So Succulent Gardens

  (Columbia Station, Ohio)
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Different types of HERB INFUSIONS


Infusions, or tisanes as they are frequently called, are made by pouring
boiling water over the herbs
and allowing the mixture to steep for 10-30 minutes depending on the
strength you prefer. Infusions
are used for extracting the properties of flowers and the herb or leafy
part of the plant. Always keep
the container tightly closed when infusing herbs. If using a teapot, a
tea caddy is helpful in keeping all
the properties in the water.


A decoction is used to extract the more tenacious plant material and is
the preferred method for
brewing most roots, barks and hard nuts/seeds. A decoction is made by
simmering the herbs in
boiling water for 15-30 minutes depending on the strength of tea
desired. Always keep the pot tightly

Solar Infusions

Sun charge your tea! Place the herbs in a large glass jar and cover
tightly. Put in the direct sunlight
and leave for several hours or until the desired flavor is attained.
There's nothing quite like the taste of
sunshine brewed in a perfect blend of herbs to lift the spirits.

Lunar Infusions

Just as solar infusions capture the essence of sunlight, lunar infusions
utilize the great luminary energy
of the moon. Though much subtler than other methods of brewing herbs,
lunar infusions capture a
certain magic and essence. To make, place herbs (fresh flowers are
especially nice in lunar infusions)
in a crystal bowl and set the bowl in a place where it will get direct
moonlight. Let sit overnight and
first thing in the morning, drink your lunar infusion. Try it on the
next full moon. You'll be enchanted.


Herbal Bathing Brews From The Garden

Herbal Baths From The Garden
Herbal baths are a perfect antidote to combat impure air and water conditions. Smoothing, soothing and hydrating to the skin.
The basic bath: Place 1/2 cup of any combination of herbs in a non-metallic pot add water to cover. Bring to boil, simmer 10-20 minutes to extract the wonderful benefits. Strain. Pour the herbal fragrant brew into your bath water or use the brew as a last rinse in the shower. If you are bathing, soak 20 minutes. Do not have the bath water too hot will make you sweat and not allowing your skin to pick up the herbal
nutrients. Note: Allergic reaction can occur with any herbal product, as always test on a small area o the skin before bath.

Herb Plants to Gather:
Lavender-rejuvenating, fragrant
Peppermint-stimulating, cooling
Sage- astringent, Helps joints
Calendula-healing to dry skin
Chamomile-reduces swelling
Lemon Balm-relaxing
Parsley-Soothes insect bites
Thyme-muscle relaxer
Strawberry leave-cleansing


MAKE YOUR OWN TINCTURES (alcohol extraction)

TINCTURES (alcohol extraction)
Tincture are concentrated doses of herbal remedies used in small doses.

To make a tincture; place 4 oz of dried herb in a sterlized glass jar with a tight fitting plastic lid. Add 2 1/2 cups of high alcohol content vodka, shake every day for two weeks, than using a coffee filter to strain out the herbs and fine particles.
Label and store in a cool dark place. Consult a herbal book for additional information on what type of herbs to use for what ails you. Using only a drop or two of you tincture at a time.

*Please note the herbs must be in in DRIED FORM.


Over 20 varities of Mint Plants and still counting PART 1

I get crazed when it comes to certain type of plant groupings. I get obsessed and need to collect them all.  MINT was one I had to find every fragrant and tasty variety - it is still a collection in progress, but now I have around twenty varieties and my newest is mojito mint from Cuba.  I hope to have enough Mojito mint by fall to offer for sale at my website.

Here is some interesting notes about MINT:
The Greek God Pluto, ruler of the underworld, fell madly in love with a beautiful nymph, Mentha. His jealous wife, Persephone, pounded her into the earth. Pluto then turned poor Mentha into a wonderful healing, fragrant plant that gave him some consolation.

Fresh leaves make a pleasant addition to hot or iced tea, garnish for beverages or fruit deserts. Mint is cleansing and makes a nice addition to herbal bathing products.

Folklore: To carry a few leaves in the wallet is said to attract money, stuff sachets with mint leaves to ward off disease.

Description:     Lemon scented with slightly ruffled leaves, perfect for blending or using alone in herb teas and savory recipes.

Mentha aquatica citrata 'Eau de Cologne'
Eau de Cologne (Orange)
Height: 24"     Zone: 3-9     Light: sun to part shadeDescription:     Refreshing citrus orange flavor and is tantalizing in teas, fruit salads and chasing those fleas and ants away. The oil is an ingredient in chartreuse liqueur and perfumes.

Mentha avensis 'Banana'
Banana Mint
Height: 12"     Zone: 3-9     Light: sun to part shade
Description:     Pale green, slightly fuzzy leaves with the unusual fragrance of bananas, add to fruit salads, breads or as a garnish. Blend with chocolate mint for a great herbal blend to add to baking brownies.

Mentha spicata 'Chewing Gum'
Chewing Gum Mint
Height: 18"     Zone: 3-9     Light: sun to part shade
Description: Extremely fragrant and flavorful, very similar to Wrigley's spearmint chewing gum.

Mentha piperita citrata 'Lime'
Lime Mint
Height: 24"     Zone: 3-9     Light: sun - part shade
Description:   Bright green leaves with a strong lime scent and flavor. Great as a garnish were a lime flavor is required. Try it in your salsa recipe  or guacamole or toss a leaf in your margarita.
Mentha citriodora x. M. arvensis
Height: Zone: 3- 9 Light: sun part shade
Description: Crinkled, light grapefruit-scented leaves with mild spearmint undertones.
Mentha piperata 'Blue Balsam'
Peppermint 'Blue Balsam'
Height: 12"     Zone: 3-9     Light: sun to part shadeDescription:  Peppermint is an excellent digestive aid and has been used for the treatment of morning and motion sickness, as well as an inhalant to treat congestion. Flavorful herb tea, hot or cold. Blue balsamic is an improved peppermint with purple tinted, dark blue/green leaves; it has a much cleaner peppermint flavor.





Hey L@@K! Is that a bug I see? Herbal Insect Repellant Recipe

Yea! There was sunshine today and I was able to catch some rays out in the greenhouse.  Before you know it, we will be fighting insects for some grub, so be prepared with this simple recipe.

Grind 1 ½ cup of dried herbs or 3 cups fresh and place in 1 quart of water, let it sit for 24 hours, strain, add 1/4 t. of dish soap. A variety of herbs are known to repel a variety of insects. Experiment to see what works best in your situation. Here are some that may work: catmint, feverfew, marigolds, sage, thyme, pennyroyal, wormwood, chives, painted daisies, southernwood, lemon bam, tansy, lavender, bay and garlic.


Gel Air Fresheners - Great stocking stuffer

This would make great little hostess gift and of course stocking stuffer.  I hate to waste good vodka and have made them with rubbing alcohol and it is less expensive.


  • 1 packet of unflavored Knox Gelatin
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup vodka of grain alcohol
  • 1- 2 TBSP. fragrance oil

Food coloring as desired.  Dissolve the gelatin in the boiling water. Allow to cool to room temperature then add the vodka, coloring and scent. Pour into decorative jar (I use 8 ounce canning jar)  with tight fitting lid, and refrigerate till set.   

Later put a piece of eyelet lace (or comparable breathable fabric) on the top and screw down the ring; if giving as a gift, I would put the canning lid on, then the lace and ring.

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