How to grow a gin garden
Quite why I decided I wanted to plant a gin garden four years ago, I don’t know. Hell a decade ago I didn’t even like gin.
But then I discovered that it was tonic water I didn’t like and that I actually did like gin. A lot. Though in my defence I do drink it with waaaayyyyyy more lemonade than any recipe would recommend so when I have three a night it is not like your average drink but a heavily watered down version.
Am I making any sense?
Am I being a bit too defensive about my gin drinking?
So anyway. I think it was after I visited the Bombay Sapphire distillery down the road (less than 25 miles away from my actual house is where every bottle of Bombay Saphhire gin made is produced) and saw them growing the botanicals that I got the idea for my own gin garden. But then I pondered whether I actually wanted to grow those and make my own gin.
What even is Orris Root? Cassia bark anyone? And if the Grains of Paradise are shipped in from West Africa I am not going to have much luck growing them in Fleet, am I? I don’t really have much luck growing things full stop.
What is a gin garden?
A gin garden is a small garden that grows botanicals or herbs that can be added to your gin and tonic.
Known as “muddling” its when flavours are added prior to drinking, it’s a few leaves picked, dropped into the cocktail shaker and mashed before pouring it through a strainer.
How do you plant a gin garden?
I bought the planter in Asda for about £90 and then Ellie got to work with a blue wood stain to make it look slightly more Mediterranean and gin garden like, rather than it just being light brown. It also brightens up a dull piece of fence on our patio.
I lined it with an anti weed membrane (probably the wrong thing to use but I couldn’t find planter liners in our local garden centre) and used drawing pins to hold it up against the edges. Then I filled it full of compost.
What sort of things to you plant in a gin garden?
It’s entirely up to you! I used plants that I thought would be good infused in gin so I have pineapple sage, three types of mint (which I know can be a bully in a garden so I need to keep an eye on it), basil, lemon balm, chamomile, thyme and rosemary. But honestly, you can plant whatever you think might be tasty in your gin.
I also bought a little olive tree. I can’t stand the things, murdering bastards if you ask me, (long story) but the little tree looks quite cute on the back of it and I know some friends like a dirty martini.
I want to get a little lemon tree too, and also cucumber so that it can be a bit of a Pimms garden next year too.
So there you have it, how to grow a gin garden in a few easy steps, what you grow really is up to you. Over the years the gin garden has changed from the above mixture of plants to now look like this
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I beg your pardon. ⠀⠀ I never promised you a gin garden. ⠀⠀ With apologies to Lynn Anderson but I’m not green fingered enough to sing about rose gardens. I can, however, sing about growing all the stuff you need to add to a mean gin and tonic. ⠀⠀ Three types of mint, basil, rosemary, lavender, sage, thyme and rhubarb are all now on the go in my gin garden. And having sorted out the actual gin collection, clearing out the duplicates and empties, I’ve shoved little lights in the bottles and used them to decorate it. ⠀⠀ There’s something about picking herbs and shoving them in a glass that makes me all kinds of happy. #ginlover #ginloversofinstagram #containergardening #gingarden #botanicals #thanksimadeitmyself
There is rhubarb in it now, no more olives (nasty things anyway), three types of mint, and a collection of old bottles with some little lights in them so the corner is lit at night.
If you have a go at making your own gin garden do let me see the pics!