Winter Roses

Camellias are my winter roses.

The large bloom is ‘White by the Gate.’ It will have a few blooms at a time all winter.

The smaller pink is ‘Jean May.’ She has been blooming for months and will continue until a hard freeze.

I love them both for blooms in the cold. Such a sweet winter treat!


White Rose of Winter

I am grateful for the winter blooms of ‘White by the Gate’, Camellia japonica.

If it were not for the nip in the air I would swear it was spring by looking at it in full bloom.

This steadfast bloomer is striking with its dark green, glossy leaves and pure white, double blooms.

Could it be any more beautiful?

White by the Gate Camellia japonica

I love this lovely “rose of winter.”


Snow White and Rose Red

My two Camellia japonicas blooming has reminded me of a fairy tale,

Snow White and Rose Red (Schneettweichen und Rosenrot).

‘Professor Sargent’ Camellia japonica

My sister and I had some relation to this story.

She was a redhead and I a blond.

‘White by the Gate’ Camellia japonica

That is where the link ends…I hope.

As with most fairy tales,

the good little girls turn the monster (bear) into a prince and marry him and his brother.

Mothers, let’s rewrite these PLEASE.

Leave in the good and kind,

but change the reward to a self-fulfilling ending instead of a wedding.


(No offense Princes.)



Cold and Restless

I have been out assessing my plants to see what preparations need to be done before the next blast of cold settles in.

But that is not where my mind was. My thoughts were on the changes coming.

Not in the weather, but in the course of my life.

I always thought that when you got to a point in your life when you were in the right place, doing the right thing,

that you would have peace.

I have been searching for this. I asked myself as I trudged up the hill,

“When will I feel at peace?”

As I finished my question, I looked down at my long-awaited, White by the Gate.

I felt peace for an instant. It was like an answer, but not the one I wanted.

Peace will never be a period, it will be moments of guidance

to let you know that whatever gave you that peace is right.

Restlessness is also a guide, to keep you moving and changing and trying.

Restlessness is the rod and peace is the green pastures.

I guess this FLOWER is not finished.  She has more to do.

My path has not been found yet.

I will keep searching.

Seventeen Years Later

No, I am not referring to cicadas.

I have wanted this shrub since the year 2000.

I helped plant a church courtyard in all white flowers.

I desperately wanted the Camellia japonica ‘White by the Gate’.

It looked like the Lutheran symbol, the white rose.

We had to settle for some other white camellias.

We also planted a white rose and white azaleas.

Nothing on that side thrived, except the Japanese anemones ‘Honorine Jobert.’

Anemone X ‘Honorine Jobert’ (windflower)

Eventually all shrubs came out for rehab and the anemones took over.

Now there are no plants there, due to a new project going in.

When I stumbled upon this lovely shrub after all these years,

I took it as a sign to accept this change.

Now this long-awaited shrub is in my yard.


The bloom is everything I dreamed it would be.


Hold on to those dreams.

They may eventually come true, even if it is seventeen years later.