Garden Spaces: Plant These Herbs in your Cocktail Garden


| June/July 2011



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Illustration by Gayle Ford

These plants are a great start for your very own cocktail garden. Some require quite a bit of labor to yield beverages, like the agave and hops. But all will help create a fabulous patio haven.

Blue agave (Agave tequilana). At 6 feet or taller, this large succulent, native to Mexico, can make a handsome smaller specimen plant in a container. It’s drought-tolerant and it needs a sandy or gritty, fast-draining potting medium, a sunny location and winter protection.

Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum). Plant in a sunny spot, stake or cage it, and give it plenty of water and regular feeding. Any flavorful tomato produces a good tomato juice; some favorites for juicing include ‘Porter’, ‘Rutgers’, ‘Ponderosa Pink’, ‘Better Boy’ and many beefsteak varieties.

Milk thistle (Silybum marianum). With glossy, marbled leaves, this plant can reach 5 feet or so in bloom, with a purple thistle flower head. It can be annual or biennial, and is hardy to Zone 7.

Lovage (Levisticum officinale). This rock-hardy perennial, with its celery taste, can reach 5 feet by midsummer in sun or part shade. Propagate from seed or division.

Hops (Humulus lupulus). A fast-growing, twining vine for a fence line, this is a perennial hardy to Zone 3. It needs a full-sun location and a deep, rich soil; start it from cuttings, suckers or purchased plants.





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