Cabin fever, part I: The Teaflower


Here is my contribution to the Garden Rant library of instructional media. This was created not with a cool Flip device, but with my beat-up Olympus still camera (that happens to take video as well) and iMovie.

Um … enjoy.

I won’t be so brash as to promise any future videos I do will be better.

Previous articleIt’s winter, so go to gardening school
Next articleStop torturing the evergreens!
Elizabeth Licata

Elizabeth Licata has been a regular writer for  Garden Rant since 2007, after contributing a guest rant about the overuse of American flags in front gardens. She lives and gardens in Buffalo, N.Y., which, far from the frozen wasteland many assume it to be, is a lush paradise of gardens, historic architecture, galleries, museums, theaters, and fun. As editor of Buffalo Spree magazine,  Licata helps keep Western New Yorkers apprised about what is happening in their region. She is also a freelance writer and art curator, who’s been published in Fine Gardening, Horticulture, ArtNews, Art in America, the Village Voice, and many other publications. She does regularly radio segments for the local NPR affiliate, WBFO.

Licata is involved with Garden Walk Buffalo, the largest free garden tour in the US and possibly the world,and has written the text for a book about Garden Walk. She has also written and edited several art-related books. Contact Elizabeth: ealicata at


  1. Hilarious! Right at the very end it looked like a tiny little person in there, Elisabeth; maybe they really were organs! Thanks for making me laugh in this -7 dark morning in Minnesota.

  2. What the critics are saying:

    …edge of your seat excitement…
    …I can’t wait for the sequel…
    …this year’s “Watching Paint Dry”…

    (written in good fun, Les)

  3. Elizabeth, I think maybe you’re a little desperate to get back to the garden, no?

    How many times did you say a “suburban office park”?

    Whatever the inspiration (or desperation), I loved it! Keep ’em coming, please!

  4. It’s an instant classic! A fresh look at how to goof off at work. The blockbuster tea making movie of the season!
    It is really interesting to watch it unfurl. I’m not sure it looks completely unlike a flower. And I loved the falling snow in the background.

  5. Thanks Kathy (and all), Kathy, actually that secret sex life of plants one is now a silent film–I have to put some royalty free music on it.

    What do you mean goofing off at work!! I did this on my own time. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

  6. My sister gave us several of those tea flowers for Christmas one year. I always thought they looked like sea urchins in my tea. My husband and I had the, “I’m not gonna try it, you try it!” discussion as we watched it unfurl.

    Thanks for the laugh!

  7. Great video! Surely beats TV fare. And here I sit in the depth of winter, temperature sinking toward zero, and chuckling at an unfolding tea flower. Thanks for the great cinematography — and humor!

  8. Mesmerizing. Expected the face-hugger alien to leap out of the teacup and terrorize the suburban office park…

    And you’ve got a voice made for FM radio. I hate hearing my voice recorded!

Comments are closed.