Garden Tea

We are about to enter the last month of Winter. I am pretty excited! I have started planning my Spring garden, I have laid out all my seed packets and dreamed. I have begun the mental yoga exercises of where to place all the plants that I want to fit in and grow. It looks tight. I am sure that if I had double the space that I do I would fill it easily and still be scratching my head over how to fit it all in. I will write all about what I will plant after each seed variety has pleaded their case and I have decided who makes the cut.

Winter for me is a time of staying warm, I really dislike using the heater yet the house is too poorly insulated to be habitable in normal clothing. So to avoid the heater I dress in a kabillion layers of clothes and drink lots of tea. I don’t drink many hot drinks in the other 3 seasons but in Winter I love me some garden tea. I am a smidge sensitive to caffeine so I tend to avoid coffee and black tea, luckily for me my garden provides me with some alternatives. Peppermint, Mint, Chamomile, and Lemon Verbena are my current drinks of choice. I mix them in different combinations depending on what I feel like. I have made the somewhat dubious decision to add Stinging Nettle (a quick spreading weed previously not in my garden) in to the mix. I will reiterate the pro’s that I have listed and relisted a hundred times in my head since planting it. I can use it like spinach, I can make a fertiliser out of it, I can dry it and drink the tea.  I currently purchase nettle tea so it seems like a financially good idea to introduce it.

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So i have one plant (weed) in the garden and one for safe keeping in the mini greenhouse. I will add Nettle tea to my garden tea list for next Winter.

I have a dehydrator but I don’t use it for my teas. I generally collect them throughout Summer and Autumn and drink them throughout Winter. I cut the flower for the chamomile and the leaves for the peppermint, mint and lemon verbena and lay them out on either a clean tea towel or on some muslin cloth and allow them to dry naturally. Once they are completely dry I put them in glass jars and store them in the pantry. IMG_3540

This is some manky looking peppermint that I collected a few days ago after some Winter pruning. It is almost completely dry now. I didn’t actually need any more peppermint tea but I hate getting rid of things I could eat or drink. Food hoarding. Guilty.

And just because I can, a photo of Herbie in all his glory having what looks to be an epic nap. Taken a few months ago post his shave. I think he is comfortable in his skin.

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Although I lean towards being a crazy cat lady there are only 2 cats in this house. Herbie and Franklin. One day when I fully accept that I am a crazy cat lady I think there will be 3 or 4….

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