Thursday, May 30, 2013

St. Paul's and Bea's of Bloomsbury

St. Paul's Cathedral
Thanks to Debs Cook!  It's John Wesley!
A Furry Friend Putting On A Show
Tea and Coffee Menu at Bea's of Bloomsbury
The Afternoon Tea Tray at Bea's
Had to Have Lemon Verbena Tea!
Well, here is the beginning of my trip.  My English Herbal Companion wasn't going to arrive until Sunday so I had to come up with some extras to do.  Easy, peasy!  I decided that I hadn't visited St. Paul's Cathedral since I was first there in 1966!  Very, very inspiring space.  I sat in the domed area for a couple of hours.  It's easy to do.  I even lit three votive candles, one for The Herbal Husband's family, one for my family and one for our friends.  I mention this because my best friend had a diabetic episode after I left and could have died.  So that candle may have helped get her through.

Always interested in afternoon tea in England.  This is a more contemporary take, by a woman from Maryland.  Yes, I came to London to have tea done by an American.  She is known for her cupcakes and they didn't disappoint.  Bea's of Bloomsbury has two locations at the moment and is working on opening a larger place soon.  Very savory sandwiches on mini baguettes and sweet treats, including a delicious cupcake.  Mine because I can't have chocolate was passion fruit with a vanilla cake.  It was delish!  Had a very spirited conversation with a young couple from New Jersey and I told them I wouldn't hold it against them!  They are expecting their first child shortly and I wish them every happiness.  They were on their way to Paris.  One of my favorite places.  He quizzed me on Presidents (because he is a teacher) and I think I did pretty well!  At least he was impressed.  So there you have it.  My first full day in London.  As I'm still getting used to being home, I'll be back with a garden post in the coming days.  Hot and muggy!  Summertime weather in the spring!  Talk to you later.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

I Haven't Been Around and Here's Why!

Some of you have come to read my blog almost every day.  Recently I have not been posting as much as I probably should.  I did sneak out the back door and went to England for ten days without The Herbal Husband.  That's the good news for me.  I don't think I will get that luxury again soon.  Our up and down weather has really been a burden for The Herbal Husband in the garden that I really didn't expect.

So I will be blogging about my trip to the 100th Chelsea Flower Show and meeting some of my dear English blogging friends who felt like long time friends even before I met them.  I will be posting just not every day and will give you a mixture of posts both about the garden because a lot has happened since I left and traveling adventures.  So get your iced, hot tea or favorite herbal beverage ready and hopefully, I'll post about some places you haven't seen and can enjoy from your armchair.  Weather is going to get warmer like summer hot the next few days.  Talk to you later.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Herbal Trees Are Out and Back Inside and Beautiful Weather but cool!

The Bay Laurel-20 Plus Years Old!

A Bay Rum and Allspice Tree
Every year these three herbal trees go inside the basement and survive the winter.  This year the bay rum and allspice were a bit ragged coming back outside.  They are so tightly packed that sometimes they don't get as much water as they need. 

Well, an update on the first part of the story.  We were doing quite well until yesterday and we hit a speed bump in the weather and all the plants that were outside had to go into the garage last night.  We came close to freezing last night.  Fortunately it looks like all survived most importantly the grapes.  Trust me I have grape jelly from last season to spare, but he loves to eat the grapes as much as me making grape jelly.  Here are some photos to catch you up on the garden and what has been going on.
Never Remember I Planted These!
Birds Brought This Native White Dogwood!
Chives Starting to Bloom!
A Closeup of a Kerria Bush

Our Lettuces et al. Are Doing Great!
Lemon Verbena That Has Been Inside!
As you can see, we are busy and busy in the garden and I will leave you with one more photo.
The Lady's Mantle Coming Back to Life
It's is supposed to freeze again tonight.  So please say above freezing prayers for the grapes.  Got to go get the covers off.  Talk to you later.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Lemon Verbena Lady's Book Review for Timber Press--Gardening for a Lifetime by Sydney Eddison

I have been struggling with planning what was going to happen in the garden this season.  The cold weather particularly did not give me a spark to do much.  I have always loved Sydney Eddison's writing and remembered that she had written a book about gardening at an older age called Gardening for a Lifetime from Timber Press.  Yes, I'm probably too young to be worried about this, but at the same time it is never too early to start.

Basically even before reading the book, I had started the process Mrs. Eddison went through by starting to clean out the house.  We still have a long way to go.  It is all a process.  Mrs. Eddison had begun to be overwhelmed by the garden and decided to start clearing the rooms of her home.  It helped her to focus better on what needed to be done in her garden.

Mrs. Eddison takes the reader into her life and journey of coming to grips with changes in her life (her beloved husband's death) and a beautiful garden that had become too much work.  You learn the history of her garden and how it was developed.  She also talks about two friends who go through changes in their lives and gardens and how they coped.  She gives tips for making choices about maintenance and suggestions of plants to make the garden easier to enjoy.

What I liked about this book is the Gleanings at the end of most chapters.  It lets you see the main points of each chapter and so you can refer to them when you need to in later times without reading the entire book.  This book has a lot of common sense help at a time when you may be overwhelmed by garden and life.  It is comforting to know that you aren't alone. With Mother's Day coming, I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is struggling with the day to day issues in the garden.  Take the journey with Mrs. Eddison.  I think you will enjoy it and it may help you to refocus your energy in your garden.