Bachelor’s Button and Catnip Tea

Bachelor’s Button and Catnip Tea

This colorful tea has the slight flavor of green tea with a light minty aftertaste. Catnip does not taste like it smells so for those who avoid it because of that fear, your worries are unfounded. The relaxing, sedative effects of my organic catnip tea are stronger than that of any chamomile I have tried. This recipe is easy to adjust. Try adding your own herbs or omitting those I have used.

Fresh Bachelor's Button Catnip Tea in Cup

Use either dried or fresh herbs for this recipe.

  • 1-2 Tablespoon/s Catnip Leaves and Blossoms
  • 1/2-Tablespoon Bachelor’s Buttons Leaves
  • Four Large Bachelor’s Buttons Blossoms
  • One Stevia Leaf

Pour hot, not boiling, water over the herbs. Cover with a non-porous lid and allow the tea to steep for 15 minutes. Some of the oils from the catnip leaves will collect on the lid. I lick this off before enjoying my tea. Waste not.
This recipe makes one eight-ounce cup of tea.


Use either dried or fresh herbs for this recipe.


1-2 Tablespoon/s Catnip Leaves

½-Tablespoon Bachelor’s Buttons Leaves

Four Large Bachelor’s Buttons Blossoms

One Stevia Leaf

Pour hot, not boiling, water over the herbs. Cover with a non-porous lid and allow the tea to steep for 15 minutes. Some of the oils from the catnip leaves will collect on the lid. I lick this off before enjoying my tea. Waste not. J

This recipe makes one eight-ounce cup of tea.


Plants of the Everglades

One hundred tree species and more than 100 seed bearing plants grow in the Florida Everglades. This ecosystem is diverse in not only plant life but animal life as well.

Great Blue Heron in the Florida Everglades from

Red Mangrove

Red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle) can grow up to 60 feet but is usually found growing only twenty feet in the Glades. The leaves are up to five inches in length with a width of two inches and arranged oppositely to one another. Its blossoms are yellow and pale in color appearing in spring. The fruits of red mangroves are brown and send down roots before falling to the ground to finish growing. Mangrove tree roots offer breeding and nursery habitats for invertebrates, fish and sharks. Red mangroves are at risk due to coastal development and the introduction of the non-native species, Australian pine (Casuarina equistifolia) and the Brazilian pepper (Schinus terebinthifolius).

Read More …Plants of the Everglades

How to Grow Peonies

Peonies are one of the most popular plants used in permanent landscapes. These ancient plants offer a wide array of colors and forms in addition to their highly scented blossoms. For every gardener there is a peony to love.

Pink Peonies:

Where and How to Plant Peonies

Peonies do best planted in full sun with rich loamy well draining soil. In early fall plant each division around 18 inches deep in a hole 18 inches wide. Before placing the peonies in their holes, add plenty of organic matter, ½ cup bone meal, and a good slow release fertilizer geared towards blooming plants to the holes. Plant each division with the growing tips 2-3 inches below the surface. If peonies are planted too deeply they will fail to bloom.

The better the planting hole is to begin with the better off these long living perennials will hold up. A good, barky compost mixture that can break down slowly over time would be especially suited for peonies. When planted, mulch each plant and water in well.

Read More … How to Grow Peonies: Growing and Caring for Paeonia

Waterlily Root and Blossom Sautee

For a different take on supper, try whipping up this delightful, saucy mixture of waterlily roots, blossoms and your choice of fresh veggies! Avoid using the species N. tuberosa as it is considered poisonous.

Water Lily White

One pound cooked, sliced chicken breast

½-1 pound water lily (N. odorata) or lotus roots

Several unopened water lily blossoms


½-cup walnuts

1-tablespoon soy sauce

1-tablespoon balsamic vinegar

2-tablespoons sugar or brown sugar

2-tablespoons lime, orange or lemon juice

2 cups water

Basil to taste

Butter for sautéing

Chili powder to taste

Salt to taste

Black pepper to taste

Cut the water lily roots and carrots into ¼ to 1/2 inch thick slices. Sauté the roots, blossoms and carrots in butter until tender. In a bowl, mix the water, soy sauce, sugar, juice, vinegar, basil, chili powder, salt and pepper. Add this mixture the walnuts and the cooked chicken to the pan. Simmer until the sauce reduces and begins to thicken. Serve over wild or white rice.

Photos from My Gardens 2010

Here are a few photographs from my gardens this year. Everything is starting to come together!

Ideas for Landscaping Acreage

Having acreage presents nearly as many problems as it does gardening opportunities. Careful planning like walking through your property during every season prevents gardening failure for this large undertaking. This will allow you to see any seasonal problems that could arise. Potential problems include summer dry sites that remain wet during the winter and spring, heavy pest animal activity or even pollution from roads such as salt spray in the winter. After your evaluation is over, you may decide to turn a portion of your land into something for charity. Even a little used corner of land can help a lot of people or animals.

Landscaping Acreage Ideas

Community Garden

Opening your land to other people brings with it the risk of lawsuits. It is a good idea to contact an attorney and discuss potential problems before proceeding further. Providing this service to the community brings people together while feeding the masses food they have all helped to grow. If having strangers on your land is more than you are ready for try donating the food you grow to churches, homeless shelters, and food kitchens. If you plant heirloom vegetables, fruits and flowers, save the seeds for future use. They can also be given or traded to other community gardens.

Animal Rescue

For those who have a big heart and love animals, an animal rescue is another idea for acreage. Such causes may require permits so thorough legal research is suggested. Rescue work is costly when food, medications and other factors as addressed. After deciding on the animals you wish to rescue, it is a good idea to set aside a part of your land for providing food for them. This in itself will cut rescue costs. If birds are being helped you can grow most, if not all of their food yourself through grasses, flowers and fruit and nut trees. For those with strong stomachs and that have chosen to save carnivores, you can raise your own meat in the form of fish, chicken and even goats. If properly planned a small portion of acreage can feed several hungry mouths. Building a pest proof storage barn will help to ensure seed and grain harvests are good throughout the winter. Freeze meat animals slaughtered during the warm parts of the year.

Animal Rescue Food Charity

If rescuing animals is too involved for your tastes, you can still contribute by growing foods for other charities. The cost of keeping one elephant is around one thousand dollars a month. Even small donations of fruit and vegetables are helpful to charity owners. If you have enough land, you can grow enough variety to feed several species a month.

How to Grow Waterlilies

A simple to follow tutorial on the care and culture of waterlilies (Nymphaea).

Water Lily White

Waterlilies are a sun loving aquatic plant; to ensure good bloom set and continuing flushes of flowers make certain each plant receives at least 6-8 hours of sunlight a day. Water lily roots prefer nutrient rich clay based soils in order for the plants to grow to their maximum beauty.

A good fertilizer for blooming aquatic plants should then be applied as per label instructions. Fertilizer tablets buried beneath the soil in the water lily pot will help prevent algae blooms from the excess nitrogen run off from some liquid fertilizers. As always, make sure the fertilizers chosen are fish safe before using.

Read More …How to Grow Waterlilies: Growing and Care of Nymphaea

How to Clean, Pack and Ship Daylilies

Online plant trading is fast gaining popularity; this article shows one way to properly ready your day lilies for shipping and trade.

Daylily Double Orange

Day lilies are one of the easiest plants to ship; the fact that they are super hardy makes them perfect candidates to sell or trade through the mail. In the following paragraphs you will learn how to properly clean, trim, and package day lilies.

Materials Needed to Package and Ship Day Lilies

* Access to a working water hose; this way you can spray all the dirt off the roots.

* Clean, sharp scissors or shears for trimming roots and leaves

* Peat moss, silica crystals or some other water retentive packing material

* Sturdy packing box

* Brown packing paper (paper grocery bags are fine)

Plastic is acceptable as long as holes are supplied so the plants can breathe and the entire plant is not wrapped.

Read More …How to Clean, Pack and Ship Daylilies: A Proper Method to Prepare and Send Daylilies for Sale or Trade

How to Grow Hardy Hibiscus

Out of the three types of hibiscus that gardeners normally choose for their landscaping, the hardy hibiscus (Hibiscus acetosella) has gained popularity for its ability to stand colder temperatures while offering a tropical feel to more northern gardening.

Hardy Hibiscus

With blooms measuring up to the size of dinner plates it is little wonder why hibiscus enthralls its followers so deeply. This tropical looking plant is like the pied piper of the flower world and a real show-stopper at that.

The Right Soil for Hardy Hibiscus

Hardy hibiscus requires well-drained soil and plenty of moisture during its active growing season. Dig a hole twice as deep and wide as the root ball and backfill with rich organic compost. Hibiscuses are heavy feeders and require plenty of food while growing to ensure they have ample reserves for this and next year’s blooms. A fertilizer of 150-200ppm Nitrogen will help the plants grow vigorously and ensure good bloom set.

Read More …How to Grow Hardy Hibiscus: Growing Hibiscus Acetosella

How to Make a Bog Garden

Creating a gorgeous oasis in a mud puddle is an easy task if planned out accordingly. Bog gardens can be as simple as a small mud filled pit to as extravagant as a creation with waterfalls and koi ponds attached. Bog gardens can be useful in addition to being beautiful; they can turn a smelly wet area into a beautiful blooming garden.

Future Bog Garden?

Finding and Preparing a Site for a Bog Garden

If an area that stays consistently wet can be located, this would be a good place to add a bog garden. The amount of sun the garden needs depends on the types of plants one chooses to incorporate. Generally, blooming plants like more sun than foliage plants; make sure to check the plants’ growing conditions before locating a spot for the bog garden.

Read More …How to Make a Bog Garden: Creating a Flowerbed for Marginal and Aquatic Plants

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