Grow Your Own Tea Garden!
You can save yourself money and ensure a safe, organic blend of tea when you decide to grow your own tea garden.
You can create your own dedicated tea blend garden or grow herbal plants between your vegetables or flowers to attract pollinators and deter pests.
Here are some of the herbs you can grow...
Not as unusual as you might think as it is said that more than one million cups of chamomile tea are drunk per day worldwide. This herb comes from the daisy-like flowers of the asteraceae plant family, consumed for centuries as a natural remedy.
I remember reading about chamomile tea when I was a child and enjoyed the Beatrix Potter books. In the story of Peter Rabbit (when he had spent the day getting up to mischief), it ended with the following:
Peter was not very well during the evening. His mother put him to bed, and made some chamomile tea: "One tablespoonful to be taken at bedtime".
How to make the tea? Pick the flowers in the summer, allowing them to dry out indoors before infusing in hot water.
Lavender oil is well known but perhaps less known is that you can use fresh lavender buds for a herbal tea.
Lavender loves full sun, well drained soil and sufficient water. When your lavender bushes are growing happily and flowering, give them a light trim after flowering to prevent the stems from growing too woody.
How to make the tea? When you are getting ready for bed, drop a few fresh lavender buds into hot water allowing them to infuse for ten minutes. Sip slowly for its calming and helping you to enjoy its sleep benefits.
Thyme comes with benefits to help boost your immune system and soothe coughs. There are so many different varieties to choose from.
Thyme loves a sunny spot in a well-drained soil with regular watering.
How to make the tea? Add a few freshly-picked sprigs of thyme into a mug of water, allowing to infuse for five to ten minutes. Remove the thyme sprigs before drinking.
There are so many different mint plants available - I have regular mint, spearmint, apple mint, cala mint, orange mint, ginger mint and more growing in my herb garden. The one with the prettiest variegated leaf is apple mint.
Be warned that all mints are hectic growers and will invade adjoining areas if you let them. It is best to grow them in a large pot - each variety on their own to avoid cross pollination. Trim them back regularly to prevent them becoming leggy.
How to make the tea? Pick the leaves from spring onwards, rinse under the faucet and add to hot water in a mug to infuse for ten minutes. Mint tea is ideal for combating a stomach upset or at the first sign of a cold.
Rose hips are an excellent source of vitamin C. If you grow roses, let rose hips develop on the plants once the flowers have finished.
How to make the tea? You will need about five hips per cup of hot water, leaving them to steep for at least ten minutes. Rose hip tea has a tangy, tart flavour and a pinkish color.
Rosemary is ideal for making as it has been proven to help stimulate memory. If your "to do" list is long and complicated, rosemary tea will help with even the smell alone able to clear the head. The tea will help to lift your mood too.
How to make the tea? Just add an inch long spring of rosemary to a mug of boiling water and leave to stand for five minutes before straining.