Wanting to invite a bit of plant magic into your life? Consider planting a tea garden. I love to drink herbal teas and for the past few years I've been making my own. This is especially lovely in the summer growing months as you can wander in your garden picking flowers and leaves to steep. Each day you pick you get a slightly different blend. That’s the start of the magic. Once your batch of petals have steeped you have a delicious and refreshing drink. Perfect hot, lukewarm or with ice. One pot is good for the day.
You don’t need to invest a lot of money for this delightful activity. Plants for sure and also a teapot with a stainless steel strainer. You could use a smaller tea strainer but a teapot with a larger strainer means you can use bigger pieces and not worry about stems. A well crafted teapot is an excellent investment.
Beyond the sheer pleasure of drinking your homemade brew making your own tea is an act of sustainability. “Believe it or not, the humble teabag often contains a non-biodegradable plastic called polypropylene, which releases billions of microplastic particles every time you brew a cuppa.” We are learning more each day about how invasive plastic is in our daily life and any chance we get to eliminate plastic is an opportunity we should take. In the long run, you will also save money while adding a bit of pleasure and ritual to your day. Tea making will become an act you look forward to.
Here’s a list of my favorite plants. No worries if you don’t have a lot of space, these plants will do fine in a container.
Peppermint- this is the backbone of my herb blend. Super fresh taste and very, very easy to grow- that means it can be invasive so choose your spot carefully. What I love about the mints besides being easy to grow is they add bulk as well as flavor.
Fancy mint- this can be a flavored mint, my favorite is Pineapple but there are many varieties. Wander the herb aisle at your favorite garden shop to find the variety for you. In my garden zone these tend to be a bit tender and often will not over winter.
Chamomile- has a mellow, gentle flavor slightly “appley” flavor and known to help you relax, even get sleepy. You can scatter seeds and lightly cover with soil or transplant. Chamomile often selfs sows so keep your eye out the following spring.
Calendula- this bright orang/yellow flower is pure sunshine and happiness. Their favor is a bit spicy and peppery adding a nice tang to your brew. It’s a very sturdy, forgiving plant and can adapt to a lot of different soil types and selfs sows.
Lavender- has a bright floral flavor, too much is considered “soapy” but it’s one of my favorite additions to my brew. It’s important to pick the right variety for your area as it’s a perennial. Be sure to ask at your garden center for the variety that’s right for your area.
Brewing your own tea is an easy way to add a peaceful ritual to your day, add a bit of flavor to your life and to enjoy a plastic free, very sustainable drink. ENJOY!