This year, my hope is to provide tea for family and friends. If all goes well, maybe next year we’ll be selling it! For a successful herb garden, it’s important to find out which herbs spread quickly and which herbs help each other grow. Here are the herbs and flowers I chose to use this year:
- Sage & Pineapple sage — smells delicious and is good for sore throats! Just don’t go chugging a gallon of sage tea as that could be toxic. Read more about the benefits and potential side effects of sage here if you like: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/sage-tea
2. Rosemary — rosemary improves the memory and helps circulation. Just add some lemon and you’ll have a wonderful tea.
3. Thyme & lemon thyme — thyme has antiseptic qualities and is therefore good for a wide array of ailments.
4. Lemon balm — put this with some mojito mint and you’ll have one refreshing iced tea.
5. Lavender — known for it’s calming smell and effects, lavender is also a very lovely plant to look at.
6. Echinacea — better known as coneflower, echinacea is good for fighting common colds, controlling blood sugar levels, and more (read here: https://www.healthline.com/health/echinacea-tea-benefits#it-helps-to-control-blood-sugar)
7. German chamomile — this specific kind of chamomile (as opposed to roman) makes a very good tea that aids in restful sleep as well as lessening anxiety. It also looks very pretty once it blooms.
8. Mint, peppermint, mojito mint, chocolate mint (the whole fam) — It’s certainly not necessary to get so many varieties, peppermint seems to be the most popular choice for tea pairings. I find the mojito mint has the most piercing & “minty” flavor and it would certainly be great in iced tea! Mint benefits found here: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/mint-benefits#section1
9. Sunorita landscape rose — I chose this beauty mainly because it was disease-resistant but also because of it’s orange-yellow tints. I’ve read yellow and pink roses make the most fragrant tea, though I’m unsure yet if I will be plucking it for tea this first season.
The fire rings are from Rural King, $40 each, find the link at the end of this post. You may ask a local campsite if they’ve got any to sell if you don’t have a Rural King. If you know of another place to get them please comment below! These are perfect because they contain fast-spreading herbs while providing good drainage. They will hopefully last forever!
I call one of these beds the “smell-fest” and the other “what ales you” just to try to keep them straight. To be fair to the herbs, I’d say both beds possess these qualities.
Rosemary and Thyme are planted together in this first bed, to the right. They help one another, as all good friends do. Plus, they have similar light and water needs. In the top left corner, the rose bush and lavender sit clustered together. Lavender has been noted for keeping aphids away from your roses. Read more about growing them together here: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/flowers/roses/rose-companion-plants.htm
German Chamomile is planted to the very edge of this fire ring (fuzzy one to the left) as I am hoping it will touch as many plants as possible this way once it spreads. Chamomile is known for healing the plants around it (imagine what it can do for us).
Lemon balm is to the right, next to sage and echinacea. These are good companion plants for lemon balm. The echinacea attracts more pollinators that the lemon balms wants. Ideally, I would have put sage with rosemary and thyme. I ran out of room. Sage also likes to be planted in the vegetable garden. The rosemary is just a hop skip and a jump over the chamomile, so hopefully the sage will stay content. I will update the tea garden photo later this summer.
Last but not least, the mint is in the bottom left corner in it’s own separate bed. As you may know, mint is a vigorous spreader and should be planted by itself with borders ensuring it doesn’t get loose (unless you happen to want mint everywhere). This mint will outgrow this planter soon. That’s fine with me because I plan to collect it all, but I wouldn’t let it creep in to the strawberries (left) or other herb beds.
I used topsoil from the forest to fill these, with a 10% growing mix (BACCTO Pro Mix). I also added plant food and will need to add fertilizer to the rose bush. Here’s a link to some of the best rose bush fertilizers out there: https://gardenhelpful.com/best-fertilizer-for-roses/. I planted these a few days ago and haven’t needed to water because it hasn’t stopped raining. Yet, I took these photos today and the plants are looking good. If you’re in a dry climate you definitely want to make sure these stay moist at all times.
I hope this is helpful in starting your own tea garden. Here’s a link to the Rural King Fire rings pictured above: https://www.ruralking.com/culvert-36-inch-fire-ring-55160?utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=google&utm_campaign=shopping&utm_content=2401234&gclid=CjwKCAjwh472BRAGEiwAvHVfGl3lt6gmmZ9DaQMpyfHX-GtiknfnCW9rbilBO76ks9rZgoyd7sBauxoC2xsQAvD_BwE