Thursday, April 9, 2015

Tea on Thursday and My Garden Journal

I am very happy with my blog makeover thanks to the talented Karen Valentine. It has been 5 years since she first designed Lavender Cottage and it was time for a fresh new look!
Spring is slowly arriving in southern Ontario as seen in my few photos this week. Canadian blogging sister Linda at Crafty Gardener has started her annual on-line garden journal and I think this is a good way to keep track of progress in our gardens.  Therefore, since tea and gardening go hand and hand I'm going to combine my own garden journal with tea on Thursdays.
The front west facing foundation garden is seeing lots of activity with green leaves pushing through the soil. 
 On the south side crocus are starting to bloom and there's not many left from the original planting thanks to the squirrels.
A purple primula (taken in the rain) determined to bloom soon.
Doronicum (leopard's bane is a common name) is an early bloomer and a great nectar source for the bees.
If you're not familiar with Doronicum, these are the daisy-like flowers that will bloom from April to June.
Such is life in a garden...I cleaned away a pile of leaves and discovered the remains of this mouse. It was given a decent burial in a patch of loose soil.
After a few hours of garden clean up, it was nice to come in for a cup of tea and piece of 'pullapitko' which is a cardamom bread baked by the ladies of the Scandinavian church. Hubby and I attended their Easter brunch and this bread freezes really well. I have taken a mug of tea outside already on a couple of sunny afternoons but we're in for rain over the next few days.
This is how the loaf looks when taken out of the bag, everything they sell is tied with a pretty ribbon.
If you like the idea of an on-line journal for your gardens, check out Linda's link above to see how she's laid hers out. Mine will likely not be as detailed but still include photos of plants as they bloom for reference.


  1. Good Morning, Judith It is a great idea to keep a journal on your garden. The crocuses are pretty. Those darn squirrel are always getting into trouble, sorry they are eating your bulbs. The bread looks delicious treat to have with your tea.. Wishing you a happy day, I hope the sun comes out soon.

  2. I like your new blog look very pretty ! Nothing in my gardens as of yet things are slow here this year but a few days of rain and sun should do the trick . Oh Yummy looking bread tea time is anytime for me lol ! Poor little mousy I have found a few here to over the years in my gardens . Thanks for sharing wonderful photos . Have a good day !

  3. Good morning Judith. You blog is very pretty. Your garden is more advanced the mine. The cardamom bread looks delicious. The sun is shining here today. I am anxious for all the snow to go to start gardening again.

  4. Judith, The new look for your blog looks great. The crocus are a beautiful color. Tea and a bit of a nibble is nice. Have a great day! Sylvia D.

  5. Oh, Judith, the new header looks wonderful and the new design of your blog looks very fresh and airy. But oh no, now I should decide whether to change your Button in my blog's sidebar... how can I decide when they both are so pretty?!
    Lovely photos, well, except the mouse... and of course I especially like the photo of the "pullapitko". Did you know it's a Finnish word? :D
    Have a great day!

  6. There's a lot coming up in your gardens Judith! I only have snowdrops, but the bleeding hearts have had there heads poked through the dirt & snow for the past few weeks ... and then stopped. Rain here today too. At least the birds are enjoying the feeders & the canaries have returned after winter (I don't get any here through the winter). Wendy

  7. Your new blog design looks lovely, Judith! I'm so glad your weather is finally warming up and signs of spring are popping up! It was so kind of you to give that poor little mouse a final resting place too :)

  8. Your new blog look is so pretty, Judith! I love your signs of Spring and the bread sounds delicious and perfect with a mug of tea. Happy Spring!

  9. Hi Judith, Your blog looks great! Love the color and love the header photos. Glad to see spring is arriving at Lavender Cottage. I started a paper garden journal; saw that on someone's blog too but do not remember whose. I document what's growing and/or blooming and the days I planted things. I want to check out the online garden journal too. I planted 2 'Limelight' hydrangeas yesterday.
    The braided loaf looks very good, and quite attractive too. I like your mug for tea. I finished up the last of my Harney and Sons jasmine tea this morning; I've made two pitchers of the orange spice iced tea as well. We have had some very warm days but the last few have been chilly with periods of rain. My two rain barrels are full. We are adding two more. You can't have enough good clean water for plants and the pond. :)
    Hugs and blessings, Beth

  10. Hi Judith I love the Spring clean fresh look to your updated blog, it looks great. Nice to see the garden springing into life as well ... well apart from the poor mouse who is well and truly dead, poor chap! We have way too many cats (much to the crazy poodles disgust) prowling our garden for such remains to last long at our place...
    Have a fun weekend
    Wren x

  11. Judith,

    I like your fresh new blog look. Glad you kept your signature Lavender.

    Your garden is look about like mine. It's so encouraging to see the garden coming to life!


  12. Very nice makeover, Judith! I look forward to seeing your garden bloom over the next few months.

  13. Your garden is starting to grow which is exciting Judith....that bread looks delicious.

  14. Judith, it's looking very pretty over here! (We'll just skip past the death in the garden bit...) I am so impressed with any plants brave enough to poke up their heads this spring. I really like the Leopard's Bane. It looks hardy and the flower is so cheery. How soon before you dare to get into the garden? Mine is a soggy mess or was prior to the freezing weather.

    1. Where's your Mosaic Monday button?

  15. A bit of a make over always lifts the spirits. I do like the banner and pretty lavender background. Very nice. I like the idea, too, of using the blog as a gardening journal. Perhaps I already to that, but I do leave a lot out. I'll enjoy reading yours

  16. Love the blog makeover. I must get serious about that when I get back.

  17. I really like your blog makeover too. Very pretty! That Cardamom bread looks delicious!!

  18. Your makover of the blog is really nice. I´m often thinking of making a new header for my blog, but I can´t decide how to do it.
    Your tea with cardamom bread looks delicious and is well deserved after gardening and burying the skeleton of a mouse.

  19. Enjoyed your garden blog. I might keep a garden journal this year. I have a deer
    problem. Everything has to be caged in. Even things that are supposed to be
    deer resistant are NOT. Time to go out and do the best I can with what I have.

  20. I love your idea of combining tea and gardening, especially since I usually take a mug of tea into the garden with me when I work or look it over .

    I had been thinking about what I especially like seeing in my old blog posts and it is the tea times and the pictures of our gardens throughout the year. What a perfect way to journal about them and see the changes throughout the years. Tea & gardening on Thursdays, yes !

  21. I love your makeover! We're still frozen. I'm hoping for crocus soon...

  22. I have also been doing many garden chores this week. I am anxious to planet flowers but have to wait until at least the third week of May when danger of frost is over. The Scandinavian bread looks so good!

  23. A lovely makeover Judith and a very interesting post.

  24. Karen is such a talented blog designer - Lavender Cottage new look is lovely!
    Spring is an exciting time - I love the sight of bulbs popping up through the soil and your little patch looks very interesting Judith.
    Cardamon bread - looks very yummy!
    See you at Mosaic Monday!

  25. I will look forward to these tea-and-gardening posts on Thursdays!


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