Monday, November 29, 2021

Word for the Week


 Are you getting tired of travel photos yet?

Just a few more to share. I think one more post of a couple gardens to go. Thanks for hanging in there with me. I am grateful for you. I am grateful that I got to travel recently. It restored my soul to wander and explore. 

When I realized I was close to the Atlantic Ocean I knew I had to walk on the shore. I loved walking past sea grass and flowers to get to the sea.

There was even a light house nearby. I love lighthouses in all shapes and forms; so I was grateful to find this one standing tall.

 For some reason this just spoke to me of the south. It wasn't open, but I could imagine a few gents sitting there passing the day with a good chat, watching the day slide by.

Moss draping over the road as we drove, just so iconic!

I just can't help but share these little glimpses of the south. They were all so beautiful!

 And then there was just strolling the streets in Charleston, S.C.

And having tea with a dear friend.

More exploring!

How I love to explore and discover new sights! It just sings to my soul and I am grateful to still be able to do it.

There was even a ride in a carriage pulled by Clyde, the horse.

 Have you focused on "grateful" this past week as we celebrated Thanksgiving? Sometimes, for me at least, it is hard to focus on the things we are grateful for with so much sadness and anger in the world. Then Thanksgiving comes along and we have to take a moment to pause, sit with a friend, watch the day slide by, and notice what we are grateful for.

Let's keep it going!

What are you grateful for today?

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Charleston Tea Plantation

Another dream for me, the tea drinker, was to come here for a cup of tea.

I found this frog was more than willing to sit with me and sip on a find sunny day at the Charleston Tea Gardens.

They said they were the only tea gardens in the US, but there are more and more small gardens popping up around the country. This garden is probably the oldest and largest. I found it fascinating in listening to their tour guide that it was originally a part of Lipton Tea, then they left it sit for quite a few years and eventually Bigelow bought it from a previous owner.

When I planned on visiting here I read on their website that the tour wasn't happening during the pandemic; so I was pleasantly surprised when we arrived to see the little red tram waiting to tour us through the gardens.
We were told that sometimes alligators live in the pond on the farm.
After the tram ride we walked through the factory where we saw tea being oxidized or withered.
Baby plants in the greenhouse under a veil of mist.
The harvester drives along the rows to trim the tea.

The trees on the plantation/garden were dripping with moss. Just my mental image of the south coming to life.
"Do not gulp the tea but sip it slowly allowing its fragrance to fill your mouth. There is no need to have any special attitude while drinking except one of thankfulness."
~Pojong Sunim, a Korean tea master, quotes by Stephen Batchelor
I am thankful for those slow sips of tea wherever I have traveled and with whomever I have sat with over a cup of tea. Sipping a cup of tea right here in the gardens was definitely a delight. 
Happy weekend, dear friends!

Monday, November 22, 2021

Word for the Week

 This morning I was reading through Victoria Magazine as I sipped my morning tea. The word that popped out was right on the front cover. Have you noticed above the words Victoria is always the word Bliss. What does bliss mean to you? For me a walk in a garden always conjures up bliss. On my last travels my "live-in gardener" and I walked through gardens in every stop along the way. As we traveled by car from Asheville to Charleston, SC we decided to take a break along the road. Thankful for my phone I searched and found Riverbank Botanical Garden in Columbia, SC. It was the perfect place to take a break and walk for awhile.

What I loved the most was seeing so many butterflies enjoying the garden too.
I love butterflies and have tried planting my own garden to attract them, but to no avail.
On the top of each pie I make I have always carved a butterfly as my mark of maker.
Do you see the butterfly in this picture?
It seems to blend in quite well with the autumn leaves.
The fountain greeted us as we entered. What a perfect way to say come walk through my garden.
There was some autumn colors too.

At the other end of the water feature through the middle of the garden.
Yes, I was a bit obsessed to capture the butterflies with my camera.

It was pure bliss to walk for awhile in this garden and see butterflies at every turn.
The dictionary description of bliss is "perfect happiness; great joy."
Yes, I did experience "perfect happiness; great joy" in walking through this garden. 

Have a terrific week and happy Thanksgiving, dear friends!

May you find "bliss" in your everyday adventures.

Monday, November 15, 2021

Word for the Week

 As we get closer to Thanksgiving my mind is thinking about what it means. When we sit around the table at my house we give opportunity for each person to say something that they are thankful for. In most cases it is something that has been given to them. It could be good health or a toy. But recently I saw a sign that said "Give Thanks" and the word "give" just jumped out at me. My word for this year is "receive", but isn't giving a part of receiving? I receive joy in giving.

The definition I found for giving is "Giving, truly, means transferring something to someone else from your possession to theirs, but it can mean so much more!

Yes, it can indeed mean so much more. How does it make you feel to give?

Today I give you the gift of flowers from the Biltmore Estate Gardens and Greenhouse. 

May this small gift put a smile on your face and happiness in your heart for the Thanksgiving season.

 Happy giving day, dear friends!

Saturday, November 13, 2021

When Dreams Come True

 The Biltmore Estate had been on my bucket/dream list for a long time. I wanted to visit there at Christmas, but knew with family obligations that wasn't possible. As we entered to tour this amazing place I said to my "live-in gardener" how I wished I could see it at Christmas. What a dream come true, for I soon learned they were decorating and were more than half way finished. I was thrilled! This for me was a dream come true!

More than a century ago, George Vanderbilt created Biltmore as a country retreat for his family and friends. It is an 8,000 acre estate and the largest private home built in the US. It is still owned by the family, but is on the National Historic Landmark list and open for tours. I loved that it was a self-guided tour and we could take our time walking through the rooms. On another day I will share the garden, but with taking over 180 pictures it was hard to pick the pictures to share. This will just be a glimpse of Christmas at the Biltmore. I hope you enjoy seeing many pictures.

The pictures are not in a particular order. This first picture was taken in my favorite tapestry room. The tapestries were amazing.

Merry Christmas!

Back to the tapestry room.

 One more glimpse of the tapestry room. Oh sigh! How I would love to sit by a fire in that green chair.
The dining hall
Decorating the library

The atrium

The billiard room
A bedroom for guests

I just couldn't get enough of all the Christmas trees. I love it!
The dining room for the servants.
And we finish in the kitchen.
Hope your weekend it extra special!
If you ever have the opportunity to visit the Biltmore, it is definitely worth it.
I hope this puts you in the holiday spirit.