Just My Cup of Tea…

Let's relax and enjoy a cup of tea together!

Let’s relax and enjoy a cup of tea together!

 

 

Hi Friends!

I cannot sit and chat with you,

The way I’d like to do,

So brew yourself a cup of tea,

I’ll think of you… you think of me.

{via ayuliyana.tumblr.com}

 

Enjoying a cup of tea is one of my very favorite things to do. It’s lovely to sip tea while enjoying a great book. It’s even lovelier to enjoy tea with a good friend!

Taking a few moments to walk out to the Herb Garden to pick herbal ‘tea’ leaves always makes me smile. The sunshine, gentle breezes, and birdsong fill my heart and this small moment feels like a little celebration!

True tea, in over 3,000 varieties, all comes from just one plant ~ Camellia sinensis. It only grows in regions where the climate, soil, and altitude are just right. So, I actually brew an infusion or tisane from our herbs. The word ‘tea’ brings such warm thoughts, so I always call our tisane  ‘tea,’ for the pure pleasure it brings!

Herbal teas are made with the leaves, flowers, roots, fruit, berries, or bark of certain plants.  The leaves of the mint and sage plants, in our Tea garden bed, make wonderful tea. It’s so easy to brew a cup of herbal tea made with Candy Mint, Chocolate Mint, Peppermint, Sweet Mint, Lemon Balm, Apple Mint, or Pineapple Sage. It’s nice to create your own custom blends, too!  Let’s walk down the path to the Herb Garden together…

Our unseasonably cool July afternoon is just perfect for a hot cup of Chocolate Mint tea.

Old basket handles make nice supports in the herb garden!

 Although there are different ways to make herbal tea, I have always used this very simple method:

♥ Pick several leaves from the plant.

♥ Wash the leaves gently.

♥ Bring fresh, cold water to a boil.

♥ Place leaves into a teacup and add boiling water.

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♥ Place the saucer on top of the cup  and let tea brew for five minutes or longer.

Flavor, rather than color, will determine when your herbal tea is ready.

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♥ Carefully remove the leaves.

♥ Enjoy your freshly brewed herbal tea!

Of course, you don’t need an Herb Garden at all…

Just a small mint or sage plant, in a pretty pot on your windowsill, would be perfect!

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Having tea with friends is always so delightful. On summer afternoons, friends often enjoy going into our Herb Garden to touch the leaves of each plant, smell each scent, choose their favorite variety, or experiment with their own unique blend. It always becomes an impromptu ‘tea party!’

Jen Roffe Print on Etsy {via Pinterest}

Jen Roffe Print on Etsy {via Pinterest}

 

This has been a week filled with serendipity ~ pleasant surprises!

Just this morning, a sweet friend reminded me that today is the birthday of a truly remarkable woman.

It’s Beatrix Potter’s birthday!

Beatrix was born on July 28, 1866, in London. For generations, her charming characters ~ Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddle-duck, and their friends ~ have warmed the hearts of readers everywhere, as they live and play amongst the gardens and flowers. Beatrix loved gardening and plants. Her sweet watercolor illustrations bring each story to life! Over the years, I delighted in sharing Beatrix Potter’s classic tales with my young students.

Unknown{www.gutenburg.org }

“The secret to a well balanced life

is a cup of tea in one hand

and a good book in the other.”

{via Tumblr}
 
 
 

Currently, I’m reading the wonderful biography,  Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life by Marta McDowell. It’s fascinating to read quotations from Beatrix Potter’s letters, journals, and books to discover the path that led to her love of gardening. It’s such fun to learn about  the plants that grew in her garden at Hill Top Farm and influenced her stories. In addition to publishing more than 23 books, Beatrix is much admired for her work in land preservation in The Lake District, in England. The more I read about her life, the more I appreciate her gifts as a writer, an artist, and a visionary.

As I sip my tea and read, I find so much garden inspiration…

and travel inspiration, too!

I dream of exploring The Lake District, Hill Top Farm, and the countryside that inspired Beatrix.

Walking where Beatrix Potter walked…

In fact, today would be the perfect day to watch the wonderful movie, Miss Potter, again.

Beatrix Potter will always be ‘just my cup of tea!’

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My favorite author and illustrator, Susan Branch, shares her heartwarming diary of her visits to Hill Top Farm, while traveling through The Lake District,in her latest book, A Fine Romance.  Her hand-lettered, watercolored diary is such a treasure!  It is a wonderful book to read again and again…and dream!

                                                                               

  You will LOVE Susan’s blog posts: Beatrix Potter and Me.

I think she will be ‘just your cup of tea,’ too!

 Scatter sunshine!

♡ Dawn

 P.S.  Please share your memories of Beatrix Potter’s stories with us. Perhaps you grew up hearing these tales, shared them with your family, or shared them with your students. If you have been lucky enough to visit Hill Top Farm, we would love to hear your memories of that very special place!

 
 
 
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22 thoughts on “Just My Cup of Tea…

  1. Dearest Dawn! Good morning! You are talking about several of my passions here…..tea, for one. We too here in Minnesota have been experiencing a cooler than normal summer and just yesterday while my husband and I were out on our deck writing poetry, I had to go inside to make a pot of tea and then bring out our tray to enjoy a warm cup. THEN….you speak of Beatrix Potter! My dear and beloved friend Penny (who won the silver tea set giveaway!) just received the very book you are reading on gardening, and loves it. My dream is to go visit the Lake District where Potter lived and her books have enchanted me not in my youth, but in my adulthood. There is so much in this post I can relate to; thank you for this lovely dawn of a new day, with my tea cup. Anita

  2. Good morning, Anita! It’s such a treat to have some cool days this summer… perfect for sipping hot tea. We have the same travel dreams. Have you read A Fine Romance? You would adore it! Happy summer days! ♡

  3. Hello Dawn! I’ve been away because family has been visiting for my 60th birthday. And speaking of tea, they surprised me with a lovely Garden Tea Party for my birthday. Just for my family….3 kids, spouses, hubby and 5 grandchildren. It was perfect! I love hearing about your love for tea and thank you, too, for a little tutorial on how to make herb tea/tisane. Our little visits to your blog are always so sweet….like YOU! xo…Karen

  4. Hi Karen P! I knew you were celebrating… and I’ve been thinking of you! A Garden Tea Party was the perfect celebration for you, Karen. Can’t wait to see your pictures! This post was especially for you. At the very beginning of the blog, you asked for a little tea tutorial. Hope you are enjoying a relaxing day, with a cup of tea! ♡

  5. I love tea. Before I started working full time (again) my friend and I would schedule tea every week. It would give us time to catch up and we could use our favorite tea cups and such. I miss that, but still enjoy a cup of tea almost any time.
    I love Beatrix Potter. Happy Birthday to her…she accomplished so many great things in her lifetime.
    Karen

  6. Hi Karen B,
    Making time for tea helps slow the busy days down a bit. It’s so nice just to enjoy the moment, whether it’s a quiet moment alone (with a good book), or a visit with a friend. Tea time is such a special tradition!
    We watched “Miss Potter” again last night. I cry every time! What a wonderful movie about an inspiring woman! Thanks for stopping by, Karen! ♡

  7. Dawn,

    Oh, I wish I could pop over and have a cup of tea (my choice😊) with you. I didn’t know how to make tea, from leaves. I’m so glad you explained it! I would love a little pot of mint! Love Beatrix Potter, and so enjoy Susan’s book!

    Blessings,
    Gert

  8. Hi Gert! What fun it would be if you could pop over for tea! It’s so easy to use fresh mint leaves to brew tea, creating your favorite flavor combinations. Beatrix and Susan truly inspire us in so many ways. Wishing you happy summer days, Gert! ♡

  9. Hi Dawn! Is the teapot in those photos yours? It’s adorable! It’s so funny that you wrote this post; just this past weekend I made some herbal “tea” using my pineapple sage leaves! I would love to try some chocolate mint tea! Hopefully one day we’ll get to sit down and sip some together ❤ Hope you're enjoying your week!

  10. I so enjoyed that new biography about Beatrix Potter. I didn’t really discover her until my children were born. Then, we read her stories and watched the old BBC vhs tapes about Peter Rabbit’s adventures. We still have them. I wish they would come out on DVD so I can show them to my grandchildren one day. When I have grandchildren that is. I got you all signed up in the club Dawn! Thanks for joining.

  11. Hi Chris! I made the tea in an antique tea cup. It was the tea cup that started my little collection. I just love its unique shape and delicate pattern. I love Pineapple Sage herbal tea, too. Your Pineapple Sage plant is perennial. Maybe next year, you can add a Chocolate Mint plant to your garden. Anytime I plant mint, I use this method: Cut the top and bottom from a 2L plastic bottle to create a cylinder. Dig a hole deep enough to hold the entire cylinder. Fill the bottle with soil and plant the mint inside. This will help keep the roots growing straight down. They will be less likely to spread into nearby plants. Mint is very easy to grow, but best controlled right from the start! Wouldn’t it be nice to sip tea together? We’d have lots to talk about! Happy summer days! ♡

  12. Hi Dee! Thanks for visiting today! Beatrix Potter’s tales are wonderful for children (and grandchildren) of all ages! Peter Rabbit’s adventures in the garden would be a lovely way to introduce children to gardening. I’m looking forward to ‘growing together’ in the garden club. Thanks for all you do, Dee! ♡

  13. Did I write tea pot? I meant tea cup! I guess it was just a little too early for me to be commenting… I must have been still half asleep! Thanks for the advice on the chocolate mint. Do you usually start it from seed or do you buy the plant pre-grown and then just transplant it into your garden?

  14. Hi Dawn! Just thought I’d share a bit about my experience with Beatrix Potter and England! In 2010, we were blessed to be able to travel to England with my brother-in-law and sister-in-law who had lived there for a year and were more than happy to show us around. Mary is an avid BP fan, too, so our husbands researched and found the perfect place for us to stay while we were in the Lake District visiting Beatrix Potter sites. We stayed at Yew Tree Farm. It was once owned by BP and many of her possessions are still there. It is a working Herdwick sheep farm! It also happens to be the place that they renovated to look like Hilltop Farm for the movie, Miss Potter! It is very exciting to watch that movie and see the window in the house that was our bedroom for 4 nights! It is owned by the National Trust but rented and operated by a private family. Very gracious hosts. At one time, there used to be a public tea room in the house but that closed long before we visited and now it is more of a “holiday house” that you can rent for a week and have full run of the facilities. The family still lives in the back of the house and operates the sheep business. Emma Thompson also stayed there and it was where she wrote her book “The Further Tale of Peter Rabbit.” We visited the “real” Hilltop, too! Magical place! You can feel the presence of Beatrix everywhere. Seeing her Peter Rabbit garden and so many scenes that she painted for her various books brought tears to our eyes. I mean, there really ARE robins that look like what I call “Beatrix Potter robins” in England! Her gardening clogs still sit by the fire, right where she left them. It was a dream-come-true to visit there. But still, I feel like we missed so much and I’d love to go back again someday. There is also a rather “tourist trap” Beatrix Potter place/museum to see that we thought was rather fun. They have life-size recreations/scenes of all of her books and a life-size Beatrix to pose with. It’s in a little village called Bowness-on-Windermere in Cumbria. Here’s a link to their website http://www.hop-skip-jump.com/. So cute! Also, for any who are BP fans, a fun series to read is The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter by Susan Wittig Albert! I happened upon the first book, not knowing anything about it, and bought it because of the cute cover and the fact that it was about Beatrix. They are based on fact with a fun, whimsical fictional component where the animals talk and help solve the mysteries. I was sad when the series ended. But, there were many places that we saw when we were in England that she mentions in the books so they really came to life for me. (Sorry to go on and on….it was just so wonderful!) I hope everyone gets to see all the BP sites one day! xoxo…Karen P.

  15. Oh, Karen! Thank you so much for sharing such wonderful memories! I just love hearing about everything you saw during your trip! You are so kind to share with all of us. *Sigh*… I dream of visiting there one day! ♡

  16. Dawn, I just love this post. I feel like I have found my people, the more I meet bloggers from Anita’s link party. I grew up on Beatrix Potter, read her books when I was learning to read, collected her tea sets, and read her biography when I was a little girl. Her shyness and the beautiful bog by her house that inspired so many of her stories are embedded in my memories…now I must go make a cup of tea!

    xo Mary Jo

  17. Welcome, Mary Jo! You have found your people! Hope you will come back to visit again and again! I wonder if Beatrix Potter quietly help lead you into a career of art and design?? I was enchanted by your tale of Florence, and had tears in my eyes as I read. Your designs, Mary Jo, are truly lovely! Happy summer days! ♡

  18. Lovely post! Beatrix Potter brings back happy childhood memories. I haven’t read any biographies of her, but I’m sure she drank tea and looked out the window at her gardens while she wrote her books. 🙂

  19. Hi Meg! So glad you’re here! Isn’t it fun to think about all of the Beatrix Potter memories from our childhood? I know that I appreciate her beautiful words and watercolors even more as an adult. The magic is still there in all of her charming tales! I’ve been working my way through the blogs on your tour. So wonderful!
    Happy August days! ♡

  20. Hi Anne! Did you read Beatrix Potter’s stories as a child? Perhaps she was one of your inspirations to begin watercoloring! Many thanks for your sweet words, dear friend. ♡

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