Pat posted on February 13, 2011 06:12
Green tea, Chai spiced, from the gift shop at Heaven Scent B&B, Chick Cove Manor, Deltaville, VA

Delicious teas for sale here! We've gotten fresh stock in, ready for our spring guests - and, not to worry, we do mail-order too.

Green chai is an exotic new offering - not just the usual chai spices, but with citrus, vanilla and rose petals as well. It's making a hit.

White tea is now available here in loose leaf, and what big, beautiful leaves they are. Our new variety is Cassis, delicately fruity and floral.

Pu Ehr bird's nests are one of two new offerings in black tea. A specialty of Yunnan province, China (long our favorite source of black tea), this is a post-fermented tea product, Little compressed cakes, individually wrapped, need to be broken up before brewing. They can be used for multiple infusions. Pu Ehr is known for being full-bodied and earthy, and it does come in different styles, but ours is very smooth, not at all bitter. This is a good tea with milk and sugar.

On the delicate side, we have a house blend of a second-flush Darjeeling. Very elegant!

Bed and breakfast guests can have a fresh mug or pot of any variety, any time. If you can't get here, see our online store. The new stock will be online mid-March: order before March 15 to get last year's prices on winter stock. We're sure tea lovers will be delighted with these products, and we're converting non-tea-drinkers as well - there's surely a flavor to suit any taste.

Pat posted on August 9, 2010 12:39
Weed-Free Watering Blanket

This heat! What a year! We were seeing 90 degrees at the beginning of May, and while there have been a few mild weeks or days, the last three and a half months have been brutal in their heat and aridity. Oh, for last year's rains! It seemed then that every time we really needed rain, it came. This year, predictions of some fair percentage chance of rain, or even more welcome thunderstorms, just tease us with so-very-rarely realized promises. Much of what I planted last fall and this spring has succumbed, especially the plants at a distance from the house, that I had no time to water. A season for the survival of the very fittest.

"Xeriscape," my mind's ear can hear friend Richard Satnick say, with no sympathy for foolish choices of resource-hungry plants. But we here in the east are used to abundant water and are shocked when wells go dry. I'm just planting things I grew up with ... and a few more plants that needed this milder climate, but those are also more drought-tolerant.

Yet it's very clear, we're all going to have to be more conscientious about conserving water. Drip irrigation is a familiar idea, such a good practice, delivering small steady amounts of water just to the plants that need it. But if you're not ready to start laying tubing throughout your garden, setting emitters just so, I have a terrific alternative.

EvoOrganic makes a "Weed-Free Garden Watering Blanket" with built-in drip irrigation. It's 8' by 10', with irrigation lines spaced a foot apart, and planting guidelines drawn in-between. There's a header hose ready to connect to your standard garden hose, and a dozen stakes to anchor the blanket to the ground. And about that blanket: it's two layers of weed-block fabric, with the watering system in-between. Guaranteed to last 3 seasons if you don't cover it with mulch, and may last a decade and more if you do. How great is that?

I didn't get this product installed myself this spring, rather too much parent-care to finish my garden projects, but I'll be using it when I do plant again. This puts in one easy installation just the kind of system I rigged for myself when I planted my first strawberry beds here. I prepared the soil, made mounded rows, laid sprinkler hose and anchored it in place, covered the whole bed with lightweight landscape fabric, then put a top layer of red plastic landscape cloth, and finally cut an X for each little plant and put it in, spreading the roots over the mound. Worked great and the beds lasted 3 years. But that sprinkler hose can have a mind of its own when you bend and shape it, and it wasn't a perfect fit, bed to bed. I love this new version, ready to go in one piece, and using water only for exactly the shape of your planting bed.

Guests and visitors can buy the product in Heaven Scent's lobby gift shop, at $45 plus 5% tax. Email me for shipping costs. (MSRP is $59.95.) BTW, you can link one blanket to another, for a larger garden, or I can get you the same product in any configuration you need, as it's also sold by the foot, in narrower widths.

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Pat posted on July 14, 2010 11:48

Loose leaf tea, tea brewing bags and filters for sale at Heaven Scent

I've been a fan of properly-brewed loose leaf tea for ... longer than I care to realize. I found my favorite unscented, plain black tea decades ago (!) at Mariage Frères in Paris: it's from Yunnan province, China, has a wonderful full flavor that stands up to milk and a touch of sugar - although many of my friends like it just as it is. For a while, Bloomingdale's carried it, so I could buy it right in NYC. But once I moved to the countryside, I started searching online for fine teas, and after trying several companies, found a source for Yunnan tea that made me very happy. Tried a few dozen other teas from the same source and was hooked. I've been offering a wide selection of scented and unscented, regular and decaffeinated black and green teas here at Heaven Scent since the B&B opened. Lots of guests have enjoyed discovering new tastes with these teas, and I'm frequently asked where to buy them. So, I have taken the plunge and started buying for resale. To start, we have a number of guests' favorites, plus a couple of new offerings to try out.

Guests' favorites now for sale include the plain black Yunnan; an unusual variation of Earl Grey with cornflowers and vanilla; a delicate, decaffeinated apricot-scented sencha (green tea) - a great late-night favorite here; lemon-flavored Rooibos ("Red Bush") which of course, is not tea at all, but a naturally caffeine-free, antioxidant-rich plant from South Africa, and in this scent, is often enjoyed as iced tea; and a tropically-flavored green tea blend known as Sunny Dream.

In addition, we're offering a new organic green tea with a delicate orange flavor; black-currant scented black tea, an old favorite flavor of mine; a light-bodied black tea flavored with ginger, peach and apricot; and an all-fruit Red Berries blend, no tea at all, so again, naturally caffeine-free.

We offer two products to make brewing loose tea just as convenient as teabags - and much more satisfying! One is a permanent filter that sits in a cup, mug or pot. Just compost the tea leaves and rinse the filter for re-use. The other option is a package of 200 disposable paper filters, shaped to fit inside a mug with handle-tabs for easy removal.

The complete product list, with prices, is posted at our main site, Oh, and note that the tea itself is packaged in handsome, reusable oval tins, glossy black outside, gold inside. An attractive, tasty and tasteful gift, certainly!


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