Valentine Gardens


Brian and I never do Valentine’s Day on the actual day.  It’s just better (and less expensive) to avoid the crowds.  This weekend was our event: tea at the Huntington Gardens.  That was going to be exciting enough, but we also accidentally wandered into their Chinese New Year celebration for bonus amazingness.  Music in the white and wood Chinese garden, red lanterns everywhere, lion fights on the lawn, and the most impressive show by a man who changed to ten masks in the blink of an eye, and then balanced a ceramic teapot on a pair of chopsticks he held in his teeth.  Add that to the scones and clotted cream, the impressionist gallery and the lady in the herb garden peddling recipes, and we had a perfect blue-sky day.

I bought a recipe book on using herbs in cooking.  I can already tell it’s going to be the best thing ever.  I’m dying to try the mint/vanilla lemonade, the lavender pear tarts, and the stuffed nasturtiums.  I’m dying to get that herb garden started in the back yard, despite the fact that the damn gophers are still in residence. (We’re planning to chicken-wire them out of dinner in raised beds, plus those distress call stakes, with poison as a last resort).

We planted out most of one of our front planters last weekend with drought-tolerant things, and the plants I picked were all over the Huntington in their new visitor’s center.  I love the landscaping there, so it made me feel like I made the right choices.  It’s hard to know when they’re nothing more than spindly sticks with leaves in the pitted dirt.  It’s easy to second-guess.

That’s all on a lazy Monday, except to say that my rejection letter count for this year is officially 5.  Trying for the 6th right now… (or, you know, an acceptance would be nice).

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