Feel rejuvenated among alfalfa, cicely and dandelion while taking a stroll in this Tonic Garden.
By Marietta Marshall Marcin
Teas to soothe, teas to relieve, teas to rejuvenate—Herbal Tea Gardens (Storey Publishing, 1999) contains everything you need to know to grow, blend and brew healthful and delicious herbal teas. You’ll find more than 100 tea recipes, as well as 22 illustrated garden plans. Try a couple energizing tea recipes made with herbs featured in this stimulating Tonic Garden. Find more herbal tea garden plans in 3 Herbal Tea Gardens for Health and Well-Being.
You can purchase this book from the Mother Earth Living store: Herbal Tea Gardens.
This garden is composed of herbs that are considered tonic and energizing. Beside a gently winding walkway, plant a long curve of dandelion, followed by an echoing sweep of alfalfa. Consecutively shorter rows of borage, then cicely close off the design to the southeast. Edge the other side of the walkway with thyme. You may wish to use several different varieties (such as lemon thyme and English thyme) for more color and textural interest. Balance out the planting with fenugreek, borage, and cicely.
• Alfalfa 10 to 12
• Borage 5
• Cicely 5
• Dandelion 12 to 18
• Fenugreek 1
• Thyme 8 to 12
* Number indicates quantity of plants needed
This is a beautiful, fruity tonic punch that is decorated with borage leaves and flowers.
• 2 cups apple cider
• Sliced lemons, oranges, and strawberries
• 3 strips cucumber peel
• 10 borage leaves, shredded
• 2 cups sparkling mineral water
1. Mix and chill cider, sliced fruit, and cucumber peel ingredients for 1 hour. Then add water and ice cubes. Pour into a pretty punch bowl or pitcher and top with borage flowers and leaves.
Dandelion tea becomes a tasty wine with this recipe. Use only fresh dandelion blossoms from which you have removed all stems—otherwise the wine will be bitter.
• 16 cups dandelion flower heads
• 2 oranges, sliced
• 1 lemon, sliced
• 1 teaspoon ginger root, crushed
• 1 gallon water
• 4 pounds sugar
• 1 egg white (optional)
• 1/2 ounce yeast
1. Boil dandelion heads, oranges, lemon, and ginger (crushed and tied in a muslin bag) in 1 gallon of water for 20 minutes. Strain and add sugar. If the mixture isn't clear, add the white of an egg. Place the yeast into the mixture and let it sit for a week. Then strain and bottle, capping the bottles loosely for a few days, then more tightly. Let the bland stand six months before using.
Excerpted from Herbal Tea Gardens © Marietta Marshall Marcin, illustrations © Laura Tedeschi used with permission from Storey Publishing. Buy this book from our store: Herbal Tea Gardens.