Tea Time for the Garden

I love tea. (No news there).

I also love to garden organically, started a compost pile a few years back, and have an on going love affair with not only my camellia bushes (the cousins to the tea bush camellia sinensis) but with my roses as well.

2 weeks ago (with the help of a friend/geologist) we planted 29 Double knockout rose bushes along the perimeter of my yard to make a natural barrier/fence. Next year it should be a spectacular display of fushia-red.  I also have 2 climbing rose bushes up against the house making their way up an iron trellis that leans against the fireplace. They will be relocated in the spring to the back garden to (hopefully) grow up my new deck/pergola. I can’t contain my delight at the idea of tea on the deck, under my pergola with roses and grape vines (and anything else I can get to grow and climb) hovering overhead like a green and red umbrella.

Double Knockout Rose

I haven’t had too much trouble with my roses and I believe it is in part due to the enormous amount of tea they drink. That’s right, I’m not the only tea drinker in the house. My roses bushes enjoy tea time as well and must be benefiting from the polyphenols and antioxidants in the tea leaves. Actually, what they are receiving is a boost of nitrogen. I sprinkle my mass amount of dry and wet tea leaves around the base of my acid loving plants, including tomatoes and watch them grow and bloom joyfully. Did you know that roses and tea had a natural affinity for each other? It’s true.

I have been known to secretly feed my neighbors roses with tea leaves and left over brewed tea from my farmers markets. Needless to say, he’s got some of the most amazing blooms on the block as well. I fancy myself the pied piper of tea and secret midnight rose feeder. I’m like a tea/rose super hero… by day sipping cups and cups of tea… by night tea-watering and sprinkling used tea leaves wherever I find a rose bush. Maybe I could parlay that into some kind of Halloween costume? But what would it look like? Ideas welcome.

Anyway… we can all do our part with sustainability and recycling so don’t throw those hard working used tea leaves in the trash or down the sink! Step outside and feed your garden. Even nature deserves a tea break.

Sip tea. Tip toe through the rose bushes. Feel happy!

Tea Time for the Garden