FRUIT & VEGETABLES – Pots for special-teas.
This was suggested to me by a good friend who enjoys drinking herbal teas, and who thought it would be fun sometimes to snip a few leaves from a home grown plant for the freshest of all infusions.
Find a nice big pot – a twelve, or even fourteen inch one will support a season’s growth without running out of energy.
Fill it half way with good soilless compost, (any compost that does not contain a soil component; it can be bark or peat based, for example) then add your choice of the following herbs still in their small pots and fill to the brim with good compost.
Balm (Melissa officinalis) – or if you can find it, Golden Balm (Melissa officinalis ‘Aurea’)
This pretty and fairly vigorous herb is used for a fresh tasting ‘tea’ or to flavour soups and fish dishes.
Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis) – although this doesn’t perhaps have the most exciting taste, Chamomile tea is often taken as a relaxing and soothing infusion, be sure to include the flowers in the tea – and a spoonful of honey does wonders for the taste!
Lemon Verbena (Aloysia triphylla) – a very pretty plant and a ‘tea’ usually regarded as a strengthening and energizing beverage.
Peppermint (Mentha piperata) and Moroccan Mint (Mentha spicata) – which is a type of spearmint and a little stronger in taste than the traditional peppermint - both make wonderfully refreshing ‘teas’ particularly with a little fresh lemon juice and some honey.
Keep these plants within suitably sized plastic pots inside the large pot as they are all pretty enthusiastic growers and the mint especially will take over and swamp the others if planted straight into the main pot.
These herbs and several others – Lavender, Rosemary and the various Thymes can also be dried and filled into cotton bags to make into long lasting sachets of summer freshness for closets and drawers.
With the addition of some dried leaves from scented geraniums, or a few pieces of orange or lemon zest you can carry the delicious smells of summer all the way through to the next spring.