Thursday, May 3, 2012

Tea Among the Beautiful

Today has been a day of visual and olfactory wonders.  It began with the utter stillness of the river mirroring the soft greens and silvers and whites of middle spring.  It was beautifully disturbed by a lone oarsman, sculling his way downriver, the sun glinting off his head.  There was pink honeysuckle blooming by the road side and further in,  wild dogwood was tracing its whiteness through the barely covered branches.  Then there were the lilacs, lovely purple and white pannicles scenting the air.  At home ours are still budding.  I can't wait for them to bloom, but meanwhile I am content with some white clover sweetening the morning and smiling at the lollipops of dandelion fuzz waiting to scatter.  A lovely morning.

My tea is quite nice, also, being Upton's China Pre Ching-Ming Golden Pekoe.  I use 2-3 teaspoons of these long slender buds/leaves per cup, meanwhile admiring the gold dust and the sweet, somewhat spicy, somewhat tobaccoey aroma .  I brew it boldly for 5 minutes with boiling water and I am rewarded with a lovely cup that is woodsy, sweet, delicate but strong.  It is smooth and delicious.  It goes very nicely either plain or with some milk.

This afternoon I had some Simpson and Vail's Rose-Kissed Jasmine.  This is one of my all time favorite green teas.  The jasmine is good quality and the rose kisses with it remind me of my favorite shrub, the Mock Orange, which will bloom soon.  It has always been wonderful, in my opinion.

I planted a strawberry tower this afternoon and decided where I want to plant my new daylilies and peonies.  Some of the former are fragrant.  One is a spider type.  That will go on the other side of the walk from the yellow spider I got last year.  It is a huge flower and really shines when it blooms.  I also got some cranesbill geraniums and some yellow creeping plant to go under the black leafed one I got last year.  I added two new colors to my miniature German bearded iris - NOT to be confused with miniature iris - a totally different plant.  Now all I really need are some Caesar's Brother iris and I am all set.  Well, the lavender for the new bed and the rose for its middle - Bright Corsair.

Mother's Day is coming, so I thought I would show you how one church in Forio, Ischia Island, Italy, decorated for their celebration of the day.  The statues have real hair.  This is the church with the pyramidal baptismal font I pictured a few days ago. We visited many churches in Forio, as that is the township Frank's grandfather came from.

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