Varied, aromatic, colorful, and often medicinal herbal teas are a special treat for every gardener.
The aromatic tea rose petals, refreshing mint leaves, and playful lemon balm are so enticing that it is almost impossible to make a special summer tea without them.
For those who enjoy original beverages and their own compilation of herbs, there are specially created “tea” flower beds and squares. Small garden compositions in which the plants are grown can become the main stars of your tea drinking in the garden.
CHOOSING A PLACE IN THE GARDEN FOR A “TEA” FLOWER GARDEN
Surprisingly, the fashion for “tea” flower beds did not come from England. Special flower beds made from useful plants had already become popular in Scandinavian design, but the idea soon won the hearts of landscape artists.
At fairs, trade shows and garden shows around the world, variations on the tea bed have become almost mandatory participants. It is a real pleasure to have a small group of plants in your garden whose leaves, flowers, twigs, or roots can be used to make herbal teas.
Such a bed will attract butterflies and bees – perennials are a favorite of gardeners everywhere.
A tea bed can be planted in any corner of the garden. It should be a mini flower bed – large, flashy beds are best left to classic designs or mixed decorations.
Neat, round, oval, or square flower beds that are easy to reach even with plants in the middle are ideal. Tea flower beds are best surrounded by a decorative border.
Neat low wattle or fencing, decorative bands, clinker borders – it’s best to choose a warm, cozy design variant that coordinates with the design style of your garden.
If you are just experimenting, you can create a portable flower bed – in a large pot, an old trough, a large portable container, and after your first “try” should proceed to a fixed tea bed.
The main thing to keep in mind is to choose a warm, protected place, and a place with easy access to the plants.
Tea beds are often placed on lawns, patios, or decks (as splash-proof flower beds), at the front of the house, and as an alternative to planting on foundations or in seating areas.
It makes sense to create a “tea” garden in a place where it is convenient to collect aromatic materials for making tea – near the place where tea is drunk or at home.
GENERAL RULES OF “TEA GARDEN
When designing a “tea” flower garden, it is important to follow the general rules:
- Plants for ordinary gardens should be strictly ordered, and for landscape gardens – a slight shift in accent and mixing crops with each other to achieve the effect of wild charm.
- The structure of the flower bed can be made more interesting by dividing it into several parts, introducing a pattern or eye-catching signs, by multi-level solutions.
- The crop should be selected according to the preference for similar conditions and plant care, or the location should be chosen so that one part of the flower bed is in the shade and the other part enjoys bright sunlight.
- These plants should be contrasted with each other in terms of flowering type, inflorescence structure or flower size, and the type and characteristics of greenery grown.
- Prepare the soil for planting beforehand by digging it deeply, applying high-quality organic fertilizer, and correcting the soil reaction to neutral, with its structure being loose and airy, but with sufficient moisture absorption.
One of the most important principles of making a “tea” bed is: to carefully select the plants used for making the drink, carefully analyzing their medicinal properties. Each, even the most insignificant plant, has its own set of properties that are also used for medicinal purposes in the party.
When choosing herbs, it is worth checking whether they have a tonic or soothing effect, which is the main principle of their effect on the body. Make sure that health conditions, especially chronic diseases, should be taken into account when making tea garden flowers.
After all, despite the fragrance, beauty, and diversity of herbal teas, it is not a completely harmless experiment. In individual cases, it is best to consult a doctor and a phytotherapist if you are in doubt about the effects of a plant.
Before using the plant for the first time to make a tea, it is worth checking and personal reaction to its decoction.
THE STARS OF THE TEA BED
Usually, when tea beds are mentioned, people immediately think of beds of mint and lemon balm. But the variety of species used for this fragrant, interesting, and practical bed is not limited to the plain and standard spicy herbs.
Berry shrubs, beautiful flowering star plants, and even residents of traditional seedbeds can also be planted in tea beds.
Looking at the shrubs in the “tea” beds, you can put the species most often used for tea collections – tea roses, “false jasmine”, Japanese papaya, Japanese quince, black currant, raspberries.
Fruit trees can also be used to make interesting fruit teas: columnar miniature trees, such as apple or cherry trees, can be planted in the middle or background of a flower bed to create attractive and beautiful accents.
Tea plants can also include rose hips, but these high-fruited shrubs are rarely compact. Both dwarf trees and shrubs play the role of visual peaks in the composition.
They are placed not only to provide the most interesting relief to the tea tree bed but also for necessary care, including annual pruning and rejuvenation: berry and fruit bushes, as well as ornamental plant species, need free access.
That is why it is not advisable to place them in the center of a tea plant bed.
If there are individually growing shrubs or old plants in the garden that you plan to radically rejuvenate – such as currant bushes or roses – then you can arrange a flower bed around it.
In the “tea” bed there is room for another berry plant: strawberries.
Perennial herbs and herbs: choose flowering plants according to your taste and your favorite flavors (not only).
SOME OF THE BEST CROPS FOR A “TEA” BED INCLUDE
- Mint, including curly, common, and peppermint, fragrant, bright, aggressively spreading, but quite pretty when the soil is sufficiently moist.
- Lemon Melissa, which retains its beauty in almost any situation with its flawlessly shaped leaves and bright, almost lettuce-like color, and the very similar lemon or catnip, often sold as Melissa in our country.
- Dazzlingly bright, amazingly tough, stands out delightfully against any background Sublime mint – Korean mint, Agastachis Herba.
- Sage – Common and self-seeding annual nutmeg.
- The incomparable silvery cut and slightly dangerous Allspice.
- Sloppy but very gorgeous medicinal plant or common chamomile that looks weightless in a dense plant.
- Thyme, different varieties have different fragrances and green plant color, shrub form, and density.
- Not only for its firework-like fragrant inflorescence, Lemon Beebalm.
- The spectacular, tough, and stylish Echinacea.
- Lavender has beautiful inflorescences and unique leaves.
There are also some “for lovers” plants – fragrant fennel with its surprisingly light lavender umbels, whose flavor is completely different from that of anise leaves, as well as coriander, chicory.
Cilantro, St. John’s wort, hyssop, lemon verbena, oregano, willowherb, tansy, wintergreen, basil, amaranth, rosemary, marjoram, marjoram, mullein, and the roots of snakehead.
Some people are even able to grow fragrant laurel and iris in a common “tea” bed.