Posts Tagged ‘Herbs’

Sun tea is easiest and most refreshing way to make a drink while incorporating some herbs from your garden.  It’s so easy that you can bring the ingredients with you to a park and let them soak while preparing for a picnic or get together. The drink will be ready when your guests start to arrive.

How does sun tea relate to the garden you ask?  Herbs is how!  When using the recipe below, add a handful of herbs to the brew as it is steeping for a fresh-from-the-garden taste.  Mint, lemon balm, sage and even lavender are perfect choices but the options are endless!  Stick with one flavor, mint for example, or add several sprigs of different kinds of herbs to create your own, individual brew.  Adding some fruit, such as lemon, strawberries or blueberries, can also bring a new flavor dimension to the tea.

Sun Tea Recipe

Any clean and clear jar, bottle or other container that holds liquid

1 black tea bag (1 tea bag = 1 teaspoon of loose tea leaves) per cup of water

Cold water

Your choice of fruit and/or herbs

1 sunny day!

1.   Wash your container with hot soapy water before use.  This will help sanitize the container as the brewing temperature is ideal for bacteria growth and you want to nip that in the bud before it begins!

2.  Measure out how many cups of cold water can fit in your freshly washed container.  Add 1 tea bag, or loose tea leaf, per cup of water.  Also at this time add any herbs or fruit you want.

3.  Combine everything in your container, cover, and put in the sun for at least 2 hours.  Remove from the sun when the tea has brewed to the strength you desire.

4.  Sweeten to taste with honey or sugar or trying using the herb Stevia to add a natural sweetness.  (Fun fact: stevia is used to make the new sweetener Truvia)

5.  Serve chilled with a fresh sprig of herbs!

Happy Fourth of July to everybody!

Article written by lilyofthevalley for Jeffrey Erb Landscape Design

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I often say that gardening is the best kind of therapy. It is cheap, and plants always listen. There is no prognosis, diagnosis, or prescription at the end of a day of gardening, and the mixture of aesthetic bliss mixed in with the honest sweat on your brow goes beyond the feeling of satisfaction.  

I  find that I take the most joy out of gardening by noticing the small details. When I worked on my gardens in Pennsylvania, my cat was my garden companion, and I was in such a relaxed state when I was pulling the thistles out of my perennial borders with my delightfully obese orange tabby by my side. In New York, my garden is now in the shape of a 50 square foot terrace, limited to several containers with room for a small grill and cafe seating for two.

While cleaning up the annuals for fall, I pulled out the Ipomoea batatas (Sweet Potato Vine) to find little sweet potato tubers growing in my containers. Of course I have had this happen in planting beds in the country, but I didn’t expect to find so many growing in my limited container space. I have never heard of anyone eating the tubers of the ornamental sweet potato vines, and don’t recommend it as these plants have been cultivated for their showy qualities as opposed to their agrarian counterparts. Regardless, it is fun to find these little surprises in the garden. Perhaps this spring I will try some actual veggies on the terrace in addition to my herbs.


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