December 8, 2010

Memorable Tea Time

ideal view for afternoon tea
Hardly there is one day passing without my reading an article mentioning about tea. The title of today's NY Times op-ed piece "The Tea Maker" caught my eye.  Written by Yoko Ono, John Lennon's artistic widow, her short but poignant piece brings about the essence of her loving relationship with her husband.  It would invariably reminds many reader's own tea moments.  I recall my first formal tea as a teenager in an American teacher's house, the tea-toasting as a guest with my parents at a banquet,  the iced tea break during a garden tour with my daughter in a lovely creamy yellow room,  the rustic style tea tasting at the terrace where tea was produced, an elaborate high-mountain tea tasting prepared by the farmer's son with radiant happy face..... Occasions vary and long past, but the pleasant memories are refreshingly alive.

December 1, 2010

Winter Garden

archway view of the formal garden

winter camellia shrub with profuse flowers
My recent Thanksgiving break at Outer Banks, NC brought me a surprise which I longed to encounter: winter blooming camellias at Elizabethan Gardens.  So many varieties were showing their unique beauty just like model displays seen on nursery catalogs!  Better still, I could smell the fragrance and see the shrubs in established form with glossy leaves (they shine like polished shoe tips).

Another surprise was to learn how to prune myrtle tree French style "pollarding" : topping the branches at same spot every spring before new growth.  The tree forms unique knuckles where new growth sprouts for summer blooming branches.  The picture on top highlights the contour of a well pruned myrtle tree.  More garden views below.  Enjoy!

entrance cove to the garden

view of Atlantic ocean from garden gate