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Eat Your Vegetables

It’s spring, and I spent the weekend buying flower seeds, and planting a miniature vegetable garden with my nephews. There is something so exciting about this season of rebirth and planting. The colors are verdant, the mood is hopeful, and winter has finally thawed!

Botanical Citrus Tablecloth from Williams-SonomaBrightened with a ripe lemon and delicate citrus blossoms, the tablecloth sets a warm tone for year-round dining.
Nettikaupasta, Nordic Design Collective
Nordic Living, by the Nordic Design Collective, rather than Do It Yourself, Grow it Yourself.  Styling by Linda Åhman, photography by Maria Richardsson. 
Swedish Elle Decor, botanical print rooms
Photography by Petra Bindel for Swedish Elle Interiör via Blueprint.
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It’s time to celebrate the bounty of the earth by showcasing a colorful array of fruits, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, and greenery. Vintage botanical illustrations are always a classic choice evoking an English Cottage. One part shabby, two parts chic.

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Tea for Two & Two for Tea

A tea garden, also know as a “pleasure’ garden” (not to be confused with ‘the garden of earthy delights’ or ‘midnight in the garden of good and evil’) was a particular type of lawn and horticulture that flourished in the 18th century. Tea gardens were actually designed specifically for the drinking of tea, strolling, and conversation. The two most famous tea gardens left in the UK (this practice lost its luster after World War II) are The Orchard in Grantchester near Cambridge, and Yorkshire Stingo in Marylebone, London. Tea gardens were public recreational parks that became extremely popular during the Victorian era, these are not to be confused with Roman or Japanese tea gardens which have their own unique traditions and chosen shrubs. Personally, I like my tea with some ornate topiaries ala the gardens of Versailles.

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In America all students are taught of the revolt of the Boston Tea Party, however taxation on teas seems to have been causing problems since time immemorial (or at least since the advent of government). The herb plants that are found in most tea gardens have a connection to the past. When the British government taxed tea for export to the New World, the colonists turned to herbs to make tea. To this day, tea is the post popular drink in the world! Common plants for one’s tea garden include mint, bergamot, lemon balm, rosemary, sage, hyssop, agrimony, alfalfa, and geraniums (really a tea garden’s plants should be ANY shrub, bush, weed, or herb that can be used in the creation of herbal teas and remedies).

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A tea garden’s colors are the perfect palette for a spring themed room – verdant greens, gentle pinks, ecru flower petals, and soft lavenders delight a viewer by transporting one to the bygone days of prudish and proper etiquette. Oh to live in a faded and rustic pastoral afternoon!

Bring the English country garden into your home with rose-patterned fabric and wallpaper in pastel shades. Everything should be dainty, dusty, and just a bit distressed! From the May 2010 issue of Homes and Antiques.

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Ibiza / Eivissa

Just saying the word is magical, listen to it roll off one’s tongue! Mellifluous perfection! Ibiza, or as the local Catalan speaking natives call it, “Eivissa” is an island in the Mediterranean Sea 79 km off the coast of the city of Valencia in Spain. It is part of the Balearic Island chain. Enough about geography, let me tell you about the culture.

Judith, the blushing bride, and her maid of honor and friend! Can we talk about the coordination of blues, the fascinators, the flowered head chain, and the general sartorial wit in this photo?

Everyone on the island spoke a minimum of three languages – it was a polyglot’s heaven! Signs were written in Spanish, Catalan, English, French, German, and represented a veritable United Nations of cultures. Everyone also dressed like they were about to pose for a Club Monaco or United Colors of Benetton Ad. I also believe that the island would be a meteorologist’s dream, literally s/he would not have to look at a doppler camera, barometer, or radar as the sun is always shining, there are no clouds, and the sky is blue every day. The temperates were also seemingly perfect.

Oh hi! That’s me. This is a picture of the first time I have ever been able to legitimately use a sun parasol. The dress is by Kimchi Blue from Urban Outfitters and called Spin Sugar Dress. It cast beautiful cream colored shadows.

The island’s local brew, Isleña, could be found at every bar!

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