Monday, April 28, 2008

tea wrap up

i've been meaning to do this for awhile, wrap up my tea posts now that summer is quickly approaching(at least here down south). i wasn't sure what exactly i would write but i think i'll just go over my favorites from this season and introduce another great brand from chicago.

my sister and i ate at a wonderful cafe/coffee house in chicago. they had an extensive tea selection so i had to try a few. wow--i am so glad i did because a couple of these have become my new all time favorites! this green kimono has replaced my Republic of Tea kiwi/pear as my new favorite green tea. it has a wonderful. light flavor but the sweetness of the pineapple really comes through and the spiciness of the ginger is the perfect balancing flavor. this tea tastes just like it smells--which is unusual, i find in most teas. delicious!!

and this, which i have never been brave enough to even try to pronounce is one of my favorite black teas, although i don't know if i could ever find one that can beat the Vampire chocolate/blood orange i picked up in Boulder. i'm not really sure what makes this so great, maybe the blend of green and black teas. the fruity flavor is perfect--not too sweet and not overpowered by the taste of black tea which can sometimes make fruity tea taste bitter.

and here, my all time favorite couldn't-be-more-decadent-tea. Vampire tea no less!!! who could ask for anything more!! my friend in boulder said she could see my fangs growing when i spotted this one! ha ha. this tea and the german one above are both seasonal varieties so i am really hoping they will be available again someday. i really should have ordered more of this chocolate/blood orange--i am almost out!!

and on a lighter note, i really do love the kiwi pear and the ginger lemon grass. if you LOVE ginger then this is the tea for you. it's actually a nice, light green tea but definitely has that strong kick of ginger, i love it.
so, hot tea drinking season is almost over--i do still drink tea in the morning in summer but not all day like i do in winter. the good thing about summer is that i can make all my not-so-favorite teas into iced tea so it's not wasted. i love making iced tea, you can blend flavors together and use really nice flavored agave sweeteners that really add another level of taste to the tea. you have to try these if you haven't already. i have only been able to find them in places like whole foods and central market, i'm sure other gourmet or green grocery stores will have them too.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

random

a random collection of pictures i've taken over the past few days i find interesting...
green anole looking for a mate on our a/c unit... too bad i didn't get the nice pink throat flap in the photo...

walking iris--i love that color combination, so unusual


rain tree frog peeping out of the saucer of a rabbit-foot's fern


i couldn't resist posting more foxglove pictures--they're really prolific

and i really couldn't resist an update of the giant dutchman's pipe!!! i know a bunch of my fellow garden bloggers have these but i've never had the giant variety before so i'm super stoked!!! i still even get excited about the regular size so this is just really crazy. i really didn't expect it to get this big and it's not even open yet!!! i can't wait to see it in it's full, chocolatey, velvety glory!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

in bloom part 3

nasturtiums that i grew from seed, i don't think i'm in love with this variety though, i'll have to try a different one next year--or a few different ones. you just can't have too many nasturtiums!

foxglove, i did not grow this but it is one of my very favorite things...

i'll have to go outside and check the tag on this one. i got it in austin and had seen it several times in different gardening magazines--it looks like something right out of a dr. seuss story--i love them, little eyeballs.

i am curious as to what different people call this, i usually refer to it as strawberry begonia

and my yesterday, today and tomorrow. i love these, a great old fashioned plant. i can't wait til it gets big and covers up the ugly electric box on the side of my house!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

blooming now part 2

just to clarify--all these pictures are not things i have grown from seed, just some of them. these sweet peas are though, i really love the color combination.
heirloom sweet peas "cupani's original"

sweet pea buds


different colors of larkspur, there's purple too

the meyer lemon tree all budded up

this is my most exciting bud, a giant dutchman's pipe vine that i also got in austin while in town for the garden blogger's spring fling. it was at one of my favortie nurseries there on south congress, the great outdoors i believe it's called.

blooming now

this is the first year i have planted an entire garden worth of flowers by seed. as spring started to creep in i was really worried that things would not come up because i had planted them too late or too early. i don't really have any hardcore gardening friends that live in my area so i couldn't consult with anyone about their garden and what was blooming. well, much to my surprise and happiness i now have a garden overflowing with nasturtiums, sweetpeas, larkspur, hollyhocks(these are not blooming yet but are getting big), and lots of other things returning from last year or newly planted this year, not from seed. here are some of the beauties blooming now--this will be a series of posts over the next few days.
louisiana iris

variegated scented geranium, rose

the beautiful variegated leaves of the rose scented geranium

a perennial geranium i got in austin during the spring fling, the leaves are a beautiful silvery blue/green
another scented geranium, lemon?

Monday, April 14, 2008

spring fling

more pictures from the amazing spring fling garden bloggers get together in austin, texas!

an awesome collection of cacti and succulents

i feel like i know what this is but the name is eluding me right now...


blogger buddy bonnie and i enjoying a great garden tour


crazy voodoo lillies that we thought were metal sculptures at first glance


close-up


orange beauty(not the name of the plant, just what i think of it)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

garden bloggers rule!!!

well, it's been 4 days since the big garden blogger saturday and i have needed this time to let everything soak in. i'm sure i won't be able to adequately express what an amazing experience it was--writing is not my strong point. what an amazing group of people!! my only regret is that i didn't make it around to talk to every single person there. i did meet some wonderful people though who i think will be lifelong friends, hopefully. here are some pictures and i'll be posting more about the weekend later.
you can't go to austin in the spring and miss the bluebonnets!! so beautiful!


cactus in the ladybird johnson wildflower center--sorry, don't have the name of it.

forgot what this was too, but i love the photo
allium? garlic? onion?

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

easter in chicago

i know easter is long gone but i had to post this picture of colored eggshells--i think my nephew would have colored twelve dozen eggs if my sister let him. i flew in for the weekend, to several inches of snow on the ground!! ugh! i do not miss those winters...


besides getting to spend time with my family, my sister and i also ate out at a wonderful cafe/coffeshop called julius meinl where we had the most incredible dessert of white chocolate mousse with mango and raspberry gelee in the very center, it was incredible.


it was so good, in fact, that we ate there twice, so i indulged in a bananas-foster latte... mmm...., it was also delicious, the flavors were not very strong or sweet which was nice. the perfect thing for a wintery afternoon of shopping(at anthropologie, possibly my favorite store ever)! oh, i also got some incredible loose tea at julius meinl, which i will post later--all i wll say is "pineapple".


bathing beauty

luckily for me, we have year long blue bird residents. i have not been this lucky though, to catch one bathing right outside my window--and to have my camera handy!! how can you not love that blue??