I hope you all enjoyed an incredible summer. Mine was a busy one preparing our garden that was part of a Mystery Garden Tour fundraiser in July in support of our community’s botanical garden (175 people visited our garden on a single weekend) as well as attending Pink Days In Bloom fundraising events at local garden centres throughout June and August in support of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation – Atlantic. I feel a little sad that summer is winding down and fall is coming on (although fall is my favourite season), but I’m delighted to be back at my blog and glad you are here visiting with me today. It’s so heartwarming to be able to share with you all about a special tea that happened earlier this season. It took months of planning, but was well worth the result.
On June 8th, a group of fellow breast cancer survivors and supporters celebrated “Pink Tree Day in the Park”. The day was chosen to mark the Centennial Anniversary of our city’s beloved Bowring Park. It also kicked off the Pink Days In Bloom fundraising season, an initiative that has grown from our small community here in Newfoundland throughout Atlantic Canada and beyond. I am very happy about that! Much gratitude to Proven Winners for this beautiful idea and the Invincibelle Spirit Campaign that donates $1.00 from the sale of every pink Invincibelle Spirit hydrangea to the Breast Cancer Research (BRC) Foundation in the United States. I had the pleasure of meeting some of the wonderful and caring people behind the campaign in June 2013 when I was invited to the amazing Spring Meadow Nursery in Grand Haven, Michigan to share with their major growers about Pink Days In Bloom in Newfoundland.
The occasion served also as a reminder of the importance of trees and gardens in our daily lives for healthy and beautiful living. I am thrilled that our city’s mayor, Dennis O’Keefe, and the founding chair of the Bowring Park Foundation, Bruce Templeton, were able to be there to help to cut the ribbon on the bench. Olivia, the sweet Newfoundland, wore a pink flower in her ear. I think she instinctively knew that something very beautiful was going on!
The Pink Days In Bloom signature garden fairies named ‘Pink’, ‘Hope’ and ‘Invincibelle’ joined the ceremony. My friend, Joan, in the white hat helped the mayor to cut the ribbon. Joan is also a survivor and has led a breast cancer support group, Sharing Our Strength (SOS), in our city for over a dozen years. She is a beautiful spirit. Thank you, Joanie, for all that you do every day!
Aren’t the Pink Days In Bloom fairies lovely! That’s Pink in the top photo, then Hope and Invincibelle. Their floral crowns were such fun to make, and I just love the way they turned out! I think the fairies love wearing them, too! Thank you to Erin (a.k.a. Pink), Jenn (a.k.a. Hope) and Kierstyn (a.k.a. Invincibelle) for volunteering with Pink Days In Bloom since the beginning in 2012! And, much gratitude to dear Apryl Stead of White Willow Photography for these gorgeous images. It takes a very special talent to capture the image of a fairy. You must truly BELIEVE!
My husband’s family donated a pink-flowering tree to the park in memory of my mom-in-law. She passed away from breast cancer in November, 2009. She was a kindred spirit and I miss her every day. Helping us to do the planting was left to right: Bruce Templeton (founding Chair of the Bowring Park Foundation), Paula Tessier (Community Relations, CBCF-Atlantic), Dennis O’Keefe (Mayor of St. John’s), my husband and me. The maintenance team at the transit company where I work kindly painted our shovels pink! It was a drizzly day, so tents were generously supplied by Bill Harris Tent Rentals who came through for us in a pinch last-minute and we were grateful to have some shelter from the cool wind.
PHOTO CREDIT: Apryl Stead
The pink-blossoming tree that we planted on that day is a variety of cherry tree and will bloom in springtime. Spring blossoms represent new life and hope for the future. The tree came from Pat’s Plants and Gardens, a participant in “The Pink Tree Project” and the first garden nursery in our province to host Pink Days In Bloom. Pat and I have since become dear friends and I love her dearly. Whenever I get a crazy idea, and I tend to get a lot of them, Pat is always the first to, ahem, ‘volunteer’ her garden centre! Thank you, Pat, for your continued blooming support! Here’s a little about Pink Days’s In Bloom’s “The Pink Tree Project”.
PHOTO CREDIT: Apryl Stead
My awesome new friend Liz Klose made her hat especially for “Pink Tree Day in the Park”! A delicate china teacup and saucer are perched at the very top of this beauty – I mean you, Liz! :-). Even the teacup is filled with flowers! She wore it the entire day and without even needing to see a chiropractor afterwards! Now, that is stamina in my books! Liz is the Director of Memorial University’s Botanical Garden in St. John’s. This year, the Botanical Garden joined Pink Days In Bloom and celebrated Canada Garden Days by planting a pink-flowering plant in support. Friends of The Garden (affectionately known as FOG) held a summer-long plant sale at The Garden in support of Pink Days In Bloom and CBCF-Atlantic. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of plants with pink-ribbon twists inserted in their pots is being donated for innovative breast cancer research and programs. FOG will host their annual two-hour plant sale at The Garden on Saturday, September 6th between 10 am and Noon and will also have a vendor table at our local Some Good Market on September 13th in support! FOG volunteers have been working hard all season long! Thank you!
My co-worker Joan watched the tree-planting ceremony from the warmth of the tea deck. My young neighbour Julie, on the left, later served us tea! Her summer job was working with Red Oak Catering who catered our delicious tea.
PHOTO: Apryl Stead
Olivia, the Newfoundland, is certainly loved! She gets a hug at the end of the ceremony for being such a good girl. Newfoundlands are such gentle beings. They’re easy to love.
The bench and tree dedication was immediately followed by a celebratory Pink Days in Bloom “Sea-to-Sea Champagne Tea” FUNdraiser complete with magnificent musical performances by very talented vocalist Adam Hunt and pianist David Chafe of Newman Sound Men’s Choir. Harpist Vanessa Goodyear soothed our souls with her lyrical harp notes during the meal. The sound equipment was generously provided by Canadian AV Inc. It was so nice of them all!
The elegant décor was a gift from the beautiful Sue Sharpe (By Sharpe Design). Our delightful and humorous guest speaker was Bruce Templeton (Author of “The Man in the Red Suit and soon to be launched “The Man with the White Beard). Both of Bruce’s books are published by Creative Book Publishing and are an inspiring, heart-touching read with an important message: It’s not your presents that count; it’s your presence. A portion of the proceeds from Bruce’s Christmas book sales help vaccinate children in various parts of the world against the dreaded polio disease. For every book sold, three children are vaccinated against polio. I’ve already bought no less than 14 copies of his book “The Man in the Red Suit” and have given them to friends, neighbours, co-workers and family on my ‘good list’ for Christmas. Let’s see, 14 books = 42 children who have been vaccinated! It feels good to know that.
During the Pink Days In Bloom tea, there were pretty park views all around, prizes and surprises, too! We enjoyed a delectable menu prepared especially for us by Red Oak Catering that included steaming pots of tasty teas, fresh fruit salad, a selection of satisfying savouries, tiers of luscious house-made pastries and sweets, scrumptious fresh-baked scones with jam and cream, and delectable English trifle. What a fancy feast! YUM!
And, here’s the really special part: At the very same hour that we were dedicating the bench and pink tree, and celebrating over tea and champagne here in Newfoundland on Canada’s east coast, the incredible staff and friends at the beautiful Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria, British Columbia, on the country’s west coast, planted a pink ‘sister’ tree in their hotel garden and hosted a Pink Days in Bloom Tea of their own in their world-famous Tea Lobby in support of CBCF – BC/Yukon. Monies raised in support of CBCF in each region stay in the respective regions, which is a good thing. The fundraisers help support community programs where we live.
Thank you Rebecca and team at The Empress for all your hard work! And, thank you to Helijet for partnering with The Empress in The Pink Tree Project. Breast cancer survivor Karen Sabourin and her daughter Laurel helped plant the “Tree of Hope” in the Empress Garden! Aren’t these ladies adorable!
This photo just makes me smile! 🙂
Everyone who made a donation in someone’s honour got to write the name of the person on a tag and hang it on The Empress’ new Tree of Hope. Photos of The Empress’ world-famous tea lobby are below. You can see more photos here at my blog post “The Elegant Empress”. I have always LOVED “The Elegant Empress” and now I love ‘her’ more than ever for being part of this initiative.
The Empress’ culinary team outdid themselves! WoW! Look at all those luscious pink desserts!
Guests were invited to sign The Empress’ Book of Hope and write an encouraging message. This is truly a beautiful idea.
Those unable to join us in person for the Pink Days In Bloom tea on June 8th, in either Bowring Park or at The Empress, could still share in the event through a virtual tea. Whether at the office, the kitchen table or by the pool, one could simply pick up their cup in support and pledge online to help fund breast cancer research and community programs. For Twitter lovers, tweets about their tea experience at hashtag (#PinkDaysInBloom) could be seen displayed on a screen outside the Tea Lobby at The Empress. I really liked that idea, too. It helped to bring everyone closer together.
I hope you enjoy the following photos of our Pink Days In Bloom’s “Pink Tree Day in the Park ” Tea. Some of the photos were taken on The Bungalow’s tea deck. It was a cold, damp day in June but we hardly noticed! The tenting and heaters on the deck made it cozy for guests who sat outside. And, the deck looked dreamy, too, thanks to Sue and her team!
PHOTO CREDIT: Apryl Stead
Isn’t this a superb way to do a seating chart! Many thanks to the lovely Sue Sharpe, By Sharpe Design, who contributed her design services for the tea. Many of the photos were taken by the talented Apryl Stead, White Willow Photography. Thank you, Apryl, for sharing the day with us and helping us to remember every moment through your glorious images!
PHOTO CREDIT: Apryl Stead
Jessica Smith, the amazing floral designer at By Sharpe Design, artfully arranged numerous delightful bouquets like this one! Jessica’s wedding bouquets are simply divine and make me want to get married all over again just so I can carry one of her out-of-this-world bouquets. I do love flowers!
PHOTO CREDIT: Apryl Stead
I love my old Apple Blossom china. It is one of my favourite vintage china patterns. I used what I’ve managed to collect over the years on the tea tables, along with nearly all my pink transferware plus my teapot collection (about 30 pots in all gathered from antique shops, flea markets, garage sales – you name it) and dozens of vintage teacups (about 70 in total, I think). I can’t think of a more inspiring occasion to use pretty delicate china! I never knew I had so many pieces until I started to dig them out of the nooks and crannies of the cupboards. It seems they were just begging to be used! I borrowed the tiered sweet trays from my darling friend Marie who once operated the most elegant tea room. We all miss your teas, Marie, my dear!
This is one of my favourite teapots.
Pots of tea filled with the tasty ‘Empress Blend’ were served at the tea tables compliments of The Empress!
If you’re in the area on November 2nd, I’d love for you to join us at “The Little Christmas Fair”.
Thank you for coming by! I hope you have a lovely weekend. See you soon!
I’m excited to be joining Pink Saturday, Saturday Show Off, Mosaic Monday, Busy Monday, Amaze Me Monday, Mod Mix Monday, Inspiration Monday, Tuesday Cuppa Tea, Tuesdays at Our Home, Inspire Me Tuesday, Teacup Tuesday, The Scoop, A Return To Loveliness, Tea Time Tuesday, Tweak it Tuesday and Tea Time, Wordless Wednesday, WoW Us Wednesday, Wake Up Wednesday, Cottage Style Party, A Return to Loveliness, What’s It Wednesday, The Homemaking Party, Home and Garden Thursday, Share Your Cup Thursday, Thursday Favourite Things, Tablescape Thursday, Feathered Nest Friday , Simple and Sweet Fridays, Show and Tell Friday, Home Sweet Home and What To Do Weekends, and am thankful for all these wonderful blogs and kindred spirits!
Today, I am steeping one of my favourite teas – Kyoto Cherry Rose scented with natural cherry and rose flavours. It is pale yellow in colour with a heavenly aroma and sweet taste.
Would you like a cuppa in my prized vintage China pattern? “Apple Blossom” is a stunning profusion of pink-petaled apple trees. I LOVE this pattern! I found it when I wasn’t looking at a roadside antiques barn while vacationing on Prince Edward Island a few summers ago! It was such a thrilling and unexpected find. Isn’t that always the way! I think I must have danced right out the door with my newspaper-wrapped bundles of joy! I hope one day to stumble across a matching teapot to complete the set. I will just have to keep on treasure hunting…
I LOVE this pattern’s history in that it was insightfully commissioned in the early 1960’s by the Chair of Nova Scotia’s Apple Blossom Festival, then in just its second year. This enduring pattern is an artist’s rendition of springtime in Annapolis Valley when the apple blossoms are exploding all over the countryside. All these years later, the festival remains a much-loved annual tradition there.
I LOVE, too, pink-flowering trees! But you probably could have guessed that already? Each spring, I make a special pilgrimage to a particular street in the heart of our city that is lined with gracious century-old homes on handsome, mature lots. One home on the street stands out from the rest. Along its perimeter marches a legion of stately Japanese Cherry trees. Their entangled branches, thickly laden with exquisite fluffy pink blooms, reach way out over the hefty black fence that rings the property, and bend down to the street like low-hanging frothy clouds of cotton candy! Delicious, pure pink abundance! My feet and heart always dance together at the sight. It makes my day every time!
Wherever these frothy pink specimens grow in abundance, there is an intense ‘Bloom Watch’ and visitors queue by the hundreds to see the magic of the cherry trees unfurl in a fleeting spectacular show of renewal. Their pink vapour of nature’s perfection fill the landscapes with intense beauty, wonderment and emotion.
To the Japanese, the fallen petals of the cherry blossom symbolize a soldier who has died in battle long before his time. But Spring blooms also represent strength, rebirth and hope for the future…
Audrey Hepburn said, “To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow!” She was so right about that. To plant pink trees is to beautify our communities and to help grow a future without breast cancer…I believe! The seeds of Pink Days In Bloom’s “The Pink Tree Project” in support of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation-Atlantic Region are just beginning to be sowed…
Those of you who have been following my blog for some time already may know that I am a breast cancer “Thriver” and that when I was on medical leave a few years ago recovering from treatments, I decided to combine my love of gardening with the overwhelming need to do something, anything, to help fight this disease in some way…
Please ‘Like’ Pink Days In Bloom on Facebook.
A true warrior, like tea, shows his strength in hot water. – Ancient Chinese proverb
Hope yours is a blue-sky kind of day…
I’m happy to be sharing today in honour of Mother’s Day at Inspiration Monday, Make It Pretty Monday, Tea Time Tuesday, Return to Loveliness, Martha’s Favourite, The Scoop, Inspire Me Tuesday, Nifty Thrifty Tuesday, Do Tell Tuesday, What’s It Wednesday, Wordless Wednesday, Wake UpWednesday, What We Accomplished Wednesday, Before and After Wednesday, Hope in Every Season, Cottage Style Party, Home and Garden Thursday, Share Your Cup Thursday, Simple and Sweet Friday, Feathered Nest Friday, Show and Tell Friday, Fabulously Creative Friday, Shabbilicious Friday, Saturday Show Off, What To Do Weekends, Pink Saturday, The Charm of Home, Bouquet of Talent!
I’m happy that you came by again today for a visit. Would you care for a glass of pink lemonade for a change? Or, maybe pink tea? It’s a beautiful sunny day here, and I could really use the company. I am off work in misery with fractured ribs from coughing – the leftovers of a nasty flu virus that had me literally seeing double for 5 straight days. It’s just been an unbelieveable time.
I promised you a second part to the ‘Pink Days in Bloom’ post…I’ve had this current post prepared for several months. Some of you have been asking about it and so I thought that I would release it today.
What does it really mean to ‘Think Pink’?
There was a compelling interview on Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) Radio on Friday, January 27th with National Film Board (NFB) Producer Ravida Dinn who is challenging the iconic Pink Ribbon movement, its unending conglomerate fundraising, and where all the money goes. The interviewer referenced that despite billions of dollars raised every year to fight breast cancer, it seems we are no closer to a cure, prevention or, more importantly, finding the cause.
Some think it’s more about support and less about the solution. Breast cancer is an epidemic around the globe and, despite all that we are doing, we still have no idea what is causing it! 59,000 women in North America die each year from breast cancer. The disease incidence remains high – I am ONE of 23,000 women newly diagnosed each year. (I was diagnosed in 2010 – 1.5 years after first seeing my doctor about the lump in my breast).
The business of the pink ribbon…
- The concept of ‘Pink-Washing’, i.e. companies who promote themselves as looking for a cure, making money off the disease while selling products that could be hazardous to women’s health. The film’s makers allude that many well-known ‘Pink Ribbon Companies’, including popular cosmetic giants, according to environmentalist claims, refuse to sign a safe cosmetics agreement continuing to produce products that contain known carcinogens. Reportedly, car manufacturers, too, are riding the breast cancer bandwagon while vehicle emissions are to be a known cause and many of the companies’ employees who happen to be women have been diagnosed with the disease.
- DID YOU KNOW? Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which began in October 1985, has its origins with a pharmaceutical company now known as AstraZeneca, creator of the anti-breast cancer drug Tomoxifen. Shockingly, the company is reportedly the leading manufacturer of crop pesticides!
- DID YOU KNOW? The first pink ribbon was actually salmon-coloured, the invention of 68-years young Charlotte Haley. Charlotte was fed up watching many of her close family members battle breast cancer, so she decided to take matters both figuratively and literally into her own hands, cutting peach ribbons from cloth while sitting at her dining room table. Her genuine intent of this simple gesture was to protest to her government the shameful lack of money being invested in finding a cure for breast cancer. The original ribbons were affixed to a card that said, “The National Cancer Institute’s annual budget is $1.8 billion, only 5% goes for cancer prevention. Help wake up our legislators and America by wearing this ribbon.” When asked by Estee Lauder to share her ribbon, Charlotte denied the request refusing to allow it to be used to impact the company’s bottom line. On the advice of its corporate legal team, Estee Lauder simply changed the colour and, before long, pink ribbons adorned many of the conglomerate’s products.
- The point that Din and Pool are making is that if companies TRULY care, there is no room for hypocrisy in this fight of our lives. Period. The purpose of their film is to challenge us to be more demanding in that focus be on the cause and prevention of breast cancer – on saving the lives of women.
Pink is everything cancer is not!
CBCF is not impressed with the film.
“Donate wisely. Think Before You ‘Pink’.”
“WHEN YOU DO nothing, you feel over- whelmed and powerless. But when you get involved, you feel the sense of hope and accomplishment that comes from knowing you are working to make things better.” ~ Unknown
These roses bloomed from a rose tree-standard in a planter on my deck last season. They are called ‘Waterfall’…
Welcome Dear Friends, Old and New!
“WHEN YOU DO nothing, you feel overwhelmed and powerless. But when you get involved, you feel the sense of hope and accomplishment that comes from knowing you are working to make things better.” ~ Unknown
Pink Days is about Awareness, Hope & Support for persons with breast cancer, their families & friends; while at the same time, promoting gardening as part of healthy & beautiful living. Raising funds for breast cancer research, programs & equipment is a bonus. Pink Days is a way like no other that enables garden centres to connect with their gardening customers in creating a future without breast cancer. Pink Days is a Win-Win for everyone involved!”
The impossible can always be broken down into possibilities. ~Author Unknown
Make your optimism come true. ~Author Unknown
Determine that the thing can and shall be done, and then we shall find the way. ~Abraham Lincoln
We will either find a way or make one. ~Hannibal
I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back. ~Mayo Angelou
I am thrilled to tell you that Pink Days has grown this year to include five (Yes, 5!) AWESOME garden centres on the Avalon Peninsula in Summer 2012. Pat’s Plants and Gardens is excitedly looking forward to hosting its Second Annual Garden Pink Days on July 14-15. Generously joining in the cause are: Hickey’s Greenhouses, both their Dunville (June 30) and Kelligrews, Conception Bay South (July 7) locations; Shand Nurseries, Pouch Cove (July 21), and O’Neill’s Gardlenland, Spaniards Bay (July 22). And, interest is growing…
PINK BLOOMS! This year, Landscape Newfoundland and Labrador, too, has joined the cause in kindly contributing space at its Spring Landscaping and Garden Show and Symposium on Saturday, April 28th and Sunday, April 29th at the Jack Byrne Arena, Torbay enabling ‘Pink Days in Bloom!’ to be promoted to the thousands of visitors to the show. Canada’s own gardening guru Mark Cullen will be their special guest!
Four short words sum up what has lifted most successful individuals above the crowd: a little bit more. They did all that was expected of them and a little bit more. ~A. Lou Vickery
I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. ~Maya Angelou
PLEASE BE SURE TO VISIT PINK DAYS IN BLOOM ON FACEBOOK…
Many thanks for choosing to spend some precious moments of your day here!
I’m so glad you came.
Wishing you a beautiful day,
I am joining Meet Me Monday, Masterpiece Monday, Teatime Tuesday, Bloomin Tuesday, Tuesday Garden Party, Your Cozy Home Party, Tea Cuppa Tuesday, Tea Party Tuesday, A Return to Loveliness, Friends Sharing Tea, Outdoor Wednesday, What’s It Wednesday, Time Traveller Thursday, Open House Party, Simply Sweet, Seasonal Sunday, Sunlit Sunday and Spring Link Blog Hop Party!!
Bonjour, Everyone! 🙂
Today is the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation’s Annual Run for the Cure! It’s a beautiful thing!
My neighbour Joanne and her daughters, Julie and Laura, along with my nieces Meghan and Ashley (in Regina) are running for me today. You go, my beautiful girls and thanks ever so much. It WILL make a difference!!!
Julie, Laura and Mom Joanne are pictured below. This photo was taken on our walkway early this morning before heading out to The Run For The Cure. It’s pouring down rain here today, but that hasn’t dampened anyone’s spirits…It’s a good day. 🙂
Turn up the volume and enjoy this spectacular feel-good fun’draising video by the incredible cancer research team at McGill University. A donation will be made by the sponsor for each hit! Be sure and watch the video outtakes as well – they’re hilarious! It will lift your spirits, give you hope, get you moving AND raise funds for cancer research. ENJOY! And have a beautiful day, all!