Monday, June 27, 2016

The Carnegie Gallery's Secret Gardens 2016 Tour

Several weeks ago, I went on The Carnegie Gallery's Secret Gardens Tour--an annual fundraising event to support their ongoing activities--and visited 8 of the 10 gardens on the tour. My photos don't do the gorgeous gardens' justice but I thought I'd share the charming features that caught my eye.

The Gallery's Complimentary Tea Room offered visitors light refreshments.

Garden #1
This award-winning garden had a cute "cottage" (perfect for tea time!), a (decorative?) well, a small bridge over a stream, and bonsaied trees.

Garden #2
This garden had 2 ponds and a terraced landscape.

Garden #3
This was the most colourful garden of the tour.

Garden #4
The front garden features a Koi pond.

Garden #4
The back garden offered a fantastic view of the Valley!

Garden #5
My favourite feature of this cottage garden is the unique sculpture of the owners' grandson in his snowsuit.

As I walking to the next garden, I spotted this deer wandering around...hope the poor thing made its way home safely!

Garden #6
The Rock Garden at the Dundas Driving Park is maintained by volunteers.

Garden #7
This is the minimalist architectural garden's front (left) and back (right) yards.

Garden #7
This wooden structure was added to the original home.

Garden #8
Love the turquoise bicycle garden ornament in this garden!

I got to chat with the gracious hosts and learned that they've been working on their gardens for years (Rome wasn't built in a day!) and the majority did the gardening on their own. Seeing these beautiful gardens have inspired me to step up my gardening game!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Blind Melon

Back in April, I visited The Dutch Shop in Grimsby which boasted an impressive selection of teas by Dutch companies.

I brought home this box of Fairtrade teas by Spar, a Dutch retail chain, which contained an assortment of Ceylon teas flavoured with 4 "orange fruits": mango, melon, orange, or tropical fruit. 

 I liked how the box had photos of the tea pickers in Sri Lanka!

By the time I got around to writing this post, the only flavour left for a photo op was the Melon tea.

The Melon tea was a refreshing, sweet tea and turned out to be my favourite of the bunch!

What's your favourite fruity tea this summer?

Monday, June 13, 2016

Opera House Tea Room

I've always been partial to tea rooms located in Victorian houses and enjoyed a visit to the Opera House Tea Room in Lynden, Ontario in 2010.

Isn't the sweet gingerbread trim charming?

The tea room was located in the yellow extension.
I wished that I had photographed the musical themed menu and captured more images of the interior.

The afternoon tea was served on a tiered plate and a pretty bone china teacup.
The owner's daughter is a professional singer who performed special concerts on certain days. Unfortunately, I didn't catch one of her singing performances.

A few years after my visit, the owners retired and sold the Opera House. 
I was glad that I had the opportunity to visit this unique tea room before it closed down. 

Monday, June 6, 2016

Lavender Rose & African Violets

Many of the teacups in my collection were gifted by generous acquaintances and friends. Last summer, I was thrilled to receive a teacup that had been on my wish list for years...

Lavender Rose by Royal Albert!
This beauty was gifted to me by a work acquaintance who was downsizing her china collection.

The Royal Albert backstamp circa 1960s (Made in England).

Last month, I purchased this super cute dress tea towel from a local seamstress who custom made them in purple and pink.

Both are being used as hand towels in the bathrooms!

I was also delighted that my African violets have rebloomed (despite my lackadaisical green thumb). YEAH!!!
Now if I can just get my orchid to flower again...