Drink in the spring: 2018 Spring Flower Show, and flowering tea

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I have (tentatively) put away my winter coat, swapped it out for a light jacket with the hope that spring might actually stick around this time. I know I’m probably being a little optimistic – we’re still only halfway through March – but if you’re as antsy as I am for the end of winter, you need to head over to the McNeely Conservatory at Como Park for the 2018 Spring Flower Show.

With it’s inception back in 1925, the McNeely Conservatory’s Spring Flower Show is a long-standing tradition, that, no matter the weather outside, will make you feel as though spring has arrived. For the 2018 show, they have put together a spectacular array to provide what they call “some color therapy to Minnesotans weary of winter.”

The sunny, fragrant, and of course, colorful display includes tulips, daffodils, hydrangea, hyacinth, Asiatic lilies, calla, and crocus. You’ll be able to walk among these beautiful flowers in the Conservatory’s Sunken Garden. And while you’re here be sure to meander over to the Fern Room and Orchid House that showcases tropical ferns from around the world, a cascading waterfall, pools, and stunning orchids. The flora fun also continues in the Japanese Garden that features a nationally acclaimed Bonsai collection.

The Spring Flower Show and entire conservatory is completely free to the public. I never get tired of coming back again and again to roam through the gardens. (And not just because I’m trying to figure out how they actually keep plants alive for more than a week. My poor house plants.)

But before you head out to the flower show, first get in the spring mood with some flowering tea. This tea is perfect because not only will it keep you warm during the chilly transition out of March, but most of all, because this tea is both delicious and visually stunning.

So what is flowering tea?

Flowering teas are intricately stitched together tea leaves which are interlaced with fragrant flowers. Once you begin the brewing process, the tea leaves and flowers will unfurl and bloom before your eyes to reveal a beautiful flower bouquet right inside your teapot.

How to make flowering tea:

To make this tea you will need flowering tea buds and either a glass teapot or a clear vessel of some sort so you can take in the full effect of the blooming process. You can find flowering teas in stores, Amazon, or from Mountain Rose Herbs which is my standard favorite go-to place for organic teas.

Directions:

  • Place one tea bud in a clear glass teapot with the infuser removed. Don’t clip the strings encasing the tea.
  • Heat water until it’s close to boiling.
  • Very slowly pour the hot water over the bud until it’s completely submerged. Be sure not to pour too quickly otherwise the bud will float which will hamper the full effect of the blooming spectacle.
  • As it brews, watch the tea leaves unfold.
  • Steep 3 to 4 minutes or longer for a stronger tea.
  • Enjoy!