Stop...and Smell the Mints

A Glimpse into the Mint Family of Plants: Lamiaceae

by Randy Collins


Book Details

One Man’s Retirement transition from Accounting to Gardening

Randall Collins had spent all his life applying practical skills to achieve results. As an accountant, he was used to organization, analysis, and responsibility. After he retired, he found himself with a gap in his life; he wanted to be productive, but he’d had enough of being answerable to a boss or a client – he wanted to work on his own terms. Like many people, he turned to gardening and found it to be a compelling, fascinating world. For him, it was a perfect solution – the meticulous, observation-focused mindset he’d developed as an accountant translated beautifully to the process and science of gardening, while the art and creativity required to nurture and grow ornamental plants allowed him to explore a new side of himself. But at the heart of this memoir is Collins’ greatest challenge: how to outsmart a foraging white-tailed deer who saw the garden as his personal gourmet salad bar. A warm, relatable story of how one man came to terms with retirement and nature, Stop…and Smell the Mints is both delightful and educational.


Book Excerpt

The genus Clinopodium contains about 20 species of mint that are native to America, Asia and Europe. This genus shares the common name Calamint with its close cousin, Calamintha. One common species, Clinopodium douglasii was used to make a pain-relieving tea and Spanish missionaries named it Yerba Buena. They named a nearby town in central California after the herb but the town's name was later changed to San Francisco...the minty city. Another species, Clinopodium laevigatum, is used in Mexico as a tea to cure hangovers and is called the Hangover Herb or Yerba de Borracho. Like many mints it is a low growing, herbaceous perennial with clusters of small butterfly-attracting, 2-lipped flowers on top. Clinopodium species are tough, tolerating full sun and drought and make excellent additions to your herb, rock or perennial garden.


About the Author

Randy Collins

Randall P. Collins was born, raised, and educated in Central Indiana. After college, he worked for IBM for twenty-nine years, after which he spent fifteen years as a small-business financial consultant. Randall and his late wife had three children, and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He currently enjoys family life and retirement with his second wife, whom he married in 2002. He is a certified master gardener, and a member, emeritus, of the Aiken County Master Gardener Association, the South Carolina Native Plant Society, the Georgia Perennial Plant Association, and the American Horticultural Society.