How to grow a tea garden
Tea is a wonderful and healthy beverage. It can soothe most of what ails us — lack of sleep and digestion issues for starters — and it is easy to grow the ingredients in your own garden. Homegrown herbs seem to make tastier teas, maybe because they are fresh and grown with love. Or, perhaps it's because the ingredients haven’t been sitting on a store shelf for who knows how long. Best of all you can be certain that your tea leaves are organic.
Growing a tea garden can be more rewarding than one may initially think. Mint, chamomile and lemon balm are old standbys but there are many other delightful herbs, flowers and plants you can grow to make the perfect cup. Warning: Once you get started you may become hooked.
When starting out it helps to label your plants and photograph them. Many of these herbs are perennials and this way you can identify them easily the following year.
Making herbal tea comes down to experimentation. Start with the basic herbs and experiment with different brews. Try adding chopped ginger and orange zest to lemon verbena, mixing rose hips, chamomile and pineapple sage, pineapple mint and stevia, or fresh berries with lemon balm or strawberry mint. You can also add herbs to black, white or green tea bases to add more flavour.
One note of caution, check with a professional to ensure that none of the herbs you are growing will have a negative impact with your medications or existing health conditions. Pregnant women should be especially aware of what herbs they ingest.