What Ho, gang! It didn't snow! And the sun is shining! My faith in Spring is restored. It is a good thing I don't live in Alaska. There is still snow in the woods and along the edges where the plows piled it up, but there is hope that we really are moving into flower time. The birds certainly think so. The gold finches have morphed back into their bright gold coloring and the purple finches are looking much brighter. I have heard 4 distinctly different drummings of the woodpeckers in the woods - one is a pileated, our largest woodpecker. It makes me soooo jealous that others, including my husband, have seen it and I haven't.
Good news from Darjeeling. Some of the workers' associations broke off from the main group and settled for a considerable raise, all the way up to a little over $2.00 a day. I don't know how this fits in with average wages in India. This affects 42 gardens, but I do not know which ones. The larger group of associations is still on strike. I hope it can be settled amicably, and the workers receive what they need.
I know many tea enthusiasts are also gardeners and a rosarian friend of mine, Lee Ginenthal, has started a blog about roses, Thorny Issues, which can be found at http://derrosenmeister.blogspot.com/. I like to blend roses with my tea, as well as lavender. I will be planting some of Lee's roses this spring, as well as some lavender. I am intending to only plant things which smell good, if I can find enough of them the deer don't like.
For those of you who have ordered tea from the Imperial Tea Court, Stephanie, from Steph's Cup of Tea - see the list at right for her address - just visited and took some great pictures.
To celebrate the sun and spring hopes, I am going to try some Sencha Green Cherry Rose from the Briar Patch here in Owego. It's a pretty tea, with rose petals in the green leaves. It smells mostly of cherry and green tea, with just a touch of rose, and not cherry candy, either, hooray. This carries through in the brewing, with the same delicate scent. The brewed tea is a soft, greenish old gold color. Much as I am not a fan of fruity tea, I find this to be a very good blend, where both the tea and the flavoring meld into one lovely taste. This would be a perfect tea to have in among the cherry blossoms. There was no rose taste, but the petals made the tea pretty, and sometimes, pretty is enough.