Wednesday, May 23, 2012

An update from the garden

I thought it was time for a bit of a garden update, and I also wanted an excuse to show you one of my birthday presents this year, this adorable beaded plant stake with a popular tea quote: "A woman is like a tea bag ..."

"You never know how strong she is until she gets into hot water." A birthday gift from Kentucky friends Linda and Lynn while on my trip to Asheville a few weeks ago, this was the perfect accessory to go in my oversized teacup planter!

Everything is filling out quite nicely. You can see here that the foliage from all the herbs was much smaller at the beginning of the season. And I really do use my herbs, the variegated peppermint and the pineapple mint to make minted "simple syrups" for iced tea, and the lemon thyme went into the Asparagus Tart I made over the weekend. I love being able to just walk outside and pinch off a few fresh herbs for cooking.

You experienced gardeners no doubt knew this already, but I did a doubletake the other day when I realized thyme actually has tiny little purple flowers on it! Sweet!

In my slowly-filling-out shade garden, I was thrilled to pieces that my Hydrangea serrata 'Amacha' has blooms this year. The first year I planted it, it bloomed all pretty and pink. The second year, nothing happened and I was afraid I'd killed it.

This year the color is different, a bright lavender, but I am just happy to know I didn't kill it. This hydrangea is an old Japanese variety that is used to make tea. I think I'll just let my hydrangea continue to bloom for a few years before I see about making tea with it!

This week I tidied up a bit in my puttering area, and using a new (from the junk store) wire basket I was happy to add my stunning new English garden tools and gloves, a birthday gift from Michigan tea friends Phyllis and Sandy. (I know I need to actually *use* the tools at some point, but they're so pretty and shiny right now I just enjoy looking at them!)

These two friends also gave me this great garden apron, a tulip design with nice roomy pockets that I can't wait to wear when I'm next out there juggling seeds and tools!

And finally I thought I'd share the progress in our straw bale garden.

The tomatoes are coming up quite nicely, some of them requiring cages already.

Soon, you can look for some tea time tomato recipes on here. Thanks for joining me in the garden today, friends!


  1. You have a lovely garden and accessories!

  2. Your garden is doing nicely and yes, it is nice to go out and pick what herbs you need. That, to me is a luxury! I saw the pictures of your garden tools and thought, she cares for hers way better than I care for mine . . and then I read that they were NEW!!! LOL! I thought you were a tool perfectionists who always cleaned and oiled after each use!

  3. Your garden looks so good. And, I knew you would find a perfect place to use the little garden stake.

  4. I really enjoyed your post. Love the herb garden and I had never seen a hay bale garden. Very impressive.

  5. Your garden is doing quite well!

    I love your garden plaque- so perfect for you, the ultimate tea lady!

    Now, isn't that basil that is showing the flowers? Time is the one above it with itty bitty rounded leaves, yes?

    Just checkin. But it looks like basil to me.

    Happy day to you, Angela!

  6. I love your hay bale garden-- that's brilliant! Your plant stake is darling-- I love that saying, and the pot you placed it in is perfect!

  7. Everything looks fabulous! Come link with me for Tea in the Garden!

  8. Angela, I am so glad I found your blog! It has been a daily delight for me since I discovered it just over a month ago. Love your herb "cup" and the straw bale garden is a great idea. Thanks for all the inspiration.

  9. Hi Angela,
    I always liked the quote about the teabag and it is such a cute ornament for your garden. I love fresh tomatoes from the garden; yum! Thanks for sharing.


  10. Angela, I luv the garden marker,I have a bookmark with that same quote,did Eleanor Roosevelt coin that quote!!! Also passing along another garden item @ Joann fabrics a pink teapot watering can,small but usable for container plants. Just planted my garden us folks up north have to wait!!!

  11. I love visiting your garden. What amazed me in our travels is the differences in regions and the progress in their gardens. Being further south you are definitely further ahead of us here.

  12. Enjoyed strolling the gardens with you today! Everything looks healthy and thriving. Love the newest garden art!

  13. amazing how far along your plants are! well done..
    and i do enjoy your cute teabag addition :)
    finding you via friend Bernideen..

  14. I am so glad you posted your straw bale garden- I looked at them on Internet. How did you get the center out to put the soil in the bale and then the tomato plant??? We just ended up putting straw around the tomato plant in the ground. Please keep posting how the growth stands up to being in the bale!!!! Very interested!
    Karyl in Illinois!

  15. Your garden looks great. Looking forward to tomato recipes. I spotted my first green tomatoes, in my garden, last week.


  17. It's good to see your garden is doing so well - love the straw bale gardening! And how nice it is to have fresh herbs. Joanie


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