The most perfect refreshment

Not England, but close enough: at the Montréal Botanical Garden, May 2009

Not England, but close enough: at the Montréal Botanical Garden, May 2009

“To sit in the shade on a fine day and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment.” Jane Austen

I have been so happy to see Jane Austen finally getting the attention she always deserved.  When I was a young mother, I loaned a copy of Pride and Prejudice to our teenage babysitter, along with an enthusiastic endorsement, and she seemed to think me naïve to assume she would read it.  Please give it a chance, I thought.  Apparently, quite a few people of all ages have done just that in the past two decades, generating a cottage industry of Jane-related fan fiction and movies.

On this hot summer day, I wish you a virtual retreat to a cool English meadow where you can relax in the shade, perhaps with a glass of iced tea or club soda spiked with fruit juice, and take in the green.  If you have a similar setting nearby, I hope you can make time for an actual visit, not just a virtual one.  In any case, this is the time of year when such perfect refreshment is just the thing to beat the heat.  Pass the scones!


  1. Janette Roberts

    Another scone lover…have mine with green tea each morning. This view would be perfect also but can vision it in my mind as I eat and drink.

    • Thanks for your comment, Janette! Scones are one of those foods to which I can NEVER say “no.” My friend Amy spoils me with them when we have tea time at her home, and my friend Tammy made some delicious home-baked ones for us at a tea party near New Year’s Day a few years ago. She even had lemon curd and all the British treats at hand! Hope you have some wonderful tea times in the days and weeks to come.

  2. MaryAnn

    How beautiful! I will have my scone with clotted cream, strawberries and tea, thank you for asking…plus my hug from you!

    • Anytime, Mary Ann! Cyber hugs coming your way!

  3. Jenelle

    Oh, Julia how lovely! I can see myself running barefoot through that place. Sigh. This morning I quoted some lines from the Anne series about Prince Edward island and have been feeling nostalgic since. And now this pic kicks my imagination into hyper drive, haha! I will sit outside today and look upon the lake behind our house at sunset while drinking my favorite cocktail while dreaming. Mint flavored bubble water on the rocks. I didn’t get a chance to say congratulations yesterday on your grandson (if he came) I hope all went well! Keep inspiring 🙂

    • Hi Jenelle, I hope you had a very refreshing break time. If you click on the words “Grady’s page” you can see pictures of the little guy. He’s a real cutie in the totally unbiased opinion of his grandmother! Thanks for being here!

  4. Jenelle

    I hope you don’t mind but I just set that pic as my desktop background! It’s stunning enlarged and so happy! How inspired I”ll be looking at that every time I open my computer! Wait, if I can’t use it PLEASE let me know. I don’t know how this stuff works.

    • I am absolutely delighted that you would want to use my photo for your desktop background. I have always felt that my compulsive photo-snapping was slightly self-indulgent, so if anyone else enjoys the pictures, that validates my interest! I love the green of outdoors. Sometimes I think I like it as much as I like the bright colorful flowers. I’ve always found the grass and trees to be so soothing and therapeutic. Thanks so much for your kind words about the photo.

  5. Sheila

    Julia, those beautiful shades of green certainly paint quite the picture of refreshment. I am so happy for your family; you’re so deserving. I know Jeff and Matt are elated, as love does cross the miles. Thank you for always giving us a daily blog that inspires, and always lifts my spirits. I know that joy is in your heart! I continue to pray, along with so many others. Always your friend, Sheila

    • Sheila, thanks so much for your encouraging words. It makes me very happy if others enjoy this blog. We appreciate your prayers and friendship more than we can say.

  6. I have that book sitting on my shelf! I must read!!

    • If you’ve not ever read it (or even if you have) you are in for a real treat. It’s the prototype on which all subsequent romances have been built – often imitated, never duplicated! I can’t seem to get through most of the romance novels that are published nowadays (although once I did make it through one by LaVyrle Spencer) but I love Austen’s romances. That’s essentially what they are, in my opinion. In any case, if you don’t have time for the book, I thought the PBS series AND the recent movie with Keira Knightly were both very good too. Sweet dreams! 🙂 and thanks for being here!

      • Good to know, thanks!! 😀


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