Welcome to Magnolia Darjeeling! This is a little corner of the world where I share my love affair with all things tea, gardening, books, antiques and more.
Why Magnolia Darjeeling? This name is a combination of two of my favorite things-- flowers and tea. I love the magnolia. I lived in North Carolina for 21 years and I consider it home even if I live in Minnesota now. It is a flower that speaks of femininity, sensitivity, nobility. Darjeeling, of course, is one of my favorite teas. Together they sounded so good. Like the main character in a book. :-) I find that tea and my garden, both have a little bit of magic that soothes the soul. God has created nature for us to find a certain level of peace. And I do. My garden is my happy place. Add a cup of tea, and it becomes my little slice of heaven.
I am a flower lover, farm wife, runner, a daughter of the Lord, and earthbound mermaid. So you can expect to see posts about that here, as well. I am an island girl from Puerto Rico living in Midwest. A retired Army officer and military spouse, doggie momma, full-time stepmother of three, and a fitness and food enthusiast.
My heart is torn between my love for the Caribbean, where I was born and the beauty I have found in the Midwest, after I married my husband, a handsome crop farmer from Minnesota. We met in the Army and now we are living the country life dream. Life in SE Minnesota was quite a change for me (especially the winters) but I have come to love this state and the people who live here. They do not call it "Minnesota Nice" for no reason.
I grew up as a city girl but always had a love for country living, so this was an easier transition for me than everybody thought. I love the quietness, the friendliness of our neighbors, our close knit community, the breathtaking sunsets, the planted fields that go for as long as the eye can see, the fresh breath and everything else country life has to offer.
But a part is always in Caribbean time zone and my love but the turquoise waters of my native land run deep. This blog is a little place where I share my love for my two homes, my passion for running, my love for growing flowers and all the things that fill me with joy, including the most important-- God.
I hope you come back and visit!
You may be wondering, how I started this dream of a micro flower farm. Truth be told, I did not know I had this dream-- to have a flower farm until I did some introspection. I actually thought I wanted to be a flower shop owner but after meeting with a few florists who were selling their business or simply giving advise I realized what I loved was the growing process-- taking a see, tuber or bulb, and seeing grow until it blooms.
As I went through the process of growing a little garden, I was still wondering if this was for me. After all it is hard work and my husband called me "black thumb" jokingly because a few tropical plants in the home died (hello, this is Minnesota and I was not used to this weather!). But the moment that filled with the fire of growing... my aha moment, came when I decided to grow Cafe au Lait dahlias. If you have seen bridal magazines, you have seen one of these delicate dahlias at one point.
And so I took the plunge and in the tubers went. And I waited patiently they started growing. For some reason I planted two tubers on pots and they grew beautifully. Then disaster. One of the adjacent dahlias (a different kind) started getting a pest. It looked like tiny grasshoppers. I tried everything, and they destroyed my dahlias especially the Cafe. Whee the flowers finally opened, all the petals were eaten. I was heartbroken. But then took matters into my own hands and moved the two potted dahlias. I cleaned them well, got all the buggers off, an into my garage they went. And there I patiently waited for them to open, hoping the petals would be intact. And after a long wait, it bloomed and it was perfection! They were smaller than a dinner plate size but I think it is because it did not have enough light. Still it was saved.
And this determination to grow and save it from the pest, felt like a true labor of love. I cared for them like babies, and the reward once they bloomed was such that it is indescribable. Even the feeling surprised me. After the season was over, I started planning for next year and I knew that the Cafe au Lait will have a special place in my heart. In the winter, while I was going winter crazy I spoke with my husband about sectioning a small area of the farm to grow flowers and told him about my dream. And he did not laugh-- which I thought he would do. I explained my plan, concept and timeline. And his answer was: let's do this. And I love him for that.
And thus, here we are... starting a diary of this mermaid's dream to be earthbound and grow flowers.