Wednesday, July 16, 2014

July 2014 Tea Story by Winslow Tudor

A hot, humid, sunny, windless July day invariably brought an extra degree of happiness to Tasha, especially if she was gardening. By July the perfection of a June garden has mellowed into a green and pastel sprawl of perennials and annuals, some still in bloom but also preparing fruits and seeds. 

While the growing process of a garden at this stage is more subtle, it is no less gradual. Tasha pulled witch grass, goldenrod, chickweed and other garden invaders, as well as jewel weed, though not her special yellow bloosomed variety behind the house. Many of these weeds appeared vigorously after a heavy and sustained rain. She piled weeds on the grass paths throughout the day. 

In the afternoon she served tea, and from her old oak rocking chair on the front porch surveyed the pink blossoms of the beauty bush, the sea of roses and their light green leaves and the darker green of the pines to the south. “There is no purer pleasure than gardening,” she would say. After tea she and any visitors would gather the weed piles and deposit them on the compost. Then it was time to start supper.

Tasha possessed a quiet fondness for honey bees and Bumble Bees. The latter were her particular favorite, the large, slow, loud buzzing quintessential Bumble Bee. When one was immersed in a particularly compelling flower, she would very gently stroke its soft back with her right forefinger. She could tell the male from female by the ratio of its black and yellow coloration.

There are still plenty of Bumble Bees in Tasha’s garden; the Golden Northern Bumble Bee, the even larger American Bumble Bee, as well as the smaller Red-tailed Bumble Bee. Curiously enough, they live in her house, specifically, in the ventilation system beneath the roof of the north dormer on the main house.

After a section of damaged window trim had been measured, fitted and secured, distressed Bumble Bees began collecting along the top of the new board. Their home, food and baby bees had been sealed off! A half inch hole was bored through the new trim. The bees quickly located it, pushed out the extra wood chips, and carried on.

 For Tasha the only drawback to a hot, humid, sunny, calm July day was the occasional thunderstorm that evening. She worried her favorite pine tree at the end of the azalea garden woud be struck by lighting, or her house or barn. Through the many decades Tasha lived at her much-loved home in Vermont, however, her concerns never came to pass. After a thunderstorm she liked to quote Mark Twain: “I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.”

Story and photos by Winslow Tudor


  1. I think we all worry about many things that thank goodness never happen, beautiful images here today, thank you for sharing with us,

  2. Love, love, love Winslow's stories about his grandmother! Thanks for posting this, Natalie. Sorry I missed you when I was there in June.

  3. What a lovely story of the joys of summer with Tasha! July is indeed a gardener's paradise for spending most of the time out doors among the happiest of toil and rich reward!
    All of the rose photos are so lovely!
    Being a Beekeeper I can affectionately relate to the dearness of petting bees, and it is quite impressive to children who look on!
    Thank you for sharing your sweet memories! :-D
    Many warm blessings, Linnie

  4. Thank you for sharing Tasha's fondness for the bees. I , too, love them and enjoy seeing them amongst all the different flowers in the garden. I hope the pinks garden is coming along, Winslow. When on the garden tour we w:-)re all glad to see you were reviving it. Such a beautiful sight it will be! Happy gardening

  5. Thank you for posting. So Lovely! Just like Tasha!!!

  6. Love your stories, Winslow, and the photos are all lovely. I could almost "smell" those roses!!! We have lots of assorted bees in the garden too, and they are a joy to watch. Nice to hear how Tasha loved them. Look forward to each of your stories. Keep up the good work!!! Joyce M.

  7. I have a particular fondness for bees, and my name is Hebrew for bee. I enjoyed this entry, as I also love gardening, but especially the sweet and happy ending to the bees finding a new way home! Waving from Across The Pond :)

  8. As soon as I encounter something new on this site, my spirit instantly calms down...I relax, forcing myself to slow down to what I affectionately call the 'Tasha Tudor Pace'...the pace of life my heart desires that she so beautifully set forth in her own life. Thank you for sharing.

  9. I can only thank you and tell you how much I benefit from your writing and sharing Tasha with us. I will definitely try stroking a bumble bee ( very gently) when it is busily involved with a flower in my garden. I was sitting in my own garden earlier and was thinking how late summer is especially the season of the bees and wasps. They are so busy in my garden now. I am glad that you allowed the bees to find their way home. Earlier this summer, I was tending to my garden and stepped over an entrance to the home of some ground bees. Oh My! I left in a hurry and afterwards was taking my pants off because they had flown up the long pants and some continued to sting me. However, I respect them and now that I know where they are, I have enjoyed watching flying in and out of that nest.
    Today I have the great pleasure of spending time working in my flower garden and I feel like it is heaven on earth. The sun is very hot and the air is clear and full of gentle heavenly breezes.
    Time spent in nature is definitely food for my soul.

  10. I loved the "TT Pace" description! Courtney

  11. What a sweet story! I love to read any little anecdotes about our dear Tasha. They help keep her memory alive. It is only just this weekend that I saw Take Joy dvd and was thrilled beyond words to experience Tasha "in person!" Loved hearing her experiences from her own mouth! I especially love Winslow's telling of how she would stoke the fuzzy bumblebees as they feasted on her flowers! I thought I was the only one who did that! Cannot WAIT for our tour of Corgi Cottage in early October! Until then....Take Joy, sweet people!

  12. Thank you so much, Winslow, for your stories. They are wonderful and It makes us feel that we are once again with our Tasha. We will always celebrate her birthday in our hearts.

  13. It's good to hear stories about simple things that still give us pleasure. Good words, Winslow.

  14. Thank you, dearest Winslow, Your tea stories warm my very being,you are as precious to me as Tasha, and I actually met you! Hope fully you will have the tea stories in A book !(like for the year.) I don't know if you realize how much we truly enjoy your stories. You do A wonderful job,and the pictures are wonderful,My best to you and yours----Anita Allyn from S.D.

    1. Anita, I said the very same thing to Winslow about publishing his tea stories in a book when I was there in 2012 for the tour.