Tuesday, July 3, 2012

An Enchanting, Enchanted Garden

Last week I was vacationing at California's Central Coast and one of the things I enjoyed most was discovering the town of Cambria. It's located just a few miles south of Hearst Castle, so Keith and I spent some time exploring the town before we headed over to the Tea Cozy tearoom for lunch.

We discovered this wonderful store called Heart's Ease, and it drew me in like a magnet the moment I saw it! Charm was pouring out of the windows and doors and overflowing into the garden in back. I had to go in and see it!

Getting into to the garden was the tricky part. I first had to navigate my way through shelves lined with jars of loose tea and the amazingly fragrant potpourri sitting in crocks on this table, inviting you to take a scoopful or two home. 

So much to look at, so much to want to buy! It's a good thing that I had given Keith my credit card for safekeeping, and he was wisely nowhere in sight. Finding the garden was helping me to focus on adventure instead of shopping, so I wandered through each little room until I found the back door that led outside...

...to this table full of owls and mushrooms which was the first thing that caught my attention. It really didn't help that two of my daughter's favorite things are owls and cute mushrooms! I still had to resist the temptation to buy (which is exactly what the store wanted me to do!) so that I'd have more time to explore the garden before it was time to leave for our lunch reservation.

Now into Alice's Tea Garden we go! 

Through the arbor (on the left), and then who should be hiding behind the shrubbery than Alice herself! See the blue bit on the far right? That's part of her dress. Someone made an enormous Alice (obviously AFTER she had eaten something that made her grow huge) that was towering above the pathway. She looked kinda scary to me so I didn't take her picture.

Everything was miniature-sized since this garden was created for children to wander and explore. I felt like the big-sized Alice galumping along, trying to fit inside this little tea arbor! 

There was so much attention given to delightful details around every little nook, like the teacups attached to the gate posts. There was a sign pointing in various directions to Never Never Land, Narnia, the Tulgey Wood and other enchanted lands. And if you believe in fairies, this is where you'll find them!

Well, the too-big Alice in this story had an absolutely wonderful time exploring this enchanting garden and wanted to stay longer. But like Alice in Wonderland, tea awaited her so off she went hoping to come back someday to linger a while longer.

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