One of my favorite spots to spend time in at Stearns is Penelope’s Garden. Full of old favorites and new plants to discover, the herbs I pick from the space are of the highest quality. Don’t miss out on this year’s bounty and check out the list below to see what’s ready to harvest:
Spearmint – high in antioxidants, it’s used to combat nausea and strengthen the immune system.
Field/Wild mint – perfect for easing indigestion, colic and halitosis.
Peppermint – alleviates pain and reduces anxiety.
Buena verba/Sweet mint – this type of mint is best for mojitos and mocktails (Mentha x suavis).
Chocolate mint – really tastes like chocolate and pairs well in cakes, ice cream and even salads.
Orange mint – also known as Bergamot mint, it makes a great addition to jams and aromatherapy blends.
Apple mint – also called the woolly or pineapple mint, it’s often used in culinary recipes with fresh fruits.
Lemon balm – helps with headaches and great for liver health.
Lime balm – calms the nervous system and promotes sleep. Has a more gentle flavor than lemon balm.
Yarrow – one of the most hardy plants in any garden, it assists in digestion and helps remove excess mucus from the body.
Kapoor Tulsi/Holy basil – famous for its anxiety-reducing effects, it’s also used to clear the respiratory tract. Makes a delicious tea.
Calendula – great for improving skin health, fighting fungal infections and lowering inflammation.
Anise Hyssop – related to mint but tastes like licorice, it can help with healing burns, improving circulation and ridding the body of parasites.
Mugwort – helps with digestive issues and can induce lucid dreams. Also makes a great smudge stick for clearing spaces.
Comfrey – traditionally used for healing wounds and relieving aching muscles.
Catnip – loved by kitties the world over, it can also be brewed as a tea to help ease menstrual cramps.
Tina Alexander, Penelope’s Garden work-for-sharer, has transformed the space over the last three years, with many hours spent weeding, replanting and identifying the multitude of plants populating the garden. Along with the PYO gold star indicating an herb is ready to harvest, Tina has put signs up showing exactly where to cut each plant’s stem. For a visual aid on how to best harvest herbs, check out Ember’s video here.
For those who wish to save some of the harvest for the coming months, remember to pick a little every week so that over time you collect enough while still leaving fresh herbs for everyone to share.