A Time to Plant: Southern-Style Garden Living

Welcome. I love grand hotels, don’t you? There’s something so lovely and luxurious in their escape. So fantasy-like, a dream life. Especially the ones in New York City. And the best part is, you never need to make the bed.

At the Loews Regency Hotel this afternoon, James Farmer hosted a celebration for his new book, A Time to Plant: Southern-Style Garden Living. He owns a design company in Georgia which specializes in floral, interiors, and residential landscape designs. And it all comes together in this lifestyle book.

There were chats and nibbles and drinks. Think rosemary-spiced pecans and chervil-scented salmon croquettes with herb dips. Sage cornbread served on spoons with sausage and fennel, and pork tenderloin on rosemary skewers…

…a clean salad of mustard greens, turnip green, spinach, and sunflower sprouts with fried sage. Parsley dressing to tie it all together. A mouthful indeed! All the bright green colors made me so happy. We need to get on the track of eating more salads at home…or at least branch away from our current dumpling-heavy diet. At least it’s homemade!

I might have devoured more than my share of rosemary biscuits with sweet herb butter but they were excellent, and still warm.

It felt like an afternoon tea party, especially when accompanied with chilled glasses of his famous Farmer’s Tea. Slightly less sweet than a classic Southern Sweet Tea, this one is made from a combo of Earl Grey and Lipton (!) with simple syrup, fresh lemon and mint. It proved perfectly refreshing. I was going to write down the recipe for you, but it turns out James already has the recipe on his website.

James’ book isn’t a straight up cooking, planting, or design, but a bit of all with a strong Southern twist. While I won’t be cultivating gardens anytime soon (I can’t even keep basil alive), it’s gorgeous and useful for those who want to learn. Chapters are split between cooking and entertaining, with studies in hydrangeas, perennials. There’s even a chapter called “Herban” Gardening (herb cultivation), and another on color schemes.

I wouldn’t mind living in a suite in this hotel ;) And what do you know…they even offer in-residence extended stay. Park Avenue and 61st Street, sign me up!

  • Unique Lapin
    September 29, 2011

    I've been reading your blog for couple years and during that time I lived in NYC, Paris, and now LA. Everytime I miss home (NYC) i just go read your blog and binge on it :) I know couple postings ago someone told u that they didnt like where u were going with your blog. People change and transition. Anyways just wanted to tell you that I adore your blog and hope to see many more beautiful postings! I miss NYC!!!!

  • Kathy YL Chan
    September 30, 2011

    Hi Unique Lapin! Aw, thanks so much for the kind words – you put a big smile on my face :) People do change and transition, I just get disappointed in myself when someone isn't happy with my work. But I guess you can go around attempting please everyone, eh? What an adventure to go from NYC to Paris and LA! (I would have tried to just stay in Paris forever bwhaha o_O!)

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