Gardening 101~ How-to plant invasive herbs such as mint, oregano, & thyme so they don’t take over your garden!

“My passion for gardening may strike some as selfish, or merely an act of resignation in the face of overwhelming problems that beset the world. It is neither. I have found that each garden is just what Voltaire proposed in Candide: a microcosm of a just and beautiful society. ” Andrew Weil

Check out my easy YouTube video tutorial on how to properly plant invasive herbs such as mint, oregano, & thyme so they don’t overtake your gardens!

Supplies you’ll need:

Large planter
Ground cover or landscape fabric to line the inside of the planter
2 cups of pea gravel
Enough organic potting mix to fill the planter leaving about 2 inches of head space
1 perennial herb plant of your choice such as mint, oregano, thyme, rosemary, or sage.

I certainly hope you are encouraged to garden. Even if you start with only two or three of these things, that’s a great start! 

Be sure to check out my Blog Post on How to Create Container Gardens with Herbs and How-to grow Mint and Harvest them!

If you enjoyed this blog , please LIKE, Follow, Share & leave me a comment! I love your feedback!

If you aren’t following me on Facebook or Instagram, go on over & give a LIKE & Follow me for daily tips & tricks for your home & garden!

Until next time friends, eat fresh, shop local, & have a happy day,

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Gardening 101 Day 23~ The Ultimate Guide to Dividing Overgrown Herbs: Tips and Tricks for a Bountiful Harvest

“It is a good idea to be alone in a garden at dawn or dark so that all its shy presences may haunt you and possess you in a reverie of suspended thought.” James Douglas

You all know how much I love my herbs, so taking care of them and ensuring they continue to grow & thrive is essential to a bountiful harvest. Dividing them helps to keep them from getting too crowded, which can lead to poor growth and disease. 

In this guide, I’ll be taking you through the benefits of dividing overgrown herbs, signs that your herbs need dividing, the best time to divide overgrown herbs, tools needed for dividing herbs, steps for dividing overgrown herbs, tips for planting and caring for divided herbs, common mistakes to avoid when dividing herbs, and recommended herbs to divide. So now lets get rolling friends!

What are the benefits of dividing my herbs?

Dividing overgrown herbs is a great way to keep your herbs looking and tasting their best. When you divide your herbs, you’re essentially creating new plants from one plant. This means that the new plants will have fresh, healthy roots and plenty of space to grow. Dividing your herbs can also help to promote new growth and increase the yield of your herb garden. And that’s what we want right friends… more herbs!

What are some of the signs that my herbs need dividing?

So, how do you know when it’s time to divide your herbs? There are a few signs to look out for. If your herbs are looking crowded or are starting to wilt, it’s probably time to divide them. You may also notice that your herbs are not growing as well as they used to, or that they are producing fewer leaves or flowers.

When is the best time to divide my overgrown herbs? 

The best time to divide overgrown herbs is in the early spring or fall. This is when the plants are not actively growing, which makes it easier to divide them without causing too much stress. It’s also important to divide your herbs when the soil is moist, as this will help to minimize shock to the plants. If the soil is dry, I advise watering the soil and letting it set for about an hour before you divide.

Some of the tools you’ll need to divide your herbs!

To divide your herbs, you’ll need a few tools. These include a sharp pair of pruning shears or scissors, a garden fork or spade, and a container or pot for your new plants. You may also want to have some compost or fertilizer on hand to give your new plants a boost. If you are dividing herbs you purchased from a garden center still in its original planter, then you’ll need to carefully remove the plant and separate. See my video.

Here are the herbs I recommend that divide easily!

Not all herbs need to be divided, but some do better when they are divided regularly. Here are a few herbs that are great candidates for dividing:

  • Mint
  • Oregano
  • Thyme
  • Chives
  • Sage

5 Easy Steps to Dividing Your Overgrown Herbs!

Now that you have all of your tools ready, it’s time to start dividing your overgrown herbs. Follow these steps if you are dividing plants you already have planted or if you are dividing plants still in their original container:

  • Start by gently digging up the entire plant using your garden fork or spade. Be careful not to damage the roots. If you have a new plant in it’s original container, simply slide the whole plant out of the container.
  • Once the plant is out of the ground or container, gently shake off any excess soil. You can gently pull apart roots if they are root bound in the container.
  • Use your pruning shears or scissors to cut the plant into smaller sections. Make sure that each section has a healthy root system and a few leaves or stems.
  • Replant each section in a new container or pot, making sure to space them out evenly.
  • Water your new plants well and add some compost or fertilizer to give them a good start.

Here are a few tips & tricks for planting & caring for your newly divided herbs~

After dividing your herbs, it’s important to give them the proper care to ensure that they thrive. Here are a few tips to help you out:

  • Water your new plants regularly, but be careful not to over-water them. Herbs prefer well-drained soil, so make sure that your containers have drainage holes.
  • Place your new plants in a sunny spot. Most herbs prefer at least 6 hours of sunlight a day.
  • Pinch back any flowers or buds that appear during the first few weeks after dividing. This will help your plants to focus on growing healthy roots and leaves.
  • Fertilize your new plants every 2-3 weeks with a balanced, all-purpose fertilizer.
  • Harvest your herbs regularly to encourage new growth.

Avoid these common mistakes when you divide your herbs!

Dividing overgrown herbs is a relatively simple process, but there are a few common mistakes that you’ll want to avoid. These include:

  • Dividing your herbs too often. Most herbs only need to be divided every 2-3 years.
  • Don’t divide your herbs in the middle of the growing season. This can stress the plants and make it harder for them to recover.
  • Not giving your new plants enough space. Make sure that each new plant has enough room to grow and develop a healthy root system.
  • Over-watering your new plants. Herbs prefer well-drained soil, so make sure that your containers have drainage holes.

Dividing overgrown herbs is an important task for any herb gardener. By dividing your herbs, you’ll be able to keep them healthy and productive year after year. Remember to divide your herbs in the early spring or fall, and be sure to give them the proper care and attention they need to thrive. With a little bit of effort, you’ll be rewarded with a bountiful harvest of fresh, flavorful herbs that you can use in all of your favorite recipes.

If you enjoyed this blog, please LIKE, Follow, Share & leave me a comment! I love your feedback!

If you aren’t following me on Facebook & Instagram go on over & give a LIKE & Follow me for daily tips & tricks for your home & garden! 

Added bonus: You can go to my blog at to purchase my original cookbook, Lovingly Seasoned Eats and Treats in either a spiral bound soft cover OR NEW, a Downloadable PDF version. The cookbook has almost 1000 recipes on almost 500 pages! Check out the Cookbook Testimonials while you’re there!

Until next time remember to,
Eat fresh, shop local & have a happy day,


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All text and images on this site are copyright of For Dragonflies And Me. Unless otherwise noted, you may not use this content.

Gardening 101 Day 22 ~From Seed to Sprout: How to Tips and Tricks for Successfully Starting Seeds Indoors

“The lesson I have thoroughly learnt, and wish to pass on to others, is to know the enduring happiness that the love of a garden gives. ” Gertrude Jekyll

If you’ve been following me for any amount of time, you know my passion for gardening & cooking. Of course in mind, they go hand in hand. Recently on both my Facebook & Instagram I shared starting my seeds! Well, here is the blog to go along with it! 

Whether you’re a novice or experienced gardening enthusiast, you know that starting seeds indoors is a great way to get a head start on the growing season, although if you’re new to this process, it can seem overwhelming. There are so many different brands of seeds, seed starting soil mixes, and containers to choose from, where do you even begin? 

Fear not, fellow green thumbs! Today, I’ll take you through the basics of starting seeds indoors, from selecting the right seeds to caring for your seedlings as they grow. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener looking to refine your skills or a newbie looking to dip your toes into the world of gardening, I’ve got you covered. So, roll up your sleeves, grab some dirt, and let’s get started on our journey from seed to sprout!

Now lets chat about how to successfully start your seeds indoors!

1. What are the benefits of starting seeds indoors?

There are several benefits to gardeners when starting seeds indoors. 

  • First, it allows you to get a head start on the growing season, and who doesn’t want that! When you start your seeds indoors, you provide them the optimal conditions they need to germinate & grow before the weather outside is warm enough for outdoor planting. This allows you the opportunity to enjoy fresh produce earlier in the season.
  • Another benefit of starting seeds indoors is it gives you more control over the growing conditions. When you plant seeds outdoors, you’re at the mercy of the weather and the soil, & if you live in an area with cold winters, you know this is definitely a benefit. By starting seeds indoors, you can control the temperature, humidity, and light levels to ensure your seedlings get off to a good start.
  • Last, but certainly not least, starting seeds indoors can save you money. Buying seedlings from a nursery can be expensive, especially if you need to buy a large quantity. By starting your own seeds, you can save money and have more control over the varieties you grow.

2. What materials do I need to start my own seeds indoors?

Before you get started, you’ll need a few basic materials. Here’s a list of what I suggest you start with:

  • Seeds: Choose the seeds you want to start indoors. Make sure to choose varieties that are well-suited to your area. Like I always say, be sure to read the package instructions and guidelines for planting.
  • Seed starting containers: You can use plastic or biodegradable pots, trays, or cell flats. Make sure they have drainage holes. I save all my plastic salad, grape tomatoes, and even carry out containers to make great containers to start seeds in. 
  • Soil mix: Use a soil mix that’s specifically formulated for seed starting. It should be light, well-draining, and nutrient-rich.
  • Watering can or spray bottle: You’ll need a way to water your seedlings. Be sure all your containers, no matter what you use, have proper drainage holes & a tray of some sort to catch water under the container.
  • Grow lights: If you don’t have access to natural sunlight, you’ll need grow lights to provide your seedlings with enough light. If you have your containers in a window, be sure to turn them everyday once they sprout to avoid becoming leggy due to ‘reaching’ for the sunlight.
  • Thermometer and humidity gauge: If you want to go the whole nine yards, you can invest in a way to monitor the temperature and humidity levels in your growing area. I personally don’t use this.

3. How do I know what seeds to choose for indoor planting?

Unfortunately not all seeds are well-suited to indoor planting. Some seedlings require more light and space than you can provide indoors. If you have a four season room, this would make a great grow house, but it must be heated. 

Here are some tips for choosing the right seeds:

  • Choose seeds that are well-suited to indoor growing conditions. Look for varieties that are compact, disease-resistant, and can be grown in containers.
  • Consider the space you have available. If you have limited space, choose seeds that can be grown in small pots or trays.
  • Think about the amount of light you have available. Some seeds require more light than others. If you don’t have access to natural sunlight, choose seeds that can be grown under grow lights.

5. You really need the right soil for seed starting!

Soil preparation is key to successful indoor seed starting. Here are some tips:

  • Use a soil mix that’s specifically formulated for seed starting. These mixes are light, well-draining, and nutrient-rich.
  • Moisten the soil before planting. Use a spray bottle or watering can to moisten the soil mix before planting your seeds.
  • Avoid using garden soil for indoor seed starting. Garden soil is too heavy and can contain diseases and pests that can harm your seedlings.

7. Proper watering and fertilization are important for the health of your seedlings.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Water your seedlings regularly, but don’t overwater them. Overwatering can lead to root rot and other problems.
  • Use a spray bottle or watering can with a fine rose to water your seedlings gently.
  • Fertilize your seedlings with a diluted liquid fertilizer once they’ve developed their first set of true leaves.
  • Follow the instructions on the fertilizer package for dilution rates and frequency of use.

4. Now it’s time to prepare your seed starting containers!

Once you’ve chosen your seeds, it’s time to prepare your containers. Here’s how:

  • Clean your containers: If you’re reusing containers from a previous growing season, make sure to clean them thoroughly with soap and water.
  • Add drainage holes: Make sure your containers have drainage holes in the bottom. This will allow excess water to drain away and prevent your seedlings from sitting in water, otherwise they will rot, or seedlings will drown. Watch my video for a simple how-to.
  • Fill containers with soil mix: Fill your containers with your chosen soil mix, leaving about 1/2 inch of space at the top. I always recommend an organic blend.
  • Label your containers: Use plant labels to identify the type of seed you’re planting and the date you planted it. Don’t believe you will remember… you won’t! Trust me!

6. Sowing your seeds properly is crucial to success!

Now the fun begins, it’s time to sow your seeds. Here’s how:

  • As I constantly say, be sure to read the seed packet for specific instructions on planting depth and spacing both when direct sowing, and when you transplant out to your garden.
  • Plant your seeds at the recommended depth. This is usually two to three times the diameter of the seed.
  • Space your seeds according to the instructions on the seed packet.
  • Cover the seeds with soil mix and gently ‘tamp’ down to ensure good seed-to-soil contact. I use a similar sized container so I don’t accidentally get a seed stuck to my hand! Yes it can happen!
  • Water your seeds gently using a spray bottle or watering can.

Lighting and temperature are crucial factors!

Light and temperature are critical factors for successful indoor seed starting. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Place your seedlings in a location that receives plenty of natural sunlight. If you don’t have access to natural sunlight, use grow lights.
  • Keep the temperature in your growing area between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • If you have one, or choose to purchase one, use a thermometer and humidity gauge to monitor the temperature and humidity levels in your growing area.

8. Let fun really begin~ How & when to transplant your seedlings outdoors!

Once your seedlings have developed their second set of true leaves, they’re ready to be transplanted outdoors. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Harden off your seedlings by gradually exposing them to outdoor conditions over the course of a week.
  • Choose a location that receives plenty of sunlight and has well-draining soil.
  • Dig a hole that’s slightly larger than the root ball of your seedling.
  • Gently remove the seedling from its container and place it in the hole.
  • Backfill the hole with soil and water your seedling gently.

Indoor seed starting can be tricky, and there are several common problems that can arise.

Here are some tips for solving them:

  • Damping off: This is a fungal disease that can cause seedlings to wilt and die. To prevent damping off, make sure your containers have good drainage and avoid overwatering.
  • Leggy seedlings: If your seedlings are growing tall and spindly, they’re not getting enough light. Move them to a location that receives more sunlight or use grow lights.
  • Mold or mildew: If you see mold or mildew growing on your soil or seedlings, it’s a sign of too much moisture. Reduce watering and improve air circulation.

Starting seeds indoors can be a rewarding and cost-effective way to get a head start on the growing season. By following these tips and tricks, you’ll be well on your way to growing healthy, productive seedlings.

If you enjoyed this blog, please LIKE, Follow, Share & leave me a comment! I love your feedback!

If you aren’t following me on Facebook & Instagram go on over & give a LIKE & Follow me for daily tips & tricks for your home & garden! 

Added bonus: You can go to my blog at to purchase my original cookbook, Lovingly Seasoned Eats and Treats in either a spiral bound soft cover OR NEW, a Downloadable PDF version. The cookbook has almost 1000 recipes on almost 500 pages! Check out the Cookbook Testimonials while you’re there!

Until next time remember to,
Eat fresh, shop local & have a happy day,

Copyright Policy

All text and images on this site are copyright of For Dragonflies And Me. Unless otherwise noted, you may not use this content

Gardening 101 Day 18 Part 2~ How to Create a Vegetable Container Garden YOUTUBE VIDEO

“I love things that are indescribable, like the taste of an avocado or the smell of a gardenia. ” Barbra Streisand

Welcome to Day 18 of my Gardening 101 Part 2 on how-to create a container garden. In Part 1 I discussed how to create an herb container garden, today let’s look at how to incorporate veggies into containers. 

Many of the elements will be similar, especially in the types of containers, making this post a bit shorter. If you missed Part 1, just jump on over for an informative recap!

If you are a novice gardener you may be wondering how you can grow veggies in containers. You may be an experienced gardener who is considering the option of moving your veggies from a standard tillable garden to downsize or just utilize space more effectively. 

If you are a novice gardener you may be wondering how you can grow veggies in containers. You may be an experienced gardener who is considering the option of moving your veggies from a standard tillable garden to downsize or just utilize space more effectively. 

If you’ve been eyeing up container gardening lately, then you’re probably wondering what it has to offer you. After all, growing in a garden doesn’t really work like that. As you all know I am a huge advocate for container and raised bed gardening. Raised beds are in reality just another form of containers, as I showed in Part 1. You can grow herbs and vegetables in a standard tillable garden, but that type of gardening takes so much more effort and planning. With container gardening, everything becomes simpler and more accessible than it is with other methods. 

If you missed my two part series on the benefits of raised bed gardening, click these links. Part 1 and Part 2.

Have you been wondering how to get started with a vegetable garden, or just want to be able to grow your own vegetables at home? Well, a vegetable container garden might be just the answer you’re looking for. A vegetable container garden is essentially an easy way to extend the space of your yard so you can grow plants more effectively. 

With this guide, I’ll be showing you everything you need to know about creating successful container gardens as well as the many benefits they have to offer. After reading through the following tips, you will understand why having a container garden is one of the best ways to enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables all year round.

If you enjoyed this blog, please LIKE, Follow, Share & leave me a comment! I love your feedback!

If you aren’t following me on Facebook & Instagram go on over & give a LIKE & Follow me for daily tips & tricks for your home & garden! 

Added bonus: You can go to my blog at to purchase my original cookbook, Lovingly Seasoned Eats and Treats. The cookbook has almost 1000 recipes on almost 500 pages! Check out the Cookbook Testimonials while you’re there!

Until next time remember to,
Eat fresh, shop local & have a happy day,


Copyright Policy

All text and images on this site are copyright of For Dragonflies And Me. Unless otherwise noted, you may not use this content.

Garden Talk at Dearborn Area Board of Realtors Home & Garden Expo 2023

Garden Talk Topic: How-to Grow Middle Eastern Favored Herbs and Preserve Them

Jean Roman will discuss how-to grow typical Middle Eastern favored herbs at home. She will show how easy it is to grow them in containers, and how to continue growing them indoors over the winter months. She will also go into some detail on how to preserve them by drying them. 

Jean will be speaking from 12:00 pm to 12:30 pm

Click HERE for more information!

My Bistro Garden, Growing Mints: How To Grow, Harvest & Preserve Plus Lots of Recipes!

The Birstro Garden, Summer 2010


I had a vision when we moved to this abandoned old farmhouse. I dreamed of flower beds abounding, greeting my family and friends as they drove up our lane. I imagined a cozy front porch surrounded by lush colors overflowing like wide open arms ready to whisk you into their beauty… I wanted a place where peace was felt in simple things that was a reflection of me.

I’m often inspired while paging through home decor and gardening magazine’s and suddenly stumbling upon that perfect element… looking with a wistful eye for anything that will shout out, ‘Here I am! I’m what you’ve been looking for!’ …yet with an unspoken realization that when I find it, I fall in love and I’ve got to have it… but as I read on I discover the lucky owners found it at a flea market or antique shoppe- no resource shopper there! Yes, I think we’ve all been down that path a few times too many… at least I know I have. Which brings me to the story of my Bistro Garden and how it acquired it’s name. You see I’d been dreaming of a little bistro table and chairs to set in one of my gardens and patiently looking for a couple years… yes years.  I can be patient with some things… I’m not saying a lot, but ‘garden junque’ is one of those things. In this case I knew what I wanted and I was willing to wait until I came across just the right thing. Then one day while out boutique shopping, A.K.A garage saleing I found it- a petite black wrought iron table with two matching chairs! “Perfect! Just perfect!” I thought… and the price was right- twelve bucks! Oh yeah, that baby was coming home with me and I knew right where she would be going… The Bistro Garden! The set sits on a small patio that I laid using old silo staves that were discarded behind the barn foundation at our first farm.  I’d taken several of them when we moved thinking I would eventually use them as stepping stones in a future garden… gotta have a vision! Anyway, I laid the staves and then used concrete as a ‘grout’ between them. I loved it… it said, “This looks like Jean!” 

The sidewalk that leads to our backdoor which divides The Side Garden
and The Bistro Garden.

The Bistro is actually the ending point of the garden off the front porch that wraps around the side of the house along a cobble stone walk we created. It is west of The Side Garden with a sidewalk dividing the two. This bed has an eight foot narrow strip that extends upward beside the house to the wall where the back door is (See photo with birdcage and Bleeding Heart). The Bistro Garden had to undergo an overhaul like The Side Garden. We dug up and replanted this bed along with a couple others and laid the black plastic ground cover. Same story… quack grass! The labor was worth it though, this bed is stunning when the lilies are blooming. As you can see in the picture of Taylor standing next to them while in bloom- she is 5’3″ tall and the blooms are over her head! Fall of 2010 I planted the Spirea and last year I planted the Hydrangea, so they are not too their full potential yet. The Spirea will give me the height I need up against the wall with it’s solid mass of green and beautiful pink summer blooms. Once the Hydrangea meets up with the Spirea my back drop will be quite spectacular. Gardening requires a vision that will take several years to create and a lifetime to enjoy!

Here is my rendition of The Bistro Garden as it appears today.    
Legend For “The Side Garden”
This bed is just over 150 square feet including the narrow strip.

Check out, Like and Share my Facebook page for Dragonflies for extra Tea Blend
Recipes at

1. Day Lilies- 10 bushes. Mix of yellow and orange which bloom at different times.
2. Iris – 1 large clump – approx a 30″ diameter
3. Hydrangea- white old fashioned
4. Spirea- 1 bush- pink
5. Peony 2 pink bushes
6. Delphinium- mini blue
7. Hosta- 2 variegated, 1 Blue and 1 green
8. Sedum
9. Bleeding Heart
10. Large Pot- I typically purchase a large petunia basket and plant in this pot- instant WOW!
11. Birdcage- Again a garage sale find – only five bucks!…matched perfect with the bistro table set. I typically do one of two things in the birdcage: a) plant morning glories or sweet pea around the bottom and let it climb or b) put potted sweet potato vine inside and let cascade down.
10. There are typically White Allysum cascading over the rocks along the edge.
~There are tulips planted in between the lilies. While the lilies are growing the tulips are blooming; by the time the tulips have faded the lilies hide them. There are also Crocus and Grape Hyacinths mingled here and there.
~To the left of the Iris’s is a five year old red Climbing Rose (stay tuned, that’s for next blog post!).

Join me next time for The Banister Garden… see you there!

Growing Mints: How To Harvest, Preserve, Make Tea Are you a tea drinker but never imagined you could grow your own? It is so easy you’ll wonder why you ever bought the stuff when you could have had it in your own back yard! Please note that yes it is super easy to grow, and it is super easy to get way out of control. It’s root system is very invasive and you will have it everywhere if you do not take serious yet simple precautions when planting it.  Don’t be mistaken that the only thing your mint is good for is making tea either… there is a world of culinary uses for this wonderful, versatile garden herb… read on for just a few yummy recipes! 
So here are some tried and true planting tips-
~Planting behind or beside a garage works well if it doesn’t matter where it goes and can be mowed if it gets in the lawn.
~If you want to put some in a garden, think container.  My tea bed is in my Potager. It is in an elevated area where we laid black ground cover down and up along the inside of the rocks; filled with dirt and planted. Even with these precautions the roots still manage to weave their way through the woven plastic and end up in areas where I don’t want it. It is more manageable, but still needs to be dealt with and removed.
~Use tires: Dig a hole about 6 inches deep where you will put the tires. Lay black plastic in hole and let lay over the edges of the hole about 3″ – 6″; place two to three tires stacked one upon another over the plastic covered hole; fill with dirt to about 3″ from top. Plant 1 tea plant- it will be enough! You will need to thin it out regularly. If you have access to tractor tires, even better but plant 2 plants.
Where ever you decide to plant your tea, be sure it has good drainage and full sunlight.
You can see to the right the elevated Mint Tea bed. It measures about
15’W x 12D.  I would say I harvest about 8 -10 bushel of tea off this bed.

***see below recipes for several shots of The Birstro Garden during different stages over the last few years.***

 Harvesting your tea can be done repeatedly throughout the growing season. First in spring, wait for the tea to reach at least a foot in height, cut back about six inches. Try not to cut back so far that you don’t leave any leaves. You can harvest your tea right up to fall.

There are three options to preserve your tea leaves, choose one or all!

1. Use the leaves to make concentrate- see recipe below “Garden Tea Concentrate”. You can store your concentrate in plastic freezer containers to enjoy all winter long!
2. Dry the leaves: Lay de-stemmed leaves on a cookie sheet and bake in a 200 degree oven for about 45 minutes to an hour or until the leaves are brittle.  Crumble leaves and store in airtight glass jars or plastic containers. Follow recipes when ready to use.
3. Freeze dry: I love to use this method. Simply remove leaves from stems, wash and pat dry; place 2 cups of packed leaves in freezer quart size bags and freeze for up to six months. To use, simply remove bag and use as directed in your recipe!

There are more Mint Varieties than you can shake a stick at. My personal favorites are not listed in the Richter’s catalog, but they are Lemon Balm and Balsam.  As I mentioned a few post’s ago, Richters has one of the best mint varieties I have ever found.
Here are all the mints listed in their catalog.
Spearmint Group: English, Moroccan, Spearmint, Improved Spearmint, Scotch, Vietnamese
Peppermint Group: Chocolate, Peppermint, Variegated, Swiss
Other Mints: Applemint, Banana, Corsican, Ginger, Grapefruit, Mojito, Orange, Pineapple, Menthol, Pennyroyal
The Westerfield Mints: Hilary’s Sweet Lemon, Berries & Cream, Candied Fruit, Candy Lime, Pink Candypops, Citrus Kitchen, Cotton Candy, Jim’s Fruit, Fruit Sensations, Fruitasia, Italian Spice, Julia’s Sweet Citrus, Margarita, Marilyn’s Salad, Marshmallow, Oregano, Thyme Mint, Sweet Pear, Wintergreen, Korean Mint, Mountain Mint


Now that you know how to grow, harvest and preserve mint along with the many options in varieties there are, what else can you make with it other than tea?  Here are some easy and interesting recipe’s that will get you started using the Mint you have grown and harvested.  Enjoy!

First off, lets look at how to make tea!

Garden Tea Concentrate
Use any flavor Mint Tea Leaves

1 1/2 c sugar
5 c water
2 c packed tea leaves, stemmed and washed
1-2 tbsp lemon juice- optional

Boil water and sugar together for 5 minutes.  Add washed & stemmed leaves-turn heat off.
Put lid on and let steep—leave the leaves in the syrup for 5 hours.
Remove leaves and wring them out.  Add lemon juice if desired
COLD: Add 1 cup tea concentrate to 3 cups water.  Chill and serve.  Very refreshing on a hot summer day.
HOT: Add hot water and a bit of honey
Go to my Blog Spot at to get a Raspberry Lemon Tea Recipe- my favorite!


Brown Rice Salad with Mint Leaves
1 c brown rice
1 c fresh peas
2 tbsp chicken broth
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tsp Olive Oil
1/4 c fresh mint leaves
Salt & pepper to taste

Prepare rice according to package directions.
Add peas and cook 2 more minutes.
Meanwhile, mix broth, lime juice & olive oil together.  Add mint, salt & pepper to taste.
Add dressing to  rice and peas.

Watermelon, Feta & Mint Salad

4 c 1-2 inch chunks melon
1/4 c (4oz) crumbles feta cheese,
1/4 c loosely packed fresh mint leaves, torn & washed
2 tbsp olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
120 macadamia nuts, chipped (optional)

in a large bowl combine watermelon, feta cheese, mint & olive oil.  Season with pepper & sprinkle with nuts.  Cover & chill for up to 4 hours.

Minty Hot Fudge

1 c water
1 c sugar
1/2 c thinly sliced fresh mint leaves
2/3 c unsweetened cocoa powder
4 tbsp butter, room temperature
Mint chocolate chip ice cream

1.  In a small, heavy saucepan, stir together water and sugar over medium heat until sugar dissolves; bring syrup to boil.  Remove from heart.  Stir in mint leaves.
Let stand 1 hour.
using a slotted spoon, remove mint leaves from syrup.  Whisk cocoa into syrup.  Bring to a boil.  Add butter and whisk until smooth,’
Refrigerate sauce, uncovered, until cold.
Serve over mint chocolate chip ice cream.
Cover and refrigerated to store.

Happy Day,

This photo was taken in early April, 2012. The weather was beautiful and so we decided to get busy ‘ahead’ of schedule! The boys will often help clean up in the spring. Here you can see their is not much to look at yet, but…


Here it is all cleaned up, mulched and ready to start showing off. You can see some of the tulips in between the lilllies, the hostas and sedum.  This photo is actually from 2010.  If you look underneath the large window with the flower pots, notice there is no rose bush to speak of… keep watching though!
You can see the patio that I made using the silo staves well in this picture.
Here is a shot of the narrow strip that goes to tghe back door; one in early spring in one in early summer. My bird cage stands 4′ tall if that gives you an idea of the size of this Bleeding Heart. She will blooms prolifically in spring and then continues all summer long with a few blooms here and there.  She loves this spot and I am able to take babies off her every year. You can see a Sweet Potato vine in the bird cage in photo to the right.
Notice in the photo (2009) to the left the arbor in the back ground is not covered yet and there is no sign of the rose bush under window shelf. This is a beautiful shot of the hostas. Now the photo to the right only two years later (2011). The arbor is well covered and the rose bush is enormous
This garden is located on the east side of the house therefore it only gets the morning sunshine so the hosta’s and bleeding heart do well! You can also the delphiniums. This is one of my favorite gardens.
Photo to the left (2009) you can see the small rose bush peaking up behind the iris’s. In the photo to the right, notice the potted petunias. As I mentioned earlier I am patient over some things… but waiting for planters to explode with colors is not one of them. I always purchase several extra hanging baskets to put in my large planters around the gardens… instant wow! 😉 
Here you can see the new Sprira I planted in 2011. She will eventually get almost as tall as the rose bush.  The Hydrangea is in between the two. It will not get as tall therefore giving a hilly feeling. 
Here are the lillies in full bloom… as I mentioned earlier, Taylor is 5’3″ and the blooms are over her head. This photo was taken in 2010.

The Bistro Garden, early summer 2012