Posts Tagged ‘Prince Edward Island’

Pink Trees and Cherry Tea!


Happy Spring,

Dear Friends!

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!

P1070224Wherever 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…

0001GpHere are several links to some of the articles about Pink Days In Bloom in support of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation-Atlantic Region that appeared in our local newspaper last year. It’s a bit of a story and I think these next few articles probably best summarize how the seed was first planted and how it has continued to grow and flourish with the support of an amazing group of like-minded, dedicated volunteers and a caring business community:
PHOTO:  Pink Days In Bloom’s Signature Garden Faeries ‘Hope’ and ‘Invincibelle’ with O’Brien’s Boat Tours‘ mermaid mascot, Miss Shell, during ‘Pink Days In Bloom On the Sea!’ in the Town of Bay Bulls last summer…
The Empress Hotel’s world- famous Tea Lobby is a glorious place to enjoy a spot of tea!  You can see some photos of this grand lady in my previous post, THE ELEGANT EMPRESS.
During “Pink Tree Day in the Park” and “Tea Sea-to-Sea” on June 8, at the same hour that we will be planting a pink-flowering tree in Bowring Park, one of our city’s most cherished parks, here St. John’s, Newfoundland on Canada’s East Coast, our dear friends at The Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria, British Columbia on the Country’s West Coast will also plant a pink “sister” tree on their hotel grounds.
And, while we are celebrating and FUNdRaising over tea and champagne at The Bungalow, The Empress team will host a Pink Days In Bloom Tea of their own and “Sip in Support”. Isn’t that AWESOME!  
On June 8th, you, too, can pick up your cup in support, whether on your iPad, in the office, at the kitchen table, by the pool or wherever you happen to be via a Virtual Tea!  I would love it if you could join us. Simply brew your favourite cuppa and click:  Ask your family, friends and co-workers to join in, too. It’s that easy!
For TWITTER LOVERS:  On June 8th, Tweet about your tea experience at #PinkDaysInBloom and your Tweets can be seen by guests of The Empress on a screen near their world-famous Tea Lobby, bringing us all even closer together in ‘growing’ a future without breast cancer!
I am so excited about this next beautiful event! THANK YOU to our dear friends at The Empress for sharing in the cause! Please show them your LOVE! ‘Like’ The Empress on Facebook. Or, visit them at to discover their fabulous get-away packages and legendary afternoon teas…If you haven’t visited The Empress and Victoria yet, it’s a must to add to your bucket list!
Read all about this exciting and meaningful event below! I hope it will help explain why I have been away from my blog these past few months!
I have met so many beautiful people on this journey. Thank you Proven Winners for the ‘Invincibelle Spirit Hydrangea’ – a tough plant that is working hard to find a cure, to all the committed volunteers and amazing supporters.  Without you, it would not be possible.  It means so very much to me and so many others. XO  I hope you will join us wherever you are on June 8th for pink trees and cherry tea and for HOPE, AWARENESS AND SUPPORT!
I hope you enjoy the photos of pretty china and the pink tree cookies made by my sweet friend Maria of Petite Sweet! Thank you so much for taking precious time out of your day to visit with me. Please leave your beautiful footprint to let me know that yo were here, and so I can visit you in return!  XO
Wishing you a beautiful day and Happy Mother’s Day weekend,


 Please ‘Like’ Pink Days In Bloom on Facebook.


P1070144P1070147P1070151P1070163P1070153A 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 LovelinessMartha’s Favourite, The Scoop, Inspire Me Tuesday, Nifty Thrifty Tuesday, Do Tell Tuesday, What’s It Wednesday, Wordless Wednesday, Wake UpWednesdayWhat We Accomplished Wednesday, Before and After WednesdayHope in Every SeasonCottage Style Party, Home and Garden Thursday, Share Your Cup Thursday, Simple and Sweet FridayFeathered Nest Friday,  Show and Tell Friday, Fabulously Creative Friday, Shabbilicious Friday, Saturday Show OffWhat To Do WeekendsPink SaturdayThe Charm of Home, Bouquet of Talent!


Welcome back, everyone!

We’re well on our way to continuing along the tour of my dear friend Carolyn Aiken’s wondrous gardens on the beautiful Prince Edward Island. Didn’t I tell you there was so much to see, and that I must have taken hundreds of pictures?! 🙂 I am not exaggerating, my friends!

I am so glad that you are all able to stay awhile and experience even more of this idyllic garden. First, let’s have an ice-cold glass of the famous Raspberry Cordial (not to be confused with wine as Anne did when she served it to her best friend Diana – Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables, Chapter 16).  I carefully managed to bring some home in my suitcase all the way from PEI just for you!  It is a refreshing beverage and reminds me somewhat of old-fashioned Cream Soda, only not nearly as sweet.  It really is quite nice! I think you are going to like it, too. YUM! And what a great job they’ve done at marketing this treat?!  Who could resist Anne Shirley’s smiling freckled face peeping out from under her bright red braids and sweet straw hat?!  It was reported that William and Kate were to sample the carbonated raspberry juice on their visit to PEI.  I wonder if Kate liked it.

That's Carolyn weaving her garden...

I hope you have your waterproof shoes on today.  It’s still a tad wet in the garden from the rainfall earlier…

Carolyn’s garden is a true gift. Having walked in Carolyn’s gardens full of flowers, fragrance and birdsong, I personally received the gift of a fresh start.

Hearing the soft coos of a morning dove enhanced the feeling of something almost magical that happens all around you as you explore this garden’s beauty. Like a weaver at an ethereal loom, the gorgeous waves of colourful blossoms are Carolyn’s threads; and it is especially wonderful that she is willing to pass on her knowledge of  ‘the craft’ to all those who wish to learn.

Happiness held is the seed; Happiness shared is the flower.   John Harrigan

I am certain that you will also love learning about Carolyn’s new duck pond currently being constructed on her property with the assistance of Ducks Unlimited!  It should be quite amazing by next summer.  The pond can be seen from Carolyn’s dining room window, where she has a comfortable chaise to relax and enjoy the stunning panoramic views of her lush landscapes. Carolyn has dreams of seeing her grandchildren (nine in all) skating on the frozen pond in wintertime, and has acquired a flat-bottomed wooden boat in which to enjoy the pond on summer days!

Weather means more when you have a garden.  There’s nothing like listening to a shower and thinking how it is soaking in around your green beans.  ~Marcelene Cox

Carolyn’s glorious gardens can be seen from every window of her romantic 95-year old home. Looking through each paned window glass, it feels as though you’ve actually stepped inside the pages of a beautiful magazine. Her dreamily-styled garden vignettes are sprinkled with welcoming arbours, bloom-laden trellises, unique handcrafted birdhouses, wicker chairs and wrought-iron settees plumped with pretty pillows, and even tea-time tables set with lacy cloths, delicate china cups and flower-filled vases – all just waiting for guests to arrive and enjoy!
Expect the unexpected as you walk through Carolyn’s gardens:  pensive statuary and surrounding plants ‘multiplied’ using a strategically placed mirror that covers an entire fence panel, imaginative garden rooms – one with a chandelier creatively hung from a pergola, louvered shutters, an aged wooden desk and pressed-back chair – and even an antique stove found by the side of the road, and a bicycle planter painted in happy turquoise and loaded up with plants!

“There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.”  Sophia Loren

One of the most ‘meaningful’ objects amongst the treasures in Carolyn’s garden is an old bicycle that had once belonged to her father, and  an intriguing ‘false entrance’ on the exterior of the house  (a wood-panelled door and stone steps left in the original spot following a home reno job). Because Carolyn loves the look of old English cottages with ivy vines twining up and around their entryways, she convinced her husband to keep the door where it was, walling it in from behind, and filled the steps with plants so the entrance could not be accessed and mistaken for an actual door.  Carolyn’s thoughtful ingenuity when it comes to planning her garden can be seen at every bend along its curvy paths…
It’s hard to imagine being anywhere else that is so serene and inviting as the Aiken House and Gardens!
I am so delighted that we made the trip to PEI solely to meet Carolyn and to tour her home and gardens – it is simply too irresistible not to make more than a single trip to visit here, and we are already planning to return again (maybe even next year) to see the Island and, of course, Carolyn’s gardens, in fall splendour…Sigh.

Gardening is about enjoying the smell of things growing in the soil, getting dirty without feeling guilty, and generally taking the time to soak up a little peace and serenity.  ~Lindley Karstens

The fact that I can plant a seed and it becomes a flower, share a bit of knowledge and it becomes another’s, smile at someone and receive a smile in return, are to me continual spiritual exercises. Leo Buscaglia

The Amen of nature is always a flower.  Oliver Wendall Holmes

I hope you enjoyed ‘Part III’ of the tour of Carolyn’s lovely gardens.I hope you’ll come back soon so that we can continue the tour and hang on to a little bit of summer just awhile longer… On our next visits, we’ll have a look at Carolyn’s garden rooms – you’ll be amazed to find what is inside her garden shed! 🙂 Thanks again for joining me!

As always, wishing you a beautiful day! 🙂


It is good to be alone in a garden at dawn or dark so that all its shy presences may haunt you and possess you in a reverie of suspended thought.  ~James Douglas, Down Shoe Lane

Gardens are a form of autobiography.  ~Sydney Eddison, Horticulture magazine, August/September 1993

%d bloggers like this: