Grow a Cocktail Garden
Enjoy tasty fresh-from-the-garden beverages this summer -- from lemonades to margaritas -- with this fun garden.
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Garden at a Glance
You don't need a lot of space to make this cocktail garden; ours was a simple 4- X 4-foot square raised bed in full sun. There's a lot of clay in the Better Homes and Gardens Test Garden, so to keep our cocktail garden healthy and productive, we added a lot of compost to the soil. All of the plants were provided by Bonnie Plants.
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An essential flavor for margaritas, lime adds a zesty, fresh taste to drinks and desserts. A subtropical tree, it's best grown in a pot if you live in a cold-winter climate. Move it to a sunny window indoors for the winter where you'll be rewarded with fragrant flowers in spring.
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Lemon balm leaves perks up any drink with a light, citrusy note. This tough perennial is easy to grow and will provide you with a ton of fragrant foliage. Try harvesting a few leaves and freezing them in ice cubes for a beautiful and refreshing treat.
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You may not think to cook with marigolds, but signet varieties pack a big punch in their puny petals. Their flavor is a little on the spicy side, so they go great with butters or cream sauces, which temper their punch.
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Golden Delicious Pineapple Sage
Bold, bright, and beautiful, 'Golden Delicious' pineapple sage has glowing chartreuse foliage and fire-engine-red flowers in late summer and fall -- plus pineapple-scented foliage. Snip a section of stem, cut off the leaves, and use it as a stirring stick or cocktail spear.
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Add a cool touch to any drink with a sprig of mint -- crush it for a delightful minty mojito, freeze it in an ice cube to bring zing to lemonade, or simply use it as a fragrant garnish.
Test Garden Tip: Mint is a vigorous spreader; many gardeners grow it in a container to keep it from taking over the garden.
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Our Planting Grid
Here's a grid you can use to create your own cocktail garden:
A. 1 key lime
B. 2 lemon balm
C. 1 lavender
D. 1 signet marigold
E. 2 'Golden Delicious' pineapple sage
F. 2 chives
G. 2 spearmint
H. 4 strawberries
I. 1 basil
J. 1 'Husky Cherry Red' Tomato
Next Slideshow How to Build a Raised Garden Bed
How to Build a Raised Garden BedElevated garden beds have so many benefits and make growing any plant easier. You can amp up your raised bed by utilizing bird netting to protect your plants or incorporating a drip system to prevent waterlogged soil. Use these easy instructions to create DIY raised garden beds in your own yard.Begin Slideshow »