Category Archives: Tea Garden

Sweet Basil Tea

20170423_140404

Soooo…Pinterest sparked my intrigue and now my tea garden has moved indoors as well. I now have Sweet Basil along with a few other herbs growing in my windowsill. Please remember that I tend to kill indoor plants so the fact that they grew at all and are still living after a few weeks is AMAZING! It definitely helps that Fierce thinks it is super fun to put rocks in the bottom of the jars followed by the soil and seeds. He also likes to (over) water them 😉 It has been a really fun project for the two of us.
This week I found that Tulsi/Holy Basil is in my Homegrown Tea book by Cassie Liversidge and I looked online and found that Sweet Basil has similar medicinal benefits. Antibacterial, antiseptic, antioxidant, helps fight off a cold and generally boosts your immune system.
To make the tea, bring the water to a boil then pour some in your cup to warm the cup and then throw this away. Put two pinches of fresh basil in your cup and pour boiling water over the leaves. Then steep for 3 minutes, remove the leaves if you wish and enjoy!
Sweet Basil has an anise sort of flavor so it was not my favorite. However, it was so much fun to make it from scratch that I hardly cared. I will probably have Sweet Basil tea for the weeks to come just because it is pretty and oh my goodness, I actually grew something useful!

Tea Garden: Where I found the plants

My tea garden is planted!!!! I am so excited!!!!

I started out at a local garden center, but they didn’t have any of the plants I wanted and they couldn’t order them either. I happened to run into one of my neighbors at the grocery store and she suggested another local grower, Sandy’s Back Porch. These lady’s were super helpful and had the cone flowers, bergamont, blue hyssop seeds and french lavender. I found rosemary at Lowes. I bought the arp variety because it is heartier in our area. This is the only annual I bought. I called a lot of places and no one sells viola ordata. One guy actually laughed and said I should just dig it up from someone’s yard or along the roadside. I can just imagine doing that…you don’t mind that you have holes in your yard, do you? lol Anyways, I ended up turning to Google and found a lady on Etsy that sells them. In case you run into the same problem, her store’s name online is: AllOrganicbyMsA.

Happy planting!

Growing a Tea Garden

I am starting a tea garden this spring! The plants I chose are based on the climate I live in (IL) and the simple fact that I wanted my tea to be pretty. I can’t wait to have friends over and serve tea with flowers floating like lily pads. I will do my best to explain the process in case anyone wants to join me.

20170207_19405920170207_19412320170207_194019 20170207_19362220170207_19381720170207_193650

Plants for garden bed:

  1. Viola Odorata: Grows to 6″ high and should be planted 6″ apart. Should start with a plant rather than try from a seed.
  2. Blue Hyssop: 2′ / 1′ / Seed in early spring
  3. Lavender: 2′ /1.5′ / Plant
  4. Echinacea: 4′ / 10″ /Plant 3 years old
  5. Bergamont: 3′ / 2′ /Seed in early spring
  6. Rosemary: 3′ / 2′ / Plant (Have to pot when cold outside)

Stand alone plants:

  1. Manuka: 16′ / Best to plant next to shrubs / Plant
  2. Rosa Rugosa: 6′ / 6′ / Plant
  3. Honeysuckle: 20′ / Trellis/ Plant
  4. Rennaissance Rose: 3′ / 3′ / Plant

My chicken-scratch plan 😉

20170207_19400020170207_194033 20170207_19392120170207_193745