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When we built our house one of the many ‘wants’ was a bountiful herb garden and edible flowers. Being the gardener that I am, I assumed if you stuck it in the ground and watered, the herbs and flowers would grow into a bountiful garden that would supply the breakfast table. Rather like the add for liquid fertilizer that you see on tv – an instant garden! Well I didn’t realize how much sun the many herbs and flowers needed, so I didn’t understand why they weren’t growing on the north side between the house and the woods with less than an hour of sun a day……except the mint.

I love it when our guests enjoy the mint with their fruit or cereal dishes or with their egg blossoms and lamb patties. I use it quite a bit to dress up the plates and even use it in flower arrangements and in centerpeices. It can be used to make make tea and is considered an aid to digestion, it can be used to cleanse wounds, ease sore muscles, relieve headaches and when our dog Chewy lies under the tree on top of the mint she smells… well minty! So many uses can one ever have enough mint in their garden?

When I was buying little herb plants I was intrigued with the different flavors of mint. There was Pineapple, Chocolate, Spearmint and Peppermint to name a few. I bought them all and put them in my herb garden and in my cut flower garden. The tiny mint plants were planted, watered and cared for along with the rest of the flowers and herbs and they started to grow. I loved to rub a leaf between my fingers and tell myself which flavor of mint. This was good stuff, getting into the garden and helping it grow, I was becoming a gardener!

My sister Joan, who is an avid gardener, suggested I draw out a map of my plantings around the house so I would know what and where everything was situated. It was an excellent peice of advice, I just never got around to doing it. Besides they had tags and I put them in the ground beside each of the plants.

I didn’t have a plan, and didn’t really know a drought plant from a water lily. I would buy whatever looked pretty or interesting from the racks at the grocery store or the garden centre. Sometimes I would buy the bigger flowering potted plants for the guest rooms and around the house. When they started to look a bit worse for the lack of suitable light I would plant them in the flower garden hoping they would survive. A few of them did grow and are still growing to this day, unfortunately I can’t tell you what they are as the tags have faded or disappeared and I don’t have a plan of my plantings.

The mint is doing well, although I cannot tell the difference between the varieties anymore. The mint is doing better than expected. Much better than I ever dreamed! It is in the herb garden and the flower garden and the rock garden and the lawn and the ashpalt all doing exceptionally well year round. Now how do you make a plan of that? I believe that it spreads under the ground, over the ground, in the wind and on every creature that walks or flies by it. I think it must go on a walk about each night finding a new place to put down roots and have very large families. The cute little big eared rabbits (that seem to be multplying daily) and those adorable big brown eyed deer that dine in our yard everyday are not yet enjoying the mint as part of their fine dining experience.

An easy herb tea: pick, rinse and tear several fresh mint leaves. Put in a cup, add hot water and let steep for 5 minutes. Strain add honey to taste.  To make a cool drink add ice cubes and refrigerate.

I now look on the mint as therapy. Rather than pulling out the odd weed that grows I can pull out mint by the handful and feel that I am accomplishing something. I know that in a couple of weeks I can do it all again. If you want fresh mint to take home after your stay please ask. I will be happy to give you a bag with or without roots! Either way it is worth a mint to share.

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