Monthly Archives: January 2016

January days

Photographs of the tea bushes on their arrival and planting encourage me to be slightly more optimistic than the look of the bushes inside their covers today.

I was up on the terraces this morning tying the covers back down and resetting the stakes that hold the shields in place with the hopes that when the next Atlantic storm comes in there won’t be too much damage.  The land here is peat over gravel and in some places very well drained in others lower down the garden some what soggy. The ponds help to keep water levels under reasonable control and although the ponds take up a good third of the garden area the flooding would have been far worse without them and of course ponds make for interesting planting areas and the chance to lay out a Japanese style Iris garden. A looked forward to job for a later in the year time.

The leaf harvest in September was the last of 2015 and the shields and covers went on at that time with the expectation of cold, wind with the added delight of snow fall. There is of course still time for snow and frost. The challenge then will be trying to protect sodden ground and new roots from frost and leaf and covers from snow. After all this, if the new leaf is anywhere near as good as when the tea was planted and the last harvest we are on to a winner.

I can hear the rain on the roof and the strengthening wind. The Met office app does a fine job of predicting wind speeds and mb pressure but what I could really do with is a Barometer

Tea and the BBC

If certain authors are to believed librarians cannot function without tea. Add in the fact that L Space could easily exist and the BBC being a depository for information of all kinds (and having an archive), it’s not a long stretch for the imagination to put both institutes together and assume by association that there is, a strong possibility, that the BBC also cannot function without copious amounts of tea. Ok, flight of fancy over with. 

Today I was pleased to welcome Caz from BBC’s Radio 4 ‘You and Yours’ program. The lovely beeb have visited before in the guise of BBC Radio Scotland.  To make sure that the welcome was consistent, the conditions were nigh on the same. Radio Scotland’s ‘Kitchen Garden came on a Summers day when the rain had been pouring down for days. We escaped from the cold and wet and went to look at the fancy planting in the vine house, listen to the rain hitting the roof and drink the Garrocher Gray tea. I’m so glad I converted that green house into something a bit showy other wise there would have been no reasonable photos for the radio, (you know exactly what I mean). Today was also cold, wet and windy. There is something to be said in excuse, it is after all January. We did venture out on the terraces to look over the weather fencing at the covers on the bushes but I cant say it was fun. Next stop  as before to look at the bushes under the vines. The bushes are to my constant joy looking very well and ready to spring forth at the first sign of clement conditions. It being a grotty day we broke a little with tradition and parked ourselves by the homestead stove to drink the celebrated brew, have a chat, record sound effects (tea pouring into cups, dogs joining in the chat and the ever present rain on the roof.)

I would like to be remembered by Aunty for the quality of the tea, a warm welcome, and an hour or so’s quiet chat. But. I fear it will be more likely the fact that all this was with a back ground of falling rain. Que, sound effects !!!

New beginnings

With the new year comes a new range of teas from the Wee Tea Plantation and the band of happy Scottish tea growers. Something my customers have long awaited and for the lucky few a sneak prelaunch taster was available at the 015 Christmas markets. One of the teas amongst this new family of Scottish teas is the just launched Rose Tea. Some of you may be used to the rose floral tones of the Wee Tea Company’s Darjeeling blend but, Ah, where to begin with the Scottish Rose Tea. Although I talk tea endlessly -given a chance- and I drink quantities of the brew in all its colours I refrain from going into wine tasting mode and airily declaiming on the nose, after tones, hints of and all the other terms real tea tasters use. It’s lost on me and I have no idea if this is a good thing or not. So I say again where to begin? With a discription? mmm, Scottish Rose Tea, is a black Oak smoked, pink rose petal scattered large leaf tea. So much easier when one takes a run at it. Like all the Scottish teas on the market there is little acidity to the brew, it comes out deep and rich and very very drinkable. To the point that if we don’t sell the small amount of stock now available we could be in danger of drinking it all ourselves. And, Yes it’s another smoked tea. It has been noted by others that we seem to go in for smoked teas at Garrocher and the Wee. Maybe this could be put down to the love of the other local nectar or the favourite resting place next to the wood burner. What ever the reason we have to state we are very proud of the results. The proof is in the tasting. Oh just before I go, there are another four teas in small amounts waiting in the wings and I’ve heard tell several more after that being tasted.  

I have a small amount of stock and will of course be doing tastings at the early inviting’s. If any one wants a wee taste leave a message on my fb page or go to When we say were growing tea in Scotland you’d better believe it.