Wednesday, March 6, 2013


Here are a few little projects I’ve been working on recently:

I planted red cyclamens and white petunias in my front-porch pots. I was in Home Depot on Valentine’s Day and the cyclamens caught my eye because the flowers looked so much like hearts. I’ve been crazy about cyclamens ever since I was a horticulture student and our class got to tour a North Georgia nursery specializing in cyclamens and maidenhair ferns. The plants were grown organically in sparkling greenhouses, and fluffy, friendly, free-roaming chickens provided pest control.

I’ve picked pounds and pounds of Nagami kumquats in the last couple weeks. I’ve learned Nagamis don’t get fully ripe until late February. I tried picking a few earlier in the winter and they were so sour I couldn’t eat them, but now they’re nice and sweet.

Thank goodness camellia-planting season is at an end because I've been obsessed. I've had camellia fever! It's been kind of torture. I could not stop going to the nurseries and heading directly to the camellia section. I usually went at my lunch hour and I’d be hurrying, hauling camellias around while dressed in my business attire. I bought so many camellias, the employees at the nurseries actually began to tease me. Anyway, here’s a partial list of the varieties I planted in January and February:

Cotton Candy
Wendy Red
Margaret Davis Picotee
Cinnamon Scentsation
Taylor’s Perfection
White Lipton Tea
R.L. Wheeler
Bob Hope
Dream Quilt
Mrs. D.W. Davis
Lady Vansittart
Frank Hauser
Delores Edwards
Star Above Star

On rainy days I’ve been fooling around with my knickknacks a lot, rearranging them, etc. I’m always trying to make improvements to the house and yard, and my improvements are generally very, very tiny. Sometimes it seems like progress is so slow, so hard to make. But the house is my favorite hobby, and when I think about it, I don't really want it to be finished . . . because then all the fun would be over.


  1. Oh my how wonderful to have so many different Camellias growing in your gardens. From what I've seen they are all beautiful, no wonder you are addicted. :-)

    Your home is lovely and your hubby looks quite content and happy.

    Love and hugs ~ FlowerLady

  2. Beautiful blooms!
    Your changes only need feed you. Don't worry about how "tiny" they are. We all move at our own pace. Enjoy your day!

  3. love your pig and your camellias

  4. Ooooh, Leslie, your photos are so lovely!! So is your home. Love it. Love the flowers and the kumquats pop right out in a yummy way.

  5. Gorgeous photos! I love it that you really don't want the house project to be done. You really know how to live for today. Lots of people miss out on the beauty in the small steps which make up the whole journey. You're not one of those. Enjoy :)

  6. Your bowl of kumquats brought back a flood of memories. When I was a child, my parents' bank had kumquat trees growing around the building. It was always a treat for me to jump out of the car and pick them. Growing up in Miami certainly had its advantages! We could always find something growing in the neighborhood to eat. LOL

    You know, Leslie - I see a half dozen spots in your beautiful home and patio (both of which look so very cozy) where an orchid would be just perfect. But who needs orchids when you have those beautiful camellias?!

  7. Absolutely beautiful photos. You have a lovely home and such an inviting front porch! :)

  8. Thank you, Lorraine! My camellias are so tiny now, but some day down the road I know they'll put on quite a show.

  9. Thanks, Daisy! Yes, I know I shouldn't be impatient. Fixing up the house is fun and I should just enjoy it.

  10. Thanks, Sharon! My sisters got me that pig for my birthday. They found it at Market Days, a big craft show at the fairgrounds.

  11. Thanks, Jean! I love taking pictures of the kumquats. They are really photogenic. They kind of look like gum drops, I think.

  12. Thanks, Dotti! Being patient was tough at the beginning when the house was a real mess, but we've gotten enough done that it's very livable now.

  13. Hi Eli, I can just imagine all the delicious tropical fruits you could find growing around Miami! It must have been a great childhood. A friend of mine at work is from Fort Lauderdale and often talks fondly of his old backyard full of avocados and mangoes and star fruit. I love hearing about it.

    Camellias are great, but I still think I need an orchid. Definitely!

  14. Thanks, Staci! Rob always says the porch is his favorite room.