MINT

A prolific perennial, mint may just be the easiest herb to grow. I quarrel with the label "invasive" as it is easily removed, or just moved to another more appropriate location. In fact, I love having enough to offer a plant or two for my friends' gardens, or a bit to cut and leave with the baskets of eggs picked up each week. Mint's lovely summer smell and usefulness in the kitchen certainly outweigh its naughty reputation. Nonetheless, if this wonderfully smelling herb makes you nervous, it grows with abandon in pots with the soil kept moist.

Around the patio, or mixed into a perennial bed, mint has the added benefit of attracting insects beneficial to the garden and repelling the particularly sinister ones. In the sun, mint will grow nearly straight up with large leaves that turn a lighter shade of almost chartreuse. In the shade, the plant stays a richer green, grows more slowly and keeps smaller, more compact leaves I prefer to use in salads and drinks. 

Other than making a particularly wonderful BLACKBERRY MOJITO or the SUMMER SALMON WITH STRAWBERRIES, MINT & CUCUMBER SALSA my favorite way to use mint is in a bouquet of flowers. To keep from wilting just hours after plucking from the garden, cut the length of mint desired, put in a vase with warm water and refrigerate until the water is cold. This process hardens off the mint and it will last in the arrangement for a couple of days looking as perky as freshly picked. 

A prolific perennial, mint may just be the easiest herb to grow. I quarrel with the label "invasive" as it is easily removed, or just moved to another more appropriate location. In fact, I love having enough to offer a plant or two for my friends' gardens, or a bit to cut and leave with the baskets of eggs picked up each week. Mint's lovely summer smell and usefulness in the kitchen certainly outweigh its naughty reputation. Nonetheless, if this wonderfully smelling herb makes you nervous, it grows with abandon in pots with the soil kept moist.

Around the patio, or mixed into a perennial bed, mint has the added benefit of attracting insects beneficial to the garden and repelling the particularly sinister ones. In the sun, mint will grow nearly straight up with large leaves that turn a lighter shade of almost chartreuse. In the shade, the plant stays a richer green, grows more slowly and keeps smaller, more compact leaves I prefer to use in salads and drinks. 

Other than making a particularly wonderful BLACKBERRY MOJITO or the SUMMER SALMON WITH STRAWBERRIES, MINT & CUCUMBER SALSA my favorite way to use mint is in a bouquet of flowers. To keep from wilting just hours after plucking from the garden, cut the length of mint desired, put in a vase with warm water and refrigerate until the water is cold. This process hardens off the mint and it will last in the arrangement for a couple of days looking as perky as freshly picked.