Posts Tagged ‘mint’

Pycanthemum muticum AKA Mountain Mint (photo from http://www.sproutdc.com)

Pycanthemum muticum, also referred to as Mountain Mint, is a favorite native perennial that has many useful purposes. Commonly found at the woodland edge, it attracts butterflies, bees, and other wildlife.  Mountain Mint can tolerate light shade to full sun and grows to be about 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide.  It will clump from the base so be sure to give it extra room as it grows.  Evenly moist, sandy soil is best but it can adapt to a wide range of soils.  Mountain Mint is hardy in zones 4-8.

Use Mountain Mint as a replacement for mint in any recipe including tea.  The leaves produce a refreshing minty odor when crushed. While it doesn’t have a splashy color found in many native perennials such as the yellow of Rudbeckia or the purple of Echinacea, the flowers create a billowy cloud of silver color in planting beds. Mountain Mint is a subtle and elegant filler plant that would look gorgeous among Artemesia, Astilbe, Liatris spicata or even Salvia.

If you want to see Pycanthemum muticum in person. Check out the High Line section 2 where you can find it growing between the old railroad tracks and perennial borders.

Article written by lilyofthevalley for Jeffrey Erb Landscape Design.

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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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The Boskke Sky Planter redefines the Topsy Turvy Planter collection into a posh container that can fit into any New York City kitchen.  Never underestimate the value of fresh-cut herbs.  If cooking isn’t your forte, think beverages. A little minty mojito could be the norm in your kitchen this summer.

An innovative watering system allows the plants to be watered without leaking onto your countertops and floors.  Have fun arranging individual planters at convenient heights in your apartment. To maximize visual interest of these planters, stagger the hanging heights for a layered effect.

Herbs best suited for growing in a sunny window include rosemary, mint, basil, oregano, thyme, chives, dill, fennel, and sage but don’t limit your imagination!  There are many options available and when one plant becomes bare, replace it with a different variety!

Article written by lilyofthevalley for Jeffrey Erb Landscape Design.

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