Getting fresh in the herb garden

It was a public holiday on Monday, and so I wandered into the centre of market town St. Ives (the proper one in Cambridgeshire 😉 ) and there was a huge market on. Amongst the stands for cheap socks, scratchy knickers, and jigsaw puzzles, were a few plant stands. They all seemed to pretty much have the same stock, but there were some subtle differences in prices, and there were plenty of lush green plants and interested customers buzzing around them.

I’ve been looking for some new Mint plants for a while. Despite having taken cuttings and rooted chunks from my mother’s rambling mint plant, I just cannot get it to survive in my current garden. I think i’m the only person capable of killing Mint rather than having it take over. It seems to rot, fry, or just blow away in my current garden.

So, whilst perusing around the market stalls with a friend, we had a look at the herbs on sale – there were all sorts, but I soon began searching for some common garden mint. I couldn’t see this, but did see a few variations – Pineapple Mint (think: urinal blocks), Applemint (which I’ve grown before but it has since died off), Moroccan Mint, and then I stumbled across Ginger Mint ‘Mentha Gracilis’ – one i’d never heard of before.

I’m a big fan of gingery foods and drinks, and despite giving a leaf a gentle rub, it did not smell of anything, I decided to buy it anyway – just for my love of ginger. Maybe it’ll taste of ginger, or suddenly grow more gingery in my care. Maybe not.

Then, I considered the other mints and in honour of my Spanish friend who was helping me sort through them, I bought a pot of lush green Spanish Mint ‘Mentha Spicata (Spanish)’, which looks and smells somewhat more like the kind of mint I was after.

These little pots are living indoors at the moment, but fingers crossed, when I move house in the next few days, that I will be able to take living mint plants with me, and finally be able to grow it outdoors in abundance beside my patio. I’ll be keeping it in a pot, of course, and curiously I’ve seen advice that says that mint plants should face East, but I’m going to risk it – it’s a reasonable sized garden. The RHS website seems to ignore the East directional planting, and I’ll follow their advice on planting mint in pots and compost.

Have you ever had problems growing mint? Have you managed to kill it, or has it simply taken over?

Let me know in the comments below.

As ever, thanks for reading, and I wish you happy gardening – there’s so much to do right now.

Andrew

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