Tea and Conversation

“Won’t you come into my garden?  I would like my roses to see you.”
~~ R.B. Sheridan ~~

Although my knock-out roses are still recovering from an over zealous gardener who pruned them into a neat, boxwood shaped lump (!) last year, they (and other flowers) are blooming in late October here in Connecticut.  

The roses have a beautiful, light fragrance and 
delicate pink blossoms which change color from bright, bold buds 

to a soft, powdery pink.

My roses aren’t the only reason to sit beneath this hedge.  I received a wonderful package from a secret teacup exchange fairy, and I love everything!  
If you have never participated in an exchange, you must do so.  The anticipation and excitement I felt waiting for my teacup was so enjoyable!  I was like a little kid, waiting each day for the mail.  I purchase many things online (yes, my credit card bills tell all) but winning a giveaway or doing an exchange is different.  It’s exciting to see what I will find when I open the box.  This time, I did not even know where my box would be coming from!  Well, my package had traveled cross country, from California, from Loni, and inside I found these goodies.

Now you see why you must do this!  A dainty china teacup, 
a homemade sachet of roses and lavender, 
and tea ~~ pumpkin spice rooibos!

The front of the cup is covered in tiny purple violas (I have decided these are violas because I love pansies and violets and johnny jump-ups even though some consider them to be weeds in the yard!).

 And if you were sitting across the table from me, 
you would still see these dainty violas on the other side.

There are hundreds of varieties of violas, both perennials and annuals.  Some are used in fragrances and herbal medicine.  I’m looking for some to use in a more conventional way ~~ I need a good perennial viola ground cover for some beds in my yard.  Stay tuned for next spring!  This one, plucked from my yard for our tea table, is an annual.

It’s easy to pop a viola into a pot for a simple and charming centerpiece and the little faces on the blooms are company when tea is not for two.  I always cover the soil with something ~~ here I’ve used other blossoms from my yard and some rose petals.

Everything is tucked into another one of my Guy Wolff pots.  
(I’ll take you on a field trip there soon if he allows photos at his CT pottery.)

I’ve been collecting them for several years, and (sadly), chards of a few are in a box in the garage and provide drainage for some of my other pots.  I think a few of them also escaped to Boston and are living in Charlotte’s apartment! 


The best way to drink tea is from a china cup with a perfect handle, and this wide opening on the bowl allows me to enjoy the aroma of this delicious rooibos.

I’ve been meaning to try a rooibos for a few years (how time flies!), ever since 
I became acquainted with Mma Ramotswe and the other characters in 
The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency Series.  

The setting is hot, beautiful, stark yet lush Botswana, South Africa.  Mr. McCall Smith was a professor at The University of Edinburgh, the city which seems to be a nest of fabulous writers, and he writes the voices of the women in a way that most men cannot.  Red Bush tea and the simple conversations arising over a cup of tea play a central role in the stories.  

“Rooibos” means “red bush” and teas with leaves of this bush are caffeine free but high in antioxidants and powerful flavonoids.  There has been a great deal of legal wrangling over the use of the word, and now it is used specifically for tea leaves grown in South Africa.  It is exported and graded, just as other teas (you are NOT getting the same tea of any type if you only buy low quality brands).  

As someone who is never without a cup (there are two empty cups on my desk as I type this) I am giving this Trader Joe’s tea an excellent rating.  There is no fusty aftertaste and the pumpkin spice is perfectly balanced.  I love it! 
(Plus it comes in a silk pouch.  Just perfect ~~ I’m a tea bag person!)

A great cup of tea needs a tea bread.  While I freely admit to being less than perfect  a terrible  the absolute worst cook, I do bake the most delicious pumpkin bread.  Yes, I’ll put my pumpkin bread up against any!  
(My mother’s recipe, so lots of sugar and not gluten free!)   

It’s moist and tasty with dates and walnuts and lots of sugar.  I can’t resist it when it’s in the kitchen so I don’t make it often.
Have a bite.

I seem to be rambling about my roses

and one of my favorite book series

and violas

and tea and teacups

in the way conversations with a friend over teacups usually ramble, 
except that I’ve done all the talking.

(~~ this is not unusual ~~)

So now is your chance to get a word in!
Tell me,
do you know Mma Ramotswe?
(have you read this series or his other books?)
do you drink rooibos tea?
do you have a G. Wolff pot?
would you like to join me for tea?
do you have a pumpkin bread recipe?
do you grow roses?  or violas?
did you notice my pretty journal and pen from Mr. Fun?
~~ OR ~~
tell me something else!!  I’m always interested!

~~ thank you for taking the time to chat with me ~~

join me for
Fresh Cut Friday at Rose Vignettes

~~ and thank you Stephanie from The Enchanting Rose for hosting the Teacup Exchange ~~
 ~~ and very special thanks to my teacup fairy ~~
Loni from Clearwater Cottage
I love my cup!
Linda 🙂
join me at these wonderful tea parties
where I hope to meet new friends!

and my roses and begonias are visiting Pink Saturday
Tagged , , , ,

38 thoughts on “Tea and Conversation

  1. do you know Mma Ramotswe? Yes, slightly. I read one book.
    do you drink rooibos tea? Yes, and it is delicious.
    do you have a G. Wolff pot? no
    would you like to join me for tea? yes!
    do you have a pumpkin bread recipe? yes, my grandmother’s
    do you grow roses? or violas? both and my knockout roses are also still blooming…so lovely
    did you notice my pretty journal and pen from Mr. Fun? no, I’ll go back and pay better attention

    What a beautiful tea cup and such wonderful extras!

  2. do you know Mma Ramotswe? No, I have no idea who this is.
    do you drink rooibos tea? I have not had the pleasure of trying it but it sounds good.
    do you have a G. Wolff pot? I do not.
    would you like to join me for tea? Tea sounds delightful 🙂
    do you have a pumpkin bread recipe? I have a Pumpkin Roll recipe from my friend Sarah, but hers is always better than mine!
    do you grow roses? or violas? I do have roses. They’re old-fashioned ones that have been here for decades. My yard has many violas and other similar ground covers throughout.
    did you notice my pretty journal and pen from Mr. Fun? I went back and took a second look at your journal. It’s very pretty! I love journals.

    A lovely box of goodies and conversation 🙂

  3. This was simply an “enchanting” post, dear Linda 🙂 I thoroughly enjoyed my time visiting you this afternoon. I would love to have a cup of tea with you….in fact, I am having a cup of coffee right now since I am very cold and needed something warm me up.

    I enjoy growing roses since they are my favorite flower. Yours are beautiful and it’s nice to see your photos. With Autumn came snow here in the mountains so my roses have been put to rest until the Spring.

    The tea cup from Loni is so pretty and I am sure it is a lovely addition to your home 🙂 I am very glad you joined the exchange!

    Hugs and blessings!

  4. Que linda sua postagem…Belissima….As Rosas maravilhosas,fecho os olhos e sinto do cheiro doce.A xícara e linda e delicada….Uma das mais bonitas que já vi….
    Linda sua postagem…Realmente delicada.
    vasinhos Coloridos

  5. What a fun post! I had never heard of rooiboss tea and still am not sure where I would find it. I love your teacup with the violets and I would say that was a very nice exchange.
    I wish I knew what your rose hedge is called. I saw many hedges like yours in Vermont and no one knew the name. lol! I have a perfect spot for such a hedge…
    ♥ Jil

  6. Oh Linda, your teacup is gorgeous…front and back! They look like violets to me ( my birth month flower!). I have never tried the rooibus tea, but I’d love to. I did see it ant Trader Joe’s and May have to go back and get some. I have not read the series of books that you mentioned, but they sound intriguing. Your knock out roses are prettier than mine…love the pink! I have never heard of the pottery, but want to know more. I do make pumpkin bread, but yours sounds fabulous because I LOVE dates! Enjoy your new gifts.
    P.S. Your photos are beautiful, Linda, and I love your pot of violas, surrounded by the roses.
    P.S.S. I love tea bags, too, and I’d love to share a cup with you. xo

  7. Hello another Linda…I have been following you on several posts for the exchange. Oh, your blog is beautiful with great pix. I love rooibus tea but have never had pumpkin! Your teacup is so pretty, as pretty as all your pix.

  8. Hello Linda,
    Your tea cup is just beautiful! I would love to have a cup of tea with you and enjoy rooibus tea which I have never had before, or even heard of. No, I have not read your book series but did notice your lovely diary. Those roses are something else, quite beautiful in that bright pink and surrounded with the violets.
    I have a wonderful pumpkin recipe that I have used for many years, but I would love to try yours with those dates. I just love dates!!!
    I do not have a blog but love visiting you dear ladies through my daughter Stephanie and her blog theenchantingrose. I must come back and visit for a longer time soon.
    Enjoy your new tea cup and tea.

    Blessings to you!

  9. I’m so glad that you liked your teacup! It thrills me to know that I made a good match! I wasn’t sure what the flowers were on the cup either, but I like your idea of them being violas, so pretty. As always you did the most beautiful job styling your little table of tea for one. Ooo and I love your idea of adding a cinnamon stick to the tea; I have been drinking the Pumpkin Spice Rooibos everyday for the last several weeks, it is my absolute favorite with just a sprinkle of sugar and some soymilk! I can’t wait to try it with the cinnamon stick too! I hope you have a blessed weekend! 🙂

  10. Tell me,
    do you know Mma Ramotswe? Yes and while I do not care for the series, I do like her character.
    (have you read this series or his other books?)
    do you drink rooibos tea? Never have…to this point
    do you have a G. Wolff pot? I would love to, However the costs are too dear!
    would you like to join me for tea? Most definately
    do you have a pumpkin bread recipe? Yes…but it’s a secret…ha ha
    do you grow roses? black thumb…or violas? no I kill it all (pray my mum will make it through the fall)
    did you notice my pretty journal and pen from Mr. Fun? Lovely!
    ~~ OR ~~
    tell me something else!! I’m always interested! I love exchanges and swaps too, how do I participate in the next one?

  11. Hi Linda thanks for your visit to my blog yesterday and for following me (neighbor)! I am now following you too and I look forward to becoming blog friends. Have a wonderful fall weekend. By the way I love all those photos of the pretty roses! I bet that pumpkin bread is really yummy! Take care.
    Julie at julieslifestyle.blogspot.com

  12. I have loved the few times I have won a blog give-away or participated in an exchange! You are so right…the anticipation of opening a package from far-away is so much fun! You sure lucked out on receiving that sweet teacup! And that pumpkin bread looks delicious. I need to prune back my knock-out-rose bushes, but I promise not to make them square shaped! 😉

  13. Now I was dreaming about the roses with a beautiful cup of tea and those good books…but then the pumpkin bread showed up and it just got more perfect!!! Beautiful!!
    Happy Pink Saturday..xo Tami

  14. No to most everything, except the pumpkin bread and roses. My knockouts are still going strong, and I planted new dawn this year. In 3 yrs they are supposed to be over the arbor. We shall see! It took me forever to find them!
    I have made 1000’s of pumpkin breads, no exagg! I used to take orders for them, so yeah, I am ready for a thowdown! 🙂 I will pick you up at the ferry in Orient and we will have a taste test, lol!

    This weather has been great, hate to pull out the annuals, they are at their best!

    Happy Sunday, Linda!

    Your cup is lovely! I am not a tea affectionado, Twinings will do!

  15. what a fun post! love your gifty box, such a sweet little cup! of course a garden setting is always enchanting~

    i have had those books on my nightstand to read since they came out… what is that, 2 decades? i don’t know why i have never followed through… i kinda abandoned my bedroom for a cold room downstairs during the hades decade, and then i found the beach, i swear i have not dusted my night stand in a decade! i wonder if the books are still intact?! i am such a moody reader i just fell out of mysteries and never looked back…

    your pics are beautiful, the bread looks great, i am a dunker, i am from an english background, its allowed, although my husband cringes when i do it public… ok home too! wonderful post, i have been sitting online catching up for hours with 3 huge cups of tea, and 20 trips to the restroom, nothing better then reading and sipping while admiring wonderful photos…

    thanks again for joining the novel bakers this week, it was dfelightful reading your post!

  16. I’d love to join you for tea and sample your pumpkin bread. I am a fan of Mma Ramotswe and have enjoyed the series a lot. I grew up in Connecticut and have lived in New York City for a long time, but New England is still home, especially in the fall.

  17. I have been drinking rooibos for a long time and like the different flavours it can be found in. My pumpkin loaf is tasty and I like the teacup and tea you received in the exchange.

  18. I have sipped almost every kind of tea there is, Linda, including rooibos. Your teacup is very sweet and your teacup exchange proved to be a wonderful surprise. How lovely! Your pumpkin bread looks yummy. I haven’t made one in a while but I do have a zucchini bread sitting on the counter at the moment. So happy you have shared this with us and thank you for coming to tea. Have a beautiful day.


  19. Linda, I would love to join you for tea. I have not yet had Roobios tea. Can you believe that? I have not read this author either, although she is on my list : )
    Your tea exchange sounds wonderful. I love your tea cup, it really is sweet. I have one very similar to it.
    I love pumpkin bread! Yours looks so delicious!
    Hugs and happy week,

  20. do you know Mma Ramotswe? Love Mma Ramotswe . I revisit her when I need time with a soothing friend. I started another of his series but it didn’t ‘take’ I’ll try it again another time.

    do you drink rooibos tea? I have learned something new! I’m looking forward to trying it.

    do you have a G. Wolff pot? No!

    would you like to join me for tea? Here I am – cup in hand chatting away!

    do you have a pumpkin bread recipe? Yes – but no nuts no raisins. Yours looks yummy!

    do you grow roses? or violas?

  21. Red bush tea (rooibos) is from Africs and is good for you! Your violet cup and saucer is really cute. Love your flowers as well. Glad you shared at Friends Sharing Tea.

  22. Linda, Your teacup exchange sounds like such fun~ I adore your dainty viola cup! I’m running errands today and Trader Joe’s is on my route so I’m going to see if that tea is still available! Tea, books, and flowers are the perfect recipe for happy afternoon or morning for me, especially with some delicious pumpkin bread! I tend to be more of a cold weather tea drinker than a year round one and I’m looking forward to a cozy blanket and several cups a day this fall! A cold snap is on its way this weekend so sweaters, fires, and some long awaited fall color will be just around the corner! Hope you share your mother’s pumpkin bread recipe 🙂

  23. Tell me,
    do you know Mma Ramotswe? No! Very interested!
    (have you read this series or his other books?)
    do you drink rooibos tea? Oh,yes!
    do you have a G. Wolff pot? NO, have always wanted one!
    would you like to join me for tea? Absolutey!
    do you have a pumpkin bread recipe? Yes!
    do you grow roses? or violas? Oh, yessss!
    did you notice my pretty journal and pen from Mr. Fun? So sweet!
    I am so Delighted that you shared with A Return to Loveliness,

  24. Hi Linda,

    So nice to meet you!

    Dropping in from Liz’s party and loved your thumbnail of your pretty pink flower! What a sweet setting you have arranged out in the garden and the flowers in that charming pot, along with the pumpkin bread and specially brewed tea are a beautiful way to spend an autumnal afternoon.


  25. How did I miss this marvelous post! Your new teacup is delightful! I prefer teacups with a wide opening for the bowl. The violas are dainty and so pretty! I have read Mma Ramotswe’s stories and really enjoy them, but I haven’t tried Rooibos tea yet. I think I’m going to be visiting Trader Joe’s very soon. Please share your pumpkin bread recipe soon!

  26. What a relaxing post! Loved all the information and book reviews! 🙂
    I remember when we first started our little bookclub we read the first book in the No.1 Ladies Detective Agency series. I remember thinking how charming the story was. Thanks for the reminder…. I might need to revisit that whole series. 🙂
    Thank you for sharing your post at Fresh-Cut Friday!

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