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  • Instagram Gardening Sessions

    March 17, 2020

    I’ll be offering live, free Instagram gardening, herbs, and wild world goodness short form sessions daily at 2pm PDT here. Since we can’t come to you to empower you in your garden, we’re offering this programming to encourage self-quarantining as we all work to flatten the curve and keep all of humanity safe.

    Instagram Gardening Sessions & Wild World explorations to help us past this difficult time

    Click here to find & follow our Instagram page

    Once you start following us, each day at about 2pm PDT, you should see an alert that we’re broadcasting live. Tune in with the whole family and join the fun!

    Can’t tune in to the live program at 2pm PDT? I’ll post the recorded program to our “Live Stories” on Instagram where you can catch them for 24 hours following the live event.

    I was inspired to offer fun, short learning sessions for all the kids and parents trying to stay sane during these tough days at home. But, these programs are geared toward all ages.

    I’ll be posting polls and Q&As on our Instagram story posts to give viewers a place to vote for topics, give feedback and make requests. Please no requests to address only your specific needs, but general topic requests are always welcome. If you need help with your garden, we’ll be happy to schedule something just as soon as it’s safe to leave quarantine. You might try searching our site or blog for articles to help you. Or, visit our contact form to submit requests. If we can, we’ll try to help you from afar.

    -Thanks, Robin

  • Chai Tea Recipe

    March 14, 2020
    Our Chai tea is filled with herbs known for their antiviral*^ properties and tasty-deliciousness. It’s spicy, warming, nourishing, and this recipe is one we’ve kept to ourselves, offering it as blended gifts, but never before as a published recipe. Until now, when we must all come together to stay healthy. We believe giving our best to each other is one of our healthiest and heartwarming practices. Since it takes a while to prepare and we drink it daily, we like to make a big batch at one time.

    Chai Tea Herbs

    Chai Tea herbal blends are powerful & delicious

    *If you’d like more information about the herbs included in this tea, please get in touch.

    Enjoy our downloadable recipe that follows!

    If you want or need any of our suggested ingredients, we appreciate your returned support by shopping through the convenient Amazon Affiliate links we’ve listed below. Times are tough for small businesses like ours during this period of quarantine. Your online purchases not only provide a small payment to us without increasing your cost, but they also bring the goods right to your door.


    (Qualifying purchases made through affiliate &/or sponsored links on this page and others on this site pay a small percentage to Garden Mentors.)


    Garden Mentors Chai Tea Recipe Print Print
    Makes about 8-10, 8 oz servings

    Ingredients

    • 8-10t dried astragalus root
    • 1 t (or more) whole black peppercorns
    • 16 freshly, slightly crushed green cardamom pods
    • 1/2 t (about 20-30) whole cloves
    • 3-4 whole cinnamon sticks (we prefer Ceylon)
    • 2-3 t dried ginger root, not powder (peeled & chopped fresh may be substituted to taste)
    • 4-6 t chopped, dried orange peel
    • 4 whole star anise pods
    • 1-2 Tablespoons dried rose petals (optional)
    • 1 t dried licorice root (optional)
    • 6-8 black tea bags**
    • 8-10 cups fresh water

    Preparation Suggestion:

    Combine herbs except black tea bags into a large cooking pot with lid. Add water. Cover tightly. Heat to a boil & immediately reduce to a very low simmer.

    Simmer for 45 minutes to an hour. Turn off heat. Add tea bags. Stir. Cover.

    Steep with tea bags to desired strength. Remove tea bags.**

    At this point, you can strain the botanicals from the liquid by pouring through a fine mesh strainer. Press to get last liquid from botanicals.

    Tea is ready at this point. If you aren’t going to drink all of it immediately, allow it to cool. Then pour into containers, label with name and date, and store in the fridge for several days to a week.

    Serving suggestions: We fill a big mug about halfway, reheat with a steamer or microwave, add honey to taste, and top off with steamed milk or coconut milk for a rich, latte. If your blend is too strong, try diluting with a bit of fresh water to taste.

    ** We like our tea very strong, so we use the larger number of black tea bags and leave the tea bags and botanicals to steep, covered, until the entire mixture cools. Then, we strain everything at once.

    ^Medical Disclaimer: The information on our sites, seminars, in any supplementary information, & social media outlets is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained on or available through these materials are for general information purposes only. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on our site, through our seminars or via any related media, outlets or materials. Statements regarding herbs & products offered here have not been evaluated by the FDA. Herbal products sold, recipes offered & plants reviewed or sold by Garden Mentors are not intended to treat, prevent or cure disease. Please do your own research about each herb’s properties & constituents before using them. Garden Mentors is not responsible for individual use of these products or recipes.

  • Garden & Herbalist Education Programs

    April 25, 2019

    We have many free garden seminars, free guided nature hikes & free to sliding scale hands-0n herbalist classes.

    And, we have several free offerings available even as we all stay home to stay safe in the time of Covid-19.

    This page offers a quick next-up, easy-reference timeline to help you fill your calendar with all of our programs – free hikes, free & for-fee seminars, maker’s markets and more.

    Free Garden Seminar Hiking classroom

    Our nature hikes are free & we offer many free garden seminars too. Even classes with a fee often come on a sliding scale!

    Some programs are free and don’t require registration. Others may require registration (whether free or for-fee). As registration opens up, we’ll update the links here as soon as possible. And, of course, if you want to be notified directly, be sure to subscribe to our mailing list now. That’s your very best bet to get regular updates (especially during our busy spring and summer seasons!) There’s also Robin’s Great Garden Speaker page to follow here.

    (This is list will be updated regularly to add new programs & remove past programs.)

    In the time of Covid-19, our in-person events are cancelled. However, we can still get you out in nature & teach you from afar. Please join us!

    • Primo Plantings (& More) for Potent Pollinators
      • Join Robin for a virtual, interactive seminar featuring her best tips for gardening for and with pollinators – just in time for food gardening season. Not a food gardener? No worries! This program is for all garden- & pollinator-curious!
      • Date: May, 29, 2020 at 6pm PDT LIVE
      • Where: Online via Zoom
      • Tickets available now & until 2pm PDT on May 29, 2020
      • All ages & gardening levels welcome.
    • A Gardener’s Tour of Paris in Springtime
      • Date: This event is over
      • If you are interested in a private group booking or future Paris tours, please get in touch.
    • Online Valley Made Maker’s Market now Open!
      • Dates: Open indefinitely!
      • Valley Made Market: We were accepted to this juried Skagit maker’s market just as Covid-19 shut down in-person gatherings. Fortunately for all of us, the organizers quickly pivoted to offer this “buy local/buy small” market online. Find our goods & many other fabulous makers to support here. 
    • Free Daily Instagram Live & On-demand IGTV Programming
      • When: Daily, live at 2pm PDT on Instagram Live & on IGTV on demand anytime.
      • What: Robin takes us live into the natural world, offering lessons in gardening & explorations of the natural world. Have requests, check the GardenMentors Instagram stories for daily opportunities to vote on forthcoming programs.
      • Plus: Surprise Instagram Live herbal maker DIY programs that are available on demand in our IGTV herbal maker series anytime. And, you’ll find printable recipes via our blog to go with the DIY videos.
    • Willowbrook Manor Evening Tea + Herbalist & Gardening Presentations
      • 2020 Dates: June 20th, July 11th, August 15th & September 19th (As of May, we have high hopes we may be able to offer some of these programs. Contact Willowbrook directly for the latest information and bookings.)
      • Times: Saturdays at 5pm
      • Location: Sedro-Woolley, WA
      • Etsy Samples & Sales: Robin hopes to be sampling & selling botanical body goods on site. Cash, check & Credit/Debit accepted.
      • Details: Robin will be presenting herbalist demos and gardening seminars following a delicious dinner tea service in the gardens (or tea rooms should weather not cooperate) of Willowbrook Manor Tea House & Chamomile Farm. AirBnB and glamping accommodations may be available. Contact Willowbrook Manor for all reservations. Full schedule, seminar details, menu & pricing information to come. 
    • Hands-on Herbal Grow, Harvest & Prepare Classes
      • Dates: TBD in time of Covid-19
      • Location: Skagit Valley locations to be announced soon!
      • Details: We’re working on several dates & venues for hands-on beginner herbal growing, harvesting, preserving and crafting classes for 2020. Enrollment will be limited.
      • Notification sign up:  If you’d like to join us, sign up for our mailing list to be sure you are among the first to find out when our enrollment opens. Classes will fill up fast! Subscribe to our mailing list here.
    • Padilla Bay Environmental Research Center Upland Trail Walks
      • Dates: Cancelled due to Covid-19
      • Time: 10am
      • Location: Bay View, WA (Skagit County). Meet at the Arbor at the start of the upland trail.
      • Cost: Free
    • San Juan County Master Gardeners 2020 Annual Conference Keynote
      • Date: 10/17/20
      • Location: San Juan Island
      • Etsy Samples & Sales: Robin will be sampling & selling our botanical body goods before & after the club meeting. Cash or check only. Credit/Debit in a pinch.
      • Additional Details to come
  • A Decade of NWFGS Seminars with Us

    January 25, 2019

    It’s amazing how quickly ten years of speaking at NWFGS, aka the Northwest Flower and Garden Show/Festival has flown by. This year, 2019, marks the 10th year I (Robin) have been invited to speak at the show. Gulp!

    NWFGS Garden of Fragrant Delights Plant

    Join us to learn about growing fragrant delights like this in your garden & enjoying them indoors fresh & preserved as well.

    I hope you’ll join me at the newly branded NW Flower & Garden Festival on Sunday, February 24th at 2:15pm in the Rainier Room for Growing a Garden of Fragrant Delights.


    Want to get into NWFGS  for free in 2019?

    (You’re still welcome to subscribe for free, but this offer is no longer available to new subscribers.)

    Be sure you’re subscribed to our mailing list before February 1, 2019 for a chance at our subscriber-only free ticket opportunity!


    This year I’m super excited to be speaking about growing fragrance in our gardens, being thoughtful about placement of some super stinky plants, appreciating wild aromas, and bringing the delicious scents of nature into our homes in fresh and preserved forms in ways that may be healing as well as aromatic. I’ll also be sharing samples of the handmade products crafted from fragrant garden delights that we now sell in our GardenMentorsDesigns Etsy Shop!

    Before I became a NWFGS speaker, I was involved with the show in many other ways. Over the years, I worked with some amazing folks to create award-winning show gardens. I’ve coached clients in their award-winning floral creations and City Living Displays.

    NWFGS Floral Designer Mari Malcolm at work

    In 2015 my dear friend & garden coaching client Mari Malcolm stunned NWFGS audiences with her award-winning floral wedding cake design. I had the honor of visiting her & cheering her on as she crafted her groundbreaking work of floral art.

    No matter how I participated in the show each year — as a tourist in my pre-participant years or as a show garden volunteer in my student (and later years) or as a designer or speaker in my professional years — the NW Flower & Garden Show always been an annual highlight and honor for me.

    For fun, here’s a recap of my decade of NWFGS Seminars:  (more…)

  • Handmade Herbal Body Products on Sale Now!

    January 10, 2019

    Our handmade herbal body products are now for sale on Etsy & via our embedded stop here! 

    Our handmade salves, beard oil, body oil, face oil, belly oil, deodorant, kisser cake lip balms, hydrosols and more have become so popular that we’ve put them up for sale in the GardenMentorsDesigns Etsy shop.  These herbal goodies are all inspired by our love of the natural world and the human connection to . Much of what we sell is derived from herbal flora we grow with intention, forage ethically in the wild, or harvest with permission from friends’ gardens.

    Air Refreshers & External Body Care:


    If you like our shop offerings, be sure to favorite it. On special occasions we’ll send out offers to folks who love our store and shop there, and often shoppers will get a reward for making a purchase too.

    And, if you aren’t subscribed to our mailing list, sign up soon. Our subscribers always get the best of our giveaways and discounts!

    If there’s something missing from the store that you’d like to see us offer, get in touch. We’ll do our best to produce the handmade herbal items our shoppers love most.

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(Qualifying purchases made through affiliate &/or sponsored links on this page and others on this site pay a small percentage to Garden Mentors.)