Thursday Quotables: A Quiet Heroism

It’s a quiet sort of heroism, the making and keeping of books.

You don’t get medals for sitting in the library each day, scratching away, writing it all down. Still less for dusting the shelves. But it is what civilisation is made of: the collective memory, passed on, passed down.

— Katherine Swift, The Morville Hours


Thursday Quotables is a weekly event hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies!

Goodbye, Summer

These zinnias and alyssium are planted next to my garage door, and have been welcoming me home for the past month at least. The combination reminds me of my grandmother.


I kept the same hanging basket alive ALL SUMMER LONG!! (Two purple blooms = still alive. Really.)




Review: Homegrown Tea by Cassie Liversidge


I didn’t expect the chamomile to come back this spring.


Chamomile in my garden

Last year was my first spring in a new home and new climate. I didn’t get much gardening done, but I did sow some chamomile seeds in the grey clay as a hopeful start to an herb garden. Little feathery leaves grew about an inch up from the ground and stayed there through the fall. It wasn’t my only gardening failure last year, and I tried not to worry about it.

This cold spring, the chamomile came back with a beautiful vengeance. Even now, in mid-May, it’s ready to bloom. So it was perfect timing when my library hold on a new release came in: Homegrown Tea by Cassie Liversidge.

Homegrown Tea is a browsable book of over 40 plants that can be used for tea. There’s “the” tea plant, of course, but also other leaves, seeds, roots, and flowers that may be brewed into a tea. Each plant has about 6 pages dedicated to medicinal benefits, growing and harvesting methods, and, of course, how to brew as tea. The photos and illustrations were beautiful, and many of them were full-page. My favorite part: a sidebar for each plant called “Tea Bag Friends” with suggested tea blends.




While this is not a basic gardening book, it’s still accessible. There is a helpful section near the end on plant care, including how to divide different types of plants covered in the book. There’s also a section on drying and preserving your tea, and resources for finding some of the more unusual plants.

I can’t remember the last time I was this excited about a gardening book … OR a cookbook. Because that’s what this book really is: ultimately it will help me grow, blend, and create my own teas for sharing with friends.

Readers: Have you grown and harvested any plants for tea? What is your favorite?