This morning I walked through the wet grass in my tiny garden to pick a sprig of disobedient peppermint, growing everywhere but where I planted it. I took the peppermint back into the kitchen, put it into a chipped ceramic cup that was one of the wedding presents I salvaged from the divorce, and poured boiling water over it. Peppermint floats so beautifully in a spacious cup of hot water, and the water stays see-through clear as the smell rises to my nostrils. I carried my cup of peppermint tea into the garden and sat soaking up the sun, wriggling my toes in delight at the warmth. Peppermint tea tastes of summer and of autumn rain before the frost beats the last stalks of mint down into the wet earth.

The rose bush is huge and leering, half the buds rotten after so much rain, but the herbs are happy. The lavendar is just beginning to bloom, and the rosemary bush is celebrating its survival of an unwatered winter in the cellar by pushing out new little shoots. The oregano is a bright green bush of hair that hasn’t grown more than ten centimetres yet, and the thyme tickles my toes which poke out from the steps.

Most of the year I would much prefer a garden that had herbs growing in every month. But in June I’m happy here.

8 thoughts on “peppermint tea

  1. Lisa

    Mmmm. I can smell the peppermint, the rosemary and the thyme.

    My lavender did not like the winter or the cold wet spring. It’s beginning to bloom now, but is acting very sulky.

    I had a thyme garden at another house. Thyme was all that would grow in the spot available, so I grew many kinds.

  2. jon

    I am more of an Earl Grey tea drinker but if you get the chance do drink “vervaine” tea in France (you can buy it at most supermarkets). It’s a lovely herbal tea, delicious in the evening.

  3. Jill Walker

    Vervaine? I will definitely look for it. Today I bought a detailed map of Cote d’Azur and les Gorges du Verdon, and I’ve figured out just where we’re going. And I picked up my ticket. And bought notebooks and pens and envelopes and a tiny dictionary, and spent lovely time in the bookshop pondering which novels to bring, and whether it would be frightfully foolhardy to count on only reading French language novels while I’m away…

    I’m so looking forward to this holiday!

    Oh, and lavendar? Mine seems so happy, despite much of the rest of the garden being in disarray. It has a dry, sunny corner and loves it there. Dryness and sunniness are in short supply otherwise in my garden, it’s wet, soggy and cold most of the year! And I like Earl Grey too, I mostly prefer black tea to herbal tea, but peppermint tea from fresh peppermint is just so delicious…

  4. jon

    I am sure France will be wonderful. It’s my fav place in the world (Les Portes, Ile de RÈ to be specific). I’ve always managed to write a lot there. Having lived in several countries during my adult life I’d love to take it all with me: my very own France-Denmark-Norway-Sweden.
    I can dream…

  5. Jill

    Mm, I’d chuck in a bit of Australia in that mix too, I think 🙂

    I realised yesterday that I learnt about fresh peppermint tea, as opposed to the dried leaf variety, in France. How appropriate that I’m going back!

  6. jill/txt »

    […] nd a story told to me by my sister, it happened to her friend, more or less, and images of lavender which is probably withering as we speak. I don’t think I’ll need to fake French, […]

  7. Scott

    What, Jersey doesn’t even make the top five? 🙂

  8. Jill

    Oh, but you know, it would now, Scott. Though I’ll admit it might lose its place on the list if you moved away.

    This wasn’t actually the French story I wanted to link to, either. I must have mislinked. Reply

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