On the Corsican Mint Project


In which The Gay Recluse becomes increasingly obsessed with Corsican mint.

This was just a few days ago: politics aside, it’s been another good season for Corsican mint!

Of all the groundcovers we introduced into the garden, Corsican mint (Mentha requienii) has attained a particular affection for us. Although it has thrived in several places in the garden, it is most spectacular in the crevices of our stone wall, where it seems to have grown with a true sense of purpose and deliberation, a quality so often lacking in less disciplined plants (and you know who you are!). Its translucent lime leaves provide a beautiful contrast to the darker hues of the surrounding stone — a warm gray — the deep greens and silvers of the conifers and the burned reds of the brick path. Our only fear is that with a hardiness level of Zone 7, it may not survive the New York City winter; but we will not think of that now, and instead imagine a spring marked by tiny fields of Corsican mint, and the even more microscopic blooms that will hover above it like infinite stars on a clear night.

The Gay Recluse, September 2007


3 Responses to “On the Corsican Mint Project”

  1. 1 Brian Robin

    I read your article with some interest and was disapponted to see that there has been no update on how well the mint has fared over the winter; maybe it is still too early to tell? I am currently putting the finishing touches on a small (400 sq. ft.) japanese coutryard garden and have been looking for a ground cover for a major portion of it. I have looked at other ground covers, but the look and smell of Corsican mint has me interested in it’s possibilties.
    I would be interested to know if you propagated your mint by seed or with plant starts and how fast it spread. As I’ve mentioned, I have a large area to cover and like most gardeners I am anxious to see asthestic progress this summer (even though we all know that we gardeners are never completely done).
    I live in Southern Oregon zone 7-8 and I am concerned that the mint might not look good throughout the winter months. I would appreciate any update on your garden.
    Thank you

  2. 2 Doug Larson

    I planted corsican mint from seed obtained from The Thyme Garden. Location is Tri-Cities, Washington. The seed is very small and mixed with sand and spread with a fertilizer spreader worked out well. It took quite a while to germinate, do not cover with anything, and grew and spread nicely throughout the summer. By end of summer there began to be brown patches and some seemed to have an infestation of fleas or some type of insect like that. We had a cold winter and much of it stayed green all winter and seems to be in good shape this spring. The brown areas seem to have enlarged but I’m hoping they’ll all come back.

  3. 3 Brenda

    I used to live in upstate NY (zone 5) and I grew Corsican Mint in between stepping stones. A friend gave me a clump of hers and told me that it wasn’t supposed to ‘come back’ in our zone but that she had good luck with it. Mine came back every year and spread nicely. It spread into my lawn which I didn’t mind b/c the smell was heavenly when I would mow the grass. It does tolerate foot traffic and releases the most wonderful fragrance as you step on it. Mine received morning sun and I tried to make sure it never dried out. Cuttings root easily. One of my favorite plants and I think it is underused. Hope this helps.

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