Bay Leaf Trees that are beautifully shaped like upside down ice cream cones.

The different types of Roselle bushes are getting bigger and are ready to bloom, they are mostly in the front of the garden. The true Roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa) is developing the red flower calyces (bases) that are infused into tea or a Caribbean holiday drink called sorrel; a mixture of sugar, ginger, clove, cinnamon and nutmeg. EHS makes that drink for our Holiday Party in December every year.

The Habanero Pepper plant is showing off by displaying flowers and fruit in various stages. Our horticulturist , Joel Crippen, takes the ripe ones home to his son, Max.

The Betel (Piper betle) is growing on a wooden support and has become so heavy that it leans to one side, so I am calling it our “leaning tower of Pisa.” I am hoping that soon, it will get a new support and start again from ground zero and grow straight.

If you are looking for different types of oregano, they are in the garden. My favorite is the Puerto Rican Oregano (Lippia micromera) with its small leaves which can be used whole or fresh. It does have a strong scent and flavor and is used in Caribbean cuisines to season meat, soup, gravy and stuffing. In folk medicine it is made into tea to treat flu.  If you want a showy bush that just grows and keeps going, that’s the one. I decided this plant needed a hairdresser approach to tame it and make it presentable.

So I trimmed for quite some time, the photo shows you the result and now everyone can read the name tag which was hidden before.

The Balsam plants dropped their seeds last season and are growing and soon will bloom and color the bed in the back. If you plant the seeds in your garden once, you will get a crop every year and they become more plentiful from year to year.

The fountain in the center is every child’s delight. Oh, they so want to lean into it and play with the water. The mothers have quite a job to contain their enthusiasm. But you have to see the colorful Portulacas, also referred to as the Moss Rose, encircling the fountain. The flowers go to sleep when the sun goes down and wake up when they are showered with daylight and sun. Sometimes, I get to the garden so early, the blooms are still closed and I talk to them to wake them up to show me their colorful blooms.

If you need a break from a stressful day, visit the Mounts and the Herb Garden with all its wonderful smells and scents. It is calming and healing.

Ingrid Menz,