Posted by: briellethefirst | March 25, 2011

Chamomile in the Garden


Smells good! When my kids were little and we lived in Florida we had a big garden out back. They’d show people around saying “do this”, brushing their hands over the chamomile or thyme and holding them up to their face. Whoever they were giving a tour to would do the same and smile. Chamomile has kind of an apple-y, flowery sweet smell so it’s no wonder people started making tea out of it. The most common types are German and Roman. German Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) is an annual flower most commonly used for tea. Roman chamomile (Anthemis nobilis) is a perennial, creeping, flowering ground-cover that’s also used for tea. When Sean was still in diapers he’d walk through the garden, lean

From my garden

From my garden

over and bite the flowers off.

You could enjoy them that way if you want, but you’ll probably like it better as tea. To make tea you can use the same measurements as with normal tea. Rinse the teapot with hot water then put 1 tsp dry herb into the teapot for each cup you’re making tea for. Steep for 3 to 5 minutes and pour. If you like, sweeten it to taste with sugar or honey. Some people mix chamomile with other herbs like mint or flavour with lemon and if you don’t finish the pot you can use it as a hair rinse, especially if you’re blonde.

It’s easy to grow in the garden but in hotter areas you might want to protect it from the worst sun  or pot it up and bring it inside for the worst part of summer. While it does spread it’s not as wild as mint. In the Middle Ages and Renaissance it was grown in flowery meads or lawns along with mints, thyme yarrow and other low-growing herbs and flowers. Alyssum, Johnny jump up and violets would be nice additions to the mix. They were also planted into benches so their scent would be released when sat upon. It works well in the front of an herb garden or mixed with flowers or between rocks or stepping-stones. Like most herbs it does well in decent soil, good drainage and regular water without staying wet. If it doesn’t do well where you put it try another spot and don’t worry too much over it, a little neglect enhances the flavour. Even if it’s just in a pot on the windowsill try growing your own herbal tea.

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