has a beautiful leaf color underside
Shiso Britton has a beautiful leaf color underside

I started putting plants in random spots as I tore up the plastic. The rocks were so thick that I avoided this area due to being so tired after putting one small plant in this wasteland! Well, now it is time to deal with this area since I need to have a home for my herbs.

Lemon Verbena growing in a pot near the kitchen door, but have to take this p lant in for the winter since it is not able to handle our cold climate
Lemon Verbena growing in a pot

I use to have all my tea plants spread out throughout the Urban Potager,but decided to create this herbal tea + culinary herb garden because late at night I could not find my tea plants to make a cup of tea. I was tired of tripping over the dog, rocks or plants in the dark. It was a safety issue..

Cup of Lemon Thyme Tea
Cup of Lemon Thyme Tea

.At night my husband and I like to drink tea while we watch “Inspector Lewis” or ” Wallander” on Netflex or “Elementary” since we are big mystery fans! A  cup of fresh herbal tea goes great with a good detective story!

Chocolate Mint growing at the base of our 70 yr old maple tree...
Chocolate Mint growing at the base of our 70 yr old maple tree…

There are so many herbs that make great teas, I am just keeping the ones that my family enjoys drinking. Over the years, you notice which plants you visit the most.

Lemon Balm Tea
Lemon Balm Tea

When I first started drinking herbal tea on a regular basis I tried a variety of herbal teas. Unfortunately, I found I was allergic to some teas and had to limit which ones were grown in our Urban Potager.  I hope to add more herbs to this  area next year, but it all depends if I can get that AWFUL plastic pulled, and I don’t get tired of the battle with the rocks.

Written by Robbie

M.S. Education, , Organic Gardener, soil + nature lover, former modern dancer

9 comments

  1. I know what you mean about that awful black plastic and lava rocks, the last house my parents bought had that everywhere and I just hated it. I love your idea of planting a tea garden near the house; most mint plants will take over a garden if given free reign, so planting in an enclosed area like a courtyard is an excellent idea. Your Shiso Britton (Perilla Frutescens) plant is quite beautiful; thank you for introducing it to me. It totally reminds me of the Plectranthus ecklonii that a friend gave me. The leaves of both plants are practically identical: fuzzy and green on top, but burgundy on the underside. Sure enough, I did some checking and they both belong to the Lamiaceae family. Great post Robbie!

    1. You know I was reading about Shiso Britton Perilla and it is a calming tea. I thought, well there you go I put plants in that help me sleep ( lemon balm) and stay calm. I need help! lol… Shiso reseeded in my yard and in the pot I grew it in last year, so I don’t have to buy the seeds anymore( I also seeds to others). It is a pretty plant in the garden. They also say you can use it in salads and in some dishes. Some things I need to explore. If you know of any interesting teas to try send info my way..I hope to get this area cleared up by next summer:-)

  2. Hi Robbie… enjoyed looking at your lovely, lovely pics… I am a big fan of herbal teas too… and my missus too… black mint tea is one of our favorites… other than mints, my other favorite is the mugwort which grows wild in our property…

    1. Hi Lrong… Really enjoyed your post on Moroheya yesterday. Have missed your posts and lovely pics, too. I want to try and grow it next year in my garden. I hope I can STAY motivated to clear out this area and finally get rid of all the plastic and rocks. I am motivated by all the wonderful herbal teas one can grow so close to home:-)

  3. Oh that hideous black plastic and those nasty pink pretend rocks, what a job, but your herb garden sounds wonderful and your photographs are just lovely. I have never had a cup of chocolate mint tea, I am intrigued now.. c

    1. Actually I found out about it visiting my mother and one of her friends makes a dessert with this particular mint. My mother got the mint from her, and it does spread which makes it perfect for my “rock wasteland” -lol… I love herbal tea, so I decided to try it in a cup while I was there and it is AMAZING! It is also good in a mint cookie recipe that I made one Christmas. I will have to dig that recipe out and post it here one day…I just love visiting your blog, I am glad you stopped by to visit our city urban attempt to grow food on 1/4 acre ( including the house-lol)…I was digging those rocks this weekend, and I just thought I would never find the bottom!

  4. What an awesome idea for this section of your garden – a tea garden! Maybe a tea rose? I have never tried making my own teas and I have to ask myself why?! I have lots of herbs growing throughout my garden – mint, lemon balm, thymes, chamomile – all of which would make wonderful teas! I think I will take your hint and make some of my own teas! Hmmm, an hibiscus would be lovely. I had to rip up landscape fabric here as well when I created some sections of my gardens – I know I had to put my whole body into it as the weeds had already grown on top of it but at least it was permeable! I am sure that beautiful Maple will thank you.

    1. I know I have been drinking more herbal teas the past few years since I have found them to be very healthy and healing. Once you start trying them you will discover ones that you prefer at different times of the day. I enjoy lemon thyme anytime( lol), Lemon balm in the evening before I go to sleep it helps me get a good night sleep, chocolate mint is good cold or warm, and shiso is a good tea for skin, I read that somewhere:-) , and I also like to mix lemon balm + lemon Zinger together. I have some purple sage that makes a nice tea, too…it is endless what wonderful tea herbs make.. If you do grow the hibiscus let me know how it tastes and works out-I am curious!:-)

Comments are closed.