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Congratulations to 3secondfish for winning the wee sample of Shalimar! I'll offer up another scent for a lucky recipient next week.


Today we got a new plant. Here it is:

The one tied to the stake, guess what it is! Go on, guess! You'll never guess.

It's a tea plant! Its leaves, when it gets more of them to spare, will be able to be dried and soaked in hot water to make actual tea. If it looks like a camellia to you, well, that's because tea is a camellia; Camellia sinensis. We found one at the West Seattle Farmer's Market, of all places, from a guy whose main livelihood seems to be his apple orchard. He claims the tea camellia is actually quite easy to grow and care for, just like regular camellias. It can go straight outside, and is tough enough not to mind our occasional freezes; it's evergreen and glossy; it has fall flowers that, unlike most camellias, have a strong and lovely fragrance; it will only get bushier and happier if you prune it; and, coolest of all, after a couple of years it ought to produce these little nuts that, when planted, will sprout into more tea plants! I shall, if all goes well, be able to give away tea seeds to my dear ones someday.

Right now it's maybe a foot high. The guy claims it'll grow another couple of feet this year if the summer's warm, and next year we can take our first harvest for tea. Sweetness!

Hope we manage not to kill the lovely thing.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 9th, 2009 01:01 am (UTC)
how nice! tea. I love tea.

is that the sort that you can add bergamont too and make earl Grey? I must learn more about tea having had a cup of earl grey today.
Mar. 10th, 2009 04:00 am (UTC)
Presumably you could add bergamot oil somehow and get Earl Grey, yeah. There may be special roasting procedures for the leaves on that blend; I'm not sure. But Earl Grey is made with regular black tea, so in theory, it'd work.
Mar. 9th, 2009 03:33 am (UTC)
Wicked. My beloved wastrel grandfather and greatgrandfather once designed and built a mountain compound for a "tea" producer [but this fellow was into the far less legal variety]. :)
Mar. 10th, 2009 04:02 am (UTC)
Hehe. Yes, I could always consider some weed for a side income. So much prettier than meth production, you know?
Mar. 9th, 2009 03:29 pm (UTC)
Yays! I has a perfume! :D
Mar. 10th, 2009 04:04 am (UTC)
Yep! Sent it off today, so you should get it soon. Have fun sampling. :)
Mar. 10th, 2009 02:59 am (UTC)
*waves hand in air* I know! I know! Because I've got one in my front yard. :-)

I haven't harvested mine yet, but I've moved it twice in the past four years and it had a bad year last year. I'm hoping this year the weather hasn't beaten it up too badly and I might get some first-flush.
Mar. 10th, 2009 04:05 am (UTC)
Cool! Since you're in Seattle too, and it's still alive, I have hope. The Market guy told me that even if its leaves fall off after a tough freeze, we shouldn't panic, because it'll re-leaf. Let's hope so.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )