Monday, January 25, 2021

Unique Tea-Themed Collage Greeting Cards

 Here is a small sampling of my new tea-themed collage cards!

I have made a large batch of original tea-themed collage greeting cards.  Here above are just a few.  Each card is unique.  They are soon to be available in the small gift area at The Gallery at Flat Rock in Flat Rock, North Carolina and at Dobra Tea on Lexington in Asheville, North Carolina!  I am so pleased to get my work out there!

Monday, January 4, 2021

Tea in the South Carolina Low Country

 My family and I spent the past week in the South Carolina Low Country.  Our time in that area is relaxing and familiar because we are natives of South Carolina and have vacationed regularly in the Charleston area for the past twenty years or so.

There are a number of sites in Charleston that would be of interest to any tea lover. The Charleston Tea Plantation, now called the Charleston Tea Garden, is a fun tourist site just outside of Charleston. And there are a number of places in the city where you can take an afternoon tea.  (You can read about those through the South Carolina entries over at Destination Tea.) But there is a lesser known attraction in the area where you can hike forest trails surrounded by an understory of large, naturalized tea (Camellia sinensis) bushes. This lovely place is at the Caw Caw Interpretive Center, a part of the Charleston County Parks System.

My husband has done a great deal of historical research into the cultivation of tea in South Carolina. You can read about it on his blog post over at Brown Dog Press. In that blog post he recounts how tea bushes came to be on this land that is now the Caw Caw Interpretive Center.  And according to the Caw Caw website there are now thousands of naturalized tea plants in the park.

We spent a winter morning hiking the trails at Caw Caw and could not have been happier with the experience.  I recommend driving into the park and parking at the Learning & Exhibition Building.  Use your complimentary trail map to make your way (i.e. hike) from this area to Kiosk 9.  Once at Kiosk 9, you will find yourself absolutely surrounded by large tea bushes.  And the kiosk itself includes interesting educational information about Camellia sinensis and other plants found in the park.  

If you are planning to hike through the forest in search of tea bushes, I recommend doing this during cool weather months as the mosquitoes can make hiking through the forest uncomfortable in the summertime.

In my opinion, the Caw Caw Interpretive Center is a hidden gem for tea lovers. So plan a visit and a hike in this public park during your next stay in the South Carolina Low Country.

(Please note that there is a small admission fee to the park.  I believe the fee was $2 per person when we visited in December of 2020. Also make sure you wear proper footwear for uneven terrain if you are planning to hike.)

Friday, January 1, 2021

Happy New Year from My Tea Diary!


© my tea diary
Maira Gall