Perfect for Valentine’s Day

“Perfect for Valentine’s Day”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana

It has just started blooming and will be perfect for Valentine’s day. It is not one of my flowers but my neighbors. On our adjoining property line is a large camellia bush with the prettiest red peony-shaped flowers. Every year in late winter it will start to bloom, and I am welcome to pick as many flowers as I want.



I usually wait until February before picking any of these frilly, red camellias to bring inside. Come February 14th, there will be a big bowl of these beauties setting on my dining room table. Isn’t it wonderful to have neighbors who share?


Fall Flowers

“Fall Flowers”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana

The first of the true fall flowers have started showing up in our garden. Down here where we get very little fall color from our trees, fall flowers are eagerly awaited, and now the sasanqua camellias have started blooming. This type of camellia is fairly new to us. I planted the first one only about three years ago. Now, I wish I would have put in more.

The newest one is Cotton Candy which I bought just last year. It is a lovely pink.



Another lovely sasanqua and the first I planted is Setsugekka. I noticed the first bloom on this one just yesterday as I was backing out of the driveway just before dawn and the headlights caught the first flower. This sasanqus has a rather large white flower with a small pink edging.



Now that we have had our first real cold weather of the season, I think more of our fall flowering plants will be showing off their colorful blooms, and I look forward to sharing them with you.

More Camellias

“More Camellias”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana

A nice thing about my neighbors is that I get to enjoy the flowers on their property without having any of the upkeep. My next door neighbor has lovely camellia bushes along our common property line. These bushes must be at least 45 to 50 years old and have the peony type of flower, my favorite. Of all of the neighbor’s flowers, my favorite is the red and white flowered one.



I just love the frilly flowers, and the red with the white is so appropriate for February. As a matter of fact, this generous neighbor doesn’t mind if I pick a few of her flowers for inside display on St. Valentine’s Day.

Another one of hers that I especially like is a solid red camellia. This one will occasionally bloom around Christmas which, with the dark green leaves, makes for very nice holiday arrangements.



At the time of year when there are few flowers around, camellias are very nice to have. Having a borrowed view from a neighbor of these flowers just seems to increase the size of my garden. Two very nice bonuses courtesy of a gardening neighbor.


“Lucky”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana

Friday night, I was talking to my sister who lives in northern Virginia, and she was remarking about the flowers blooming in my garden right now. She was saying, that except for a few hollies, it is mostly brown in her area. Evidently, there are few pines or conifers around where she lives.

This made me realize how lucky I am to be living in the Coastal South where there is always something blooming, and with so many evergreens and conifers around, it is always green. Even though we have had some cold weather lately with temperatures dipping into the upper twenties, I have noticed that there is already new growth showing on many plants, the roses for example. Many plants are already pushing up through the ground and do not seem to be bothered at all by the recent cold temps. Lilies, daylilies, and irises are already showing top growth.

This time of year, the camellias are the real show stoppers. My big camellia has started blooming. It is a little later than usual, but I am sure it is because of the colder than normal weather we had in December.



This camellia was already a large one when we moved in to our house years ago. I figure it has to be 45 to 50 years old. It is at least eighteen feet tall and is covered in buds. In a short time, it should be covered in flowers.

So, this is for all of you gardeners who will have to wait a while longer to see flowers finally showing up in your area.

Finally Opening

“Finally Opening”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana

One of the most anticipated periods in winter is camellia season. Usually, these lovely flowers start blooming in early winter, and the bloom period often can last into late winter. We did have some flowers that started opening in early December, but then with the cold snaps, they stopped. All the buds remained firmly shut tight. By late February normally, the camellia blooming season is winding down, but not this year. Many of these winter bloomers are only starting to bloom now.

Finally, something besides the old-fashioned pink camellia is starting to show up. This afternoon, I was able to find a few of the red and white camellias that have opened. In checking the all red flowering bush though, I found it will take a few more days of warmer temperatures to coax those buds to open.



Patience will be required for a few more days, and I can hardly wait because I really need some flowers now.

Camellia Blooms for Christmas

“Camellia Blooms for Christmas”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana


The sasanqua camellias have been blooming for several weeks now, but today, just in time for Christmas, our big pink japonica camellia had its first bloom open.



What a wonderful Christmas present from Mother Nature.

Unknown Beauty

“Unknown Beauty”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana


There always is a bit of excitement when a new flower shows up, and it doesn’t even have to be a new purchase plant either.  Those that bloom only once and don’t appear again for a year also cause a bit of a stir when they start flowering.  Now is the time of year when the sasanqua camellias start blooming, and I have already shared my favorite, Yuletide, in a post just a few days ago.

Well, when I pulled into the driveway late this afternoon, I noticed a single white flower on another sasanqua which means that it too is starting its annual show.


Unknown Sasanqua (redu)

Unfortunately, I do not know the name of this particular sasanqua.  I bought it when it was not in bloom, and even though it had a tag and the container was labeled “Yuletide”, it turned out to be something else.  At first, I was very disappointed, but after only a few of these white flowers with pink edges showed up, I quickly made up my mind that I liked these one too.  I just wish I knew its name, because now I’d like a couple more since it is a fast grower and a prolific bloomer.  This particular sasanqua camellia certainly did turn out to be an unknown beauty.


“Hello/Goodbye”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 


Right now, when we are on the cusp of spring, there are many winter flowers that are telling us goodby till next winter, and there are many more flowers that are telling us hello.  I hate to see the last of some of our winter bloomers.  Today, I took a photo of the last Yuletide sasanqua camellia.  This little camellia has been blooming since the first of November when I bought it.  You can’t beat almost four and half months of blooms.




The Lady Clare camellia has also been blooming for a long time, but it, too, is coming towards the end of its bloom cycle.  While this is not the last one, it looks like there won’t be many more blooming.  Probably by the end of this week, this camellia too will be finished blooming until next winter.




But, spring time is a time of renewal, so what is now just starting to bloom as the ones above are finished?  The first of the amaryllis plants opened its flower today.  This particular variety is always the first to open.




Along the road, outside our subdivision, is an area that is left wild.  The Cherokee roses along this road have just started blooming.  This is a spectacular sight when you see the area covered with these large,white roses.  This is a very large rose bush with canes 10 to 15 feet long.  It does take a very large area since it can grow so big.




So, just as Mother Nature has slowly taken away our winter bloomers, she thoughtfully has provided new ones to take their place.

Only Three

“Only Three”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana

In reading several garden blogs today, I found that many were discussing a Desert Plant Challenge hosted by Shirl’s Gardenwatch.  This got me thinking.  What three plants would I take to a desert island?  Only three?  How do you decide?  This is tough.

After much thought I know I would definitely take flowering plants.  The first one would be a hydrangea.  That is among one of my favorite blooming shrubs.  I like not only the big clusters of flowers which last a long time, but also the foliage.  The leaves are so cool to the touch in the middle of summer.


Next, I think I would have to go with a large camellia shrub.  Again, it would be because of the flowers.  Camellias bloom over a long period of time, so there would be flowers for weeks if not months.

Last of all would be an amaryllis.  If I only could bring one, I know it would make seeds or bulb offshoots and then there would be more.  I think the amaryllis flower is one of the prettiest.  So tall and stately.  Long lasting, too.  A perfect companion on a desert island.


Think about which three plants you would take to a desert island, and then stop by Shirl’s blog to leave a link or a comment about your selections.  It will be interesting to see what three plants people can’t live without.

Good Neighbors

“Good Neighbors”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana

At this time of year the neighbor’s garden is giving us a wonderful borrowed view.  I have already posted about her redbud tree that is already in bloom.  Well, right next to our property line are several, large Camellia bushes that are just covered in blooms.  Even though they are not ours, we do get to enjoy some very pretty flowers.




My neighbor is very generous and doesn’t mind if I pick a few of her camellias.  At this time of year, there is nothing that brightens a home more than camellias floating in a low bowl.  It is a simple but lovely way to display these very pretty winter flowers.


These flowering shrubs certainly make very good neighbors.

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