Wednesday, January 21, 2009

High Tea in the Garden

Two weeks ago my younger daughter-in-law, Amanda, asked if she could celebrate her birthday with a tea party in my garden.

As you can imagine, the gardeners and I immediately jumped in and a major tidying up spree began. We pruned and cut back dead/dried shrub branches (we had no rain for the past few weeks) and filled dry patches of garden with Wild Garlic (Tulbaghia violacea), a quick-growing succulent species (Lampranthus spp), Hen and Chickens (Chlorophytum comosum) and Setaria spp. (ornamental grass)

The dainty snacks were delectable

I had nothing at all to do with the catering; Amanda had it all under control. She decided to have “High tea in the Garden” as her theme and served dainty eats: petite fours and other bite size snacks. She is very meticulous and pays attention to the finest detail. Her mum lent her a Noritake tea set for normal tea. She used my miniature plungers for filter coffee and one - cup teapot sets for those who preferred herbal teas. She bought Iced Tea in different flavours and served these in matching cut glass jugs filled with ice.

Beautiful Noritake tea sets and one-cup teapots; the attention to detail of Amanda's table setting was conducive to an original and refreshing tea party

Miniature plungers for coffee lovers

The Iced Tea came in three different flavours:
Rasperry, Lemon and Mango

The guests arrived at 3pm and were escorted to the garden area where Amanda had set out everything to perfection. Then she had a wonderful surprise: she turned around and saw her sister and favourite niece, who live in the city, (160 kms/100miles away) and whom Amanda had no idea, were in town, walk down the garden path. Great excitement as the two girls hugged and the little one jumped up and down calling for “Mica” – her name for Amanda.
A lovely afternoon ensued while friends chatted, children played with the dogs and Amanda, the perfect hostess, ensured everyone had enough to eat and drink.

Three special girls share a special love

Part of my menagerie,
Angie, Chip and Megan joined in the party

Young and old enjoyed themselves

Just as she thought all the excitement was over, Amanda looked up and saw her husband, Angus arrive in his dad’s open-top car. My husband had collected him from work and with much subterfuge between us and our neighbour, who hid the car in her garage, Angus managed to go home, change into evening clothes and drive back into our garden. Amanda, thrilled beyond words, ran to meet him.

After he had taken her home to change into an evening dress, they returned here and I managed capture a few more scenes before they went out to dinner.
Happy birthday Amanda. May you experience every blessing in 2009!


  1. What a lovely post, Jo ! The tea party looked wonderful & the attention to detail amazing ... not to mention your glorious garden - may Amanda have a happy & joyous year ahead !

  2. Yes Lynda, she had done everything so beautifully as she always does. At Christmas time she set the buffet table for me: it was amazing, chiffon overlays (actually from scarves I bought at the markets in West Africa) strings of Christmas lights underneath, ivy (no holly in my garden) and dishes that matched. Thanks for your comments on my garden. We are enjoying it tremendously. Hugs Jo

  3. All the best wishes to Amanda. I always enjoy seeing your beautiful garden too.

  4. Thanks Dedene, for your kind comments and the wishes for Amanda. I laughed: I've just read your post about the rain you had! I have a post tomorrow where I wax lyrical about the rain we had here! Such a difference.You definitely have too much rain and wet weather. But that is why your country is SOOOO beautifully green. Hugs Jo

  5. Your garden looks heavenly and Amanda certainly took pains for her theme party, it all looks so delicios!
    Oh to be able to eat outdoors again!

  6. Hi Peggy, thanks for popping in and your kind coments. Yes, I'll miss these outdoor treats when OUR winter arrives. Fortunately still a long way off. Hugs Jo


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