Fabulously Fragrant Floral Latte Garden

Looks like the hottest new coffee spot around is...your garden!

Move over, pumpkin spice! There's a new latte in town—delicately flavored, lightly fragranced, and beautifully garnished with fresh or dried flowers and herbs. Grow a beautiful Floral Latte Garden to discover your favorite fragrances, then use the blooms and herbs to create a beverage that would be the envy of any barista!

Follow these instructions to plant a Floral Latte Garden in a 4' x 6' raised bed. If yours is a different size, note the spacing guidelines to make adjustments. Just be certain to fill it with premium soil formulated especially for raised beds, like Miracle-Gro® Raised Bed Soil. If you love floral or herbal flavors but are short on space, choose a few favorites and grow a mini Floral Latte Garden in containers.

What You'll Need

The following flower and herb starter plants, from a quality grower like Bonnie Plants®:

  • 1 compact "shrublet" rose—a hybrid miniature shrub rose that blooms all season long
  • 7 chamomile plants
  • 2 lavender plants
  • 1 each of these plants: bee balm, lemon balm, chocolate mint, and sweet mint

Plant Your Floral Latte Garden

Use this planting plan as your guide to what goes, and grows, where in your Floral Latte Garden. Pay special attention to the distance between plants: Your garden may look a little bit lonely now, but it will be bursting with colorful flowers and fragrant herbs in no time!

Area 1: Put your sweet mint plant near one corner of the bed, and your chocolate mint near the other corner. Since mint likes to spread, plant each mint plant in a large, clay pot filled with 

Miracle-Gro® Potting Mix, then bury the pots up to their rims in the raised bed. Eventually, both plants will fill in the empty space and overflow the corners.

Area 2:  Stagger your chamomile plants about 8" apart in this long space, creating two, 36" long, alternating rows—one with three plants, the other with four.

Area 3: Plant your lavender plants near the center of your bed, about 12"-18" apart.

Area 4: Plant your lemon balm plant about 6" in from the edge of the bed, at least 24" away from your chocolate mint. As it grows, it will overflow the side and fill the empty space.

Area 5: Place your shrublet rose about 12" inches from the side of the bed. Put the bee balm plant 24" to the right of the shrublet rose. Don't skimp on space: Both of these plants need lots of room to grow and flower!

Give your new plants a thorough watering, then tend to them while they grow. Deadhead old blooms, and gently stake and tie your bee balm and chamomile as they grow taller. Be sure to feed your plants with Miracle-Gro® Water Soluble All Purpose Plant Food every one to two weeks. You'll replenish nutrients in the soil while you water—no extra work needed.

Be Your Own Barista

The easiest way to add a hint of floral or herbal flavor (and beauty!) to your latte—whether it's made with your favorite espresso, matcha, or herbal tea blend—is to garnish the top with a sprinkle of dried or fresh petals and leaves. You can also steep flower petals and herbs in a strainer along with your favorite herbal tea, or stir in an infused simple syrup before adding milk.

To dry flowers and herbs, tie their stems in small bundles and hang them in a well-ventilated space, or place individual petals and leaves flat on paper towels. To use them fresh, carefully remove individual petals and leaves just before serving—don't eat whole flower heads, which contain pollen and could cause an allergic reaction.

To make infused syrup, simmer one cup of water and one cup of sugar in a metal saucepan, pour the mixture over flower petals or herbs (to taste) in a glass bowl, and allow to cool. Strain, then store in an airtight glass jar or bottle in your fridge. Use the syrup like any sweetener, starting with just a touch so you can fine-tune the flavor.

Follow your favorite latte recipe or create your own flavor and color combinations! Try chamomile and lavender for a relaxing afternoon refresher. Mix up a perky pink latte with colorful bee balm. Combine lemon balm and rose for a floral-citrus-mint pick-me-up, or keep things sweet and simple by adding dried chocolate mint with a sweet mint leaf garnish. Just be prepared—once your friend group discovers your caffeinated creations, you may end up playing barista on a regular basis.

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