Welcome To The Tea Gardener Blog

I grew up with tea at my table and my hands in the earth and my mind always running. The love of my mother and both of my grandmothers for the simple things in life always kept my feet firmly grounded. I learned so much from all of them and am so thankful that I can share not only my experiences but my love of nature and of food with my kids and grand-kids.

My “day-job” is growing plants, but it’s also my hobby. My profile on my posts and my opening line for all of my lectures is that I get to do what I love every day. I have the privilege to walk out of my back door and across the yard to my office which is a nursery and greenhouses full of camellias. An no, it’s not all rainbows and flowers. There are days when things go wrong and I question my life path. Especially when it’s hot, or it’s raining, or it’s cold or if the weeds are knee high, or if there is a new batch of insects munching on my plants. But I always think about my alternatives, I go out, pick some tea leaves, have a cup of tea and think that it’s not so bad!

I became interested in Tea because of my infatuation with Camellias. Tea, is in fact a Camellia,and I grew it because that’s what we do. We grow Camellias in my family owned business and have done so for over 60 years. I began looking at it as not just a beautiful blooming shrub, but as a way that I can bring a safe edible to my table. And I have to mention, that it’s just so much fun to make your own tea! It’s probably the most enjoyable thing I do, other than walking around my Camellia garden in the winter!

Grow Your Own Tea with Camellia sinensis and Tsubaki Tea
Fresh Green Leaves picked, ready for processing


So that’s where this blog starts. I hope that it helps you to understand what a Tea Plant is, how you can incorporate it into your life, and how you can also bring something safe to your table all intermingled with a little fun!


Debbie Odom