Friday, May 16, 2008

mentha

Mid spring, and the mint arrives. It is now tall enough to harvest.

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Bergamot

It sprawls and reaches into places in my garden where it should not, and sneaks into areas unnoticed.

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Orange Mint

It surprises and delights the nose when it's aroma is released. One looks down to realize they have walked on top of it, crushing the square stems, the decussated leaves.

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Pineapple Mint

As a garnish, it enhances the plate and the palette.

It's oils can be rubbed, inhaled, or swallowed. A balm for body and soul.

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Chocolate Mint

Lamiaceae (or Labiatae if you prefer), a family with over 200 genera and over 3000 species, of which only a few reside in my garden. And of all the characteristics they possess, the thing I love most about mint is that it refreshes, restores...revives.

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...and whatever is clipped or ripped or pinched, can go right on the windowsill or kitchen counter, or bathroom sink...to be used in a number of ways...the stems will set root easily, and they can be replanted.

10 comments:

Leigh said...

Lucky you to have so many different types of mint plants. The only thing in the mint family that I've had much success with has been catnip. Someday, when I actually have some earth of my own, I'll try some others again.

elizabeth said...

I used to grow all kinds of mint - my favorite was cat mint and pineapple mint, for their wonderful flowers. Maybe I'll go to the garden center this weekend...

Phiala said...

Random technical comment:

Lamiaceae is the modern, standardized family name as legislated by the people in charge of such things. All family names end in aceae. Labiatae is an older name, from pre-standardization taxonomy. Several families have these old and new names:
Asteraceae/Compositae (sunflower family)
Brassicaceae/Cruciferae (cabbage family)
Poaceae/Gramineae
for example - most commonly the families of biggest interest or economic importance. The new-style name is derived from the genus name of one of the major members of that family.

A lot of older plant books use the old-style names, but the -aceae names are the correct ones.

(Er, yeah - you know me as a string person, but when I'm not weaving I'm a botanist for the USDA.)

Manise said...

I love my mints (chocolate, nepeta, monarda dydima (bee balm , pineapple, spearmint) though are somewhat invasive if allowed to wander too far and wide. The chocolate is racing between the pavers and into the lawn. They look like soldiers peering above the grass. :-) Off to pick some and make tea out of it. Thanks for the reminder.....

The Gingerbread House said...

Thanks for sharing the Mints....I remember having them and they crept into everything..Now as I've downsized I have two, Peppermint and Pinapple that I grow only in containers and they come back every year for me to use...wonderful in hot or cold Tea and Lemonade (I've even put a sprig in my Pepsi :o) Ginny B.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I just love mint too Cyndy. I really like the way it surprises you with a whiff of fragrance when you least expect it. Like when you step on it or pull a weed and get a bit of it too and whoosh it sets of a big waft of that fresh minty smell.

Sharon said...

I can just about smell your garden through the screen! Thanks for the lovely scents of spring, here everything is going dormant with autumn, so its really 'refreshing'!-

~ P ~ said...

I can almost smell the mint.

KnitChick said...

Ooooohhhhh, Mint!! I always loved growing mint! Thanks for the amazing tour!

Joanne said...

Thank you for sending me your mint over the 'net! I don't grow nearly as much mint as I would use if I had the chance. For some reason, it has never taken off the way my lemon and lime balm have. Instead, I'll sniff yours through the computer screen!

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