This partly shaded patio garden allows the homeowner to grow a variety of tea plants and to have them close at hand to enjoy. The plan is informal, using the repetition of roses and lavender to give a suggestion of order. Plants to the right of the path will receive several hours of sun each day; plants on the left side will be shaded from the hot afternoon sun by the spruce and oak trees.
The tallest plants, angelica (#1) and bee balm (#6) on the shady side, fennel (#11) and lemon verbena (#16) in the sun, have been placed next to the wall of the house so they can be supported with stakes, if necessary.
The mints are placed in open bottom containers to keep them in bounds. Aztec sweet herb (#33), rosemary (#30), Yerba maté (#37) and tea (#33) are in pots on the patio. These plants are not winter hardy, but the pots may be brought indoors for the winter. Wintergreen (#35) and American ginseng (#12) have been placed in the shady, acid soil environment they require.
This garden includes many popular herb tea plants and a few that may be unfamiliar. Herbal teas can be either relaxing or stimulating (depending on the herb used).
Please note: While the herbs included in this theme garden are generally considered safe when used in moderation (1~2 cups), any food substance may bother certain individuals.
Herbs in a Teapot, How to Grow a Perennial Herb Tea Garden, by Phyllis Mandell, Parish Hill Press, Williamsville, VT, 1977.
The Herbal Tea Garden, Planning, Planting, Harvesting & Brewing, by Marietta Marshall Marcin, A Garden Way Publishing Book, Storey Communications, Pownal, VT, 1992.