Friday, May 23, 2014

Visiting a Royal Park — and a new tea discovery

Since so many of you love gardens as much as I do, I thought I'd share some photos from our last day in London and our visit to Regent's Park, one of the Royal Parks that is located in Central London. This park was amazing, and since we visited on a Monday that happened to be a Bank Holiday, lots of people were there enjoying the day off with their family. (I should mention that this spectacular place is also free to visit — and I definitely would have paid to see all this!)

The grounds are beautifully maintained, and I marveled at how "sculpted" some of the designs looked.

Bright, colorful flowers were very much in abundance!

I saw this beautiful chartreuse colored plant, which I found very unusual. Any of you gardeners out there happen to know what this is?

Here's a close-up of the bell-shaped blossoms.

Regent's Park wasn't even on my radar for this trip, but Alex read about it and thought I'd like the fact that Queen Mary's Gardens here have more than 30,000 roses of 400 varieties! Have mercy!

While I rambled around taking photos, he sat on a bench with an older woman who told him the roses would be at their peak about a week later. I saw plenty of pretty roses, but many of the bushes were just beginning to bloom. Oh, to have been there a week later!

I don't believe I saw this particular rose identified, but I did write down the names of many of the varieties I saw growing there. If you're like me, I'd love knowing I'm growing something that appears in a "Royal" garden. Some of the varieties include Double Delight, Royal Philharmonic, Cleopatra, Golden Wedding, Commonwealth Glory, Blessings, Tintinara, Savoy Hotel, Nostalgia, Sight Saver, Fulton Mackay, Elina, Just Joey (tea friend Marilyn grows these!), Thelma Barlow, Remember Me, Ingrid Bergman, Lovely Lady, Ice Cream, Keep Smiling, Belle Epoch, Royal Parks, Cornelia, Sweet Juliet, Port Sunlight, Lady Salisbury, Velvet Fragrance and The Herbalist. This should give me plenty to research before it's time to plant roses next spring!

Switching gears, I thought I'd bring things back to tea by mentioning that not all the bushes I saw grow roses. This "Redbush" tea from Tetley, a rooibos, was one of the teas available at breakfast at our hotel. Since I couldn't try them all before leaving, I might have tucked a few teabags in my suitcase to take home with me.

And thank goodness I did! Now some of you have probably experienced this sort of teabag before, but I have not. What an elaborate network of strings! And if you study the graphic along the bottom, you get a hint about the purpose of the strings.

You separate the tag along the perforation and pull out the strings a bit before placing the teabag into the teacup.

When you've let the tea steep as long as you like, you pull the strings apart and the teabag squeezes itself! Now isn't that clever? Leave it to the Brits. (And yes, the tea was quite good!)

Coming Monday: Remembering D-Day in Normandy


  1. The shape of the bells on that plant are similar to Bells of Ireland. But of course Bells of Ireland are stalks; so that is not it. But they are quite lovely! So glad you thought to include pictures of the garden for those of us enjoying London through your eyes!

  2. What a beautiful park! And an interesting tea bag.

  3. What an ingenious teabag! I'd have to look up the chartreuse plant as it's not familiar to me.
    The gardens are everything I'd expect, England is the origin of most Canadian gardens and gardeners.
    The more I see of your trip, I'm thinking you must have been on cloud nine!

  4. What a great idea for a tea bag! Thank you for giving us a walk in the Royal Garden. The roses were pretty. Did they each have a different distinct scent?

  5. The plant looks like a type of euphorbia to me; I have the variety polychroma that has the same type of bloom. Oh, those roses!

  6. p.s. On googling the plant, the name euphorbia wulfenii came up from the dark recesses of my brain, and I believe that may be your plant!

  7. Beautiful park with beautiful gardens! When my hubby and I visited London we were surprised at all the people who visit the parks, but since many of them have no yards or gardens of their own, the parks become their areas of pleasure and recreation.
    I've never seen a tea bag designed to squeeze itself. Great innovation!

  8. The Royal Park and all those roses - WOW! And the teabag with the complex strings quite interesting!

  9. You were in England at such a lovely time of year - it was bursting with color to celebrate with you!

  10. Hello Angela, more gorgeous photos! Have so enjoyed your posts this week. You are such a talented writer / reporter / photographer. Thanks so much, Joanie

    ps: if you ever put together a calendar, I would love to buy it!

  11. Looks like a beautiful day to view a pretty rose garden! Lucky you! Tea bag/strings so interesting. Will have to find them in USA!

  12. The gardens and roses are amazing!
    Oh yes, Just Joey is in my garden. I just added a new one called Tea Clipper, can't wait to see it grow and bloom. The teabag also is quite clever.

  13. Beautiful! And what a cleaver tea bag, that is new to me.


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