Pretty, Perky Peppermint Leafs, Planting Tips and Derby Day

perky green and white peppermint leaves

One of the peppermint plants in my latest score from the 99 Cent Store is variegated. I took a close-up just for fun to share with my gardening pals. I admit to being fascinated with the many color variations that show up on plants like these.

OK, here’s my hot mint tip: Never, ever plant mint in the open ground. You cannot contain it and it will take over your yard. EVEN IF you have a yard that kills everything. Trust me. Don’t ask how I know.

Now, I know peppermint has nothing to do with regular mint. But it’s still minty so this is where the Derby Day part comes in.

Mint always makes me think of my old pal Nancy. She was from Kentucky and like any proper southern belle she had one hell of a kick-ass Derby Day party every year. She’d pile bouquets of roses everywhere (It’s the Run For the Roses). It was almost always a perfect day to be outside on the patio and the evenings were balmy. And she had a friend who would make mint juleps from scratch.

I’m just a barbarian from The Wild West so I know nothing of the finer points of proper mint juleps creation. But I do know it involved fermenting mint (regular mint, not peppermint). And I recall stories of her Julep Alchemist looking for heaps of fresh mint every year. We would heartily enjoy many drinks, pick our horses and get misty-eyed with Nancy when they played My Old Kentucky Home. And even though the race started early in the day Pacific Time, the celebration would continue on into Sunday evening. And since we didn’t know any better about not drinking too many juleps, there would be many of us calling in sick on Monday morning. Tuesday we’d have a recap and a good laugh.

My dear Nancy has moved on to a place where I hope they have equally outstanding Derby Day parties, and she doesn’t have to worry about her guests dropping the good crystal on the patio. So, the next time you smell some mint I suggest you too think of balmy days, roses and good friends.