Fatsia’s Freedom

It is time to set Fatsia free in the garden. After a year of pampering it and potting it up, I finally believe it will be better off out in the ground instead of a pot. It has quadrupled in size.

It is an act of faith to put a plant in the ground. Is it ready? Is this the best location? Will it be beaten by weather or eaten by wildlife?

I must release my friend Fatsia japonica ‘Spider’s Web’ and hope it thrives among the Selaginella, Autumn Fern and Orange Epimedium.

A beautiful plant in a lovely spot.


My Favorite Fall Color is PINK

The changing leaves are spectacular in North Carolina right now. I love the yellows, the oranges and especially the reds; but the color I look forward to the most is pink.

While all the trees are showing off their leaves, my Jean May is showing off her blooms.

I enjoy views from below and above.

I planted it on the eastern side of our deck. This camellia has thrived in this spot for almost thirty years.

I walk to the railing and stick my head inside its branches. I must be careful. The bees love it, too.

I know from the many buds that ‘Jean May’ Camellia sasanqua will be blooming for weeks to come.

She is like an old friend who visits each fall. I look forward to the arrival of all that pink among the bright colors of fall.

‘Jean May’ Camellia sasanqua

This plant owns a part of my heart.


My Fascination with Variegation

I have put the brakes on acquiring new plants this summer.

But sometimes I cannot help myself.

I have this fascination with variegation.

When I spotted this ‘Spider’s Web’ Fatsia japonica, I snatched it up.

Despite the fact it will get much larger and need protection if planted outside in Zone 7.

All I could see was those leaves! Each is a different work of art.

The variegation changes as the leaves age.

It is evergreen, produces white ball blooms in the fall and makes black berries.

How could I resist?


The Decorated Stick

Sometimes I think nothing is going on around here

and then I look and realize I have been missing things.

My expensive stick ( Edgeworthia / Chinese Paper Bush) that turned into a lovely shrub over the summer has become a decorated stick.


Its leaves have dropped to reveal silky white buds hanging down like holiday baubles.


These glow in the morning sunshine.


Things happen in the garden year-round in the south.

You just have to pay close attention to notice.



Ode to Jean May

Every fall just as the days get shorter and the flowers start dying

a glorious angel appears in my garden.


The season becomes brighter because of her blooms.


Her name is Jean May.


She is a Camellia sasanqua.

When the darkness of fall starts to dampen my spirits,


Jean May comes to my rescue,

to remind me everything has its season.

I love Jean May with all my heart.


She is a blessing.


Camellias: Too Hip to Be Square

I first saw this beautiful Camellia sasanqua decades ago in a church yard.

Jean May Camellia sasanqua

A wise (or maybe careless) person left the plant tag on it. That’s how I learned its name.

This particular church has a big barbecue the same week as my daddy’s birthday.

My family has gone to this barbecue every year for over thirty years.

So each November, I have looked forward to eating the wonderful food and seeing this shrub in bloom.

Jean May Camellia sasanqua

In 1994, I found a Jean May Camellia sasanqua of my own.  

I love its evergreen leaves, its white bark, its open shape and  its dreamy pink blooms.

I even love when it loses its petals. It’s like pink confetti.

Jean the Party Queen throwing her own fall festival.

I am not sure of when this happened, but several years ago some well-meaning person trimmed the church’s Jean May.

I arrived at the BBQ to find a square shrub with only a few blooms visible. No confetti. No petal party.

Square shrubs make me scream.

There is such a thing as plant abuse. (Just ask a Crepe Myrtle.)

Just because there is no bite with their bark, doesn’t mean they don’t have feelings.

So my dream  Jean May shrub at the church is now square.

But my own Jean May is a giant delight.

If you have a square shrub, please at least go out and cut off its corners.

You don’t want to find FLOWER in your yard screaming.



Gran’s Almond Bush

I am so happy to have another “family plant” in my garden.

This Flowering Almond shrub came from my mom’s mother. I think it is a Prunus glandulosa.  It has always stayed small, like a dwarf form.


I remember a year when we had a late snow. Its tiny pink blooms were dusted and glistening. It was a beautiful memory that I cherish.

My sister got this bush from mom when they paved over its spot near the house.

She sent part of it home with me yesterday.


I am researching where to put it and how to plant it. It is too precious to make mistakes.

I will keep passing these treasures along.

The Flower is rich in green…plants of course.