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!