A Wild Beach and Some Winter Blooms

Well here we are in December and I am hoping that everyone who celebrates Thanksgiving had a very enjoyable one. Even though we are from England we have been in the US long enough that we enjoy celebrating a traditional American holiday and this year we had a houseful,  with visitors from England as well.  Our weather has been somewhat strange recently and it can’t seem to make its mind up what it would like to do!  Whilst we enjoyed warmth and lots of sunshine we also had sudden downpours and blustery winds!

We love to go out to the coast to walk and we are very lucky that our favorite and very scenic beach is only about 45 mins away.  My photos of our beach walk, show a very different scene to what one would normally expect from Florida!





As this beach is on the Atlantic side of the Florida peninsular it is subjected to a much rougher surf than the Gulf coast.  On this day, the tide was up and a weather system off the coast was causing high winds, rain and huge waves!



We actually had a lot of fun getting thoroughly soaked and dodging errant waves and we still walked for ages as it was very warm!



My daughter Sophie

Hopefully, the next time I show you photos from the beach it will look a little more Florida-like!

I still have lots of color in the garden which is much appreciated.  Camellias are blooming their hearts out, both Sasanquas and early Japonicas.  It has been a good year for them.



And some with softer colors….



Silver Waves is an early season Japonica and its flowers are huge and very striking.


I think the flowers look rather like fried eggs (sunny side up!)



This little white one is a new one for me this year and is Camellia X “Winters Snowman” It has lovely pink buds which then open to reveal white flowers.  A really pretty combination.

A few roses are definitely appreciating the mild temperatures.  I’m in danger of over posting Bermuda’s Anna Olivier to Instagram but she has been so incredible this year!


….and there are still more buds opening each day.


Rose Jeanne d’Arc is another rose I tried this year and this little pillar rose is still putting out sprays of blooms.


The front bed still has a lot of color.  I would love to give it a tidy up, but I hate cutting things back when everything is flowering.



The Monarch butterflies are loving all the Jatropha that is flowering.  This one did not mind in the least that I was stuffing the camera lens in its face!

Jatropha always seems to flower well at this time of year and looks a little festive with all the green around it.


It is very tender though and is the first thing to get knocked back even with a slight frost.

Talking of festive, the amaryllis that I planted into terrariums last month are all doing well and the larger one is starting to flower. The color of this one is stunning.


Lucy decided she needed to be in this shot!


Such a stunning color that I had to take another with the macro lens…


It almost looks hand painted!

Have a wonderful week everyone and thank you so much for visiting.

28 thoughts on “A Wild Beach and Some Winter Blooms

  1. It looks surprisingly grey there, but wonderfully invigorating! (During the first year and a half we lived in the desert, I had an intense craving to see large stretches of ocean; very crazy, considering I’ve lived most of my life well inland…!) Your camellias are magnificent -what beautiful plants – and Winter Snowman is delightful! I’m giving some thought to trying one or two in containers, but then I remember the frying winds of June… or should that be the drying winds of June… and how quickly some plants collapsed during the summer. Not sure I should subject something so lovely as a camellia to all that! I love the delicate colour and form of Anna Olivier, and I don’t see how it can be posted too often; it looks perfect. As does the Jatropha with the Monarch – marvelous photos! Not to mention your classy little photobomber 🙂

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    1. Hi Amy! Thank you so much for your sweet comments and Lucy is delighted that you thought she was classy! She gets into everything! So glad you liked the photos. I really do think that there is something inherent in us that draws us to the ocean, even on a stormy day such as this one. When we lived in Colorado for 2 years I missed being able to go out and see the expanse of the ocean! I so hope you could try a camellia or two! I wonder if the sasanquas would work better because of the smaller leaves?


  2. I know exactly what you mean about wanting to tidy up the garden. I just can’t do it because I see the butterflies feasting from the flowers which means bees and hummingbirds I can’t see are probably doing the same. Thanks for the intro to Jatropha – had never heard of it and I do like that magenta color.

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    1. So glad you liked the Jatropha! All the butterflies and hummers seem to love it so I really like having it even though I risk it being frosted. I have actually started just keeping it in a pot or two and just hiding the pot in amongst other plants so you would never know it’s not in the ground. That way I can easily bring it under cover if it gets too cold. Thanks for visiting and enjoy your visit to that herb farm – it sounds wonderful!


    1. Thanks so much Julie! Im glad you liked Lucy – she is a little character! That beach looked as if it could have been on the North Sea didn’t it? It isn’t often that stormy and grey so I am sure the next time it will look more normal, although it was fun braving the elements!

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  3. What a lovely beach you have. It looks so peaceful and desolate. Along our beaches, south of yours, it is almost wall to wall condos with hardly any public access. 😦

    I love your amaryllis, what a beautiful color.

    Your gardens are filled with loveliness too and always a joy to see.

    Happy Holidays ~ FlowerLady

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    1. Thank you so much for your sweet comments! I’m glad you liked the amaryllis and garden photos. We really do like that beach because it is just so natural with no development. It is part of the Cape Canaveral National Seashore and so is protected. In the warmer weather there are obviously beach goers but the car park is quite small so the numbers are really limited. It is really fun to walk along in all weathers and there are lots of birds and turtle mounds – a really beautiful place.


  4. Your gardens are just lovely, as always. Camellias have always been a favorite shrub of mine, and yours are all beautiful.
    Lucky us Floridians, perennials, and even some annuals, blooming their heads off. The added bonus of the butterflies remaining in the area is just wonderful.
    Your amaryllis is stunning! Enjoy this weather and your lovely gardens.

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    1. Hello Janice! Thank you so much! We are very lucky aren’t we?! I love the fact so much is flowering and keeping us busy out there. It’s always so disappointing if there is a freeze but I have to remind myself that it’s never as bad as it is for those further north! Enjoy your lovely roses and those delicious veggies!


  5. Nice shots of the rough sea – it looks like the beaches here! I follow the blog of a man who takes wonderful photos of the insects and reptiles he finds in his part of Florida. He visits the Cape Canavarel National Seashore and likes it very much because it isn’t built up. The amaryllis is absolutely gorgeous – I don’t think I’ve seen one like that before. Lucy is a cutie and is that a flower arrangement of yours I can see half reflected in the mirror? If it is, it’s wonderful! I cannot arrange flowers at all – I’m hopeless at it. I like your photos of the Monarch on the Jatropha and the Jeanne d’Arc rose is so pretty! I would love to grow camellias here but we are so exposed I’m not sure they would last long.


    1. Hello Clare! I thought the same thing about our beach walk and thought it was more reminiscent of the North Sea! Luckily it was very warm and so it didn’t matter we were sprayed by the surf! It’s such a wild and wonderful beach but usually there are blue skies. I do wish I could claim that flower arrangement as my own – sadly I lack floral arranging skills too. It’s actually a mixture of dried and silk and looks very real, so I am glad you were temporarily fooled!! It’s on my list of things to learn as soon as I can find some good classes. Many of the courses I find are all in England! Lucy says “Thank You” for the compliment. She is a very funny little dog and always very nosey about what I am doing! Glad you liked the Monarch photos. I love all the butterflies we get and really try to encourage them with what I plant. Thanks again for your lovely comments.

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    1. Hi Wendy! I’m so glad you liked the photos! It is lovely that we can pretty much garden throughout the winter but I shall be so envious of you come the summer when you are outside and I am hiding inside with the a/c on and an umbrella at the ready!


  6. Kate, your camelias are absolutely gorgeous! Who knew that such lovely flowers could be had at this time of year? And the leaves are so shiny and healthy looking. Thanks so much for sharing this vision of warmth and lushness with us at this wintry time of year! -Beth

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Beth! Thank you and you are very welcome. I know a lot of people find camellias tricky but it is one dependable plant here – and we are very grateful for that!


  7. LOVE a windswept beach – especially on a grey day! I find it calming, which I guess is unusual in that you’d think a sunny, calm coastline would be more so, lol! And it was unpopulated – wow! Now that is unusual here in FL! It looks like a wonderful place to spend time with your family! Oh, and you could never overpost any of your beautiful flowers – I love the Anna Oliver. Her petal pattern is amazing and the delicate color is gorgeous! I thought of eggs too when I first saw your Silver Waves Japonica, Ha! Lovely post!!! Hope you’re having a great week!

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    1. Hi Lynn! Glad you enjoyed the wintry looking beach. It is definitely a quieter beach but even more so that day because it was crazy weather and only crazy people like us wanted to go for a walk in it! Thank you as always for your lovely comments! Hope you had a great Thanksgiving and are staying healthy!


  8. We were on the beach over Thanksgiving weekend between New Smyrna & Cape Canaveral; 7 to 10 foot seas! I loved it. I read in one of your posts that you grow hostas in central FLA??? What type hostas? I loved them when I lived in Va., and thought it was too hot here. Please advise! Love your blog. -Annie

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    1. Hello Annie! Thank you so much for visiting and for your lovely comment! Wasn’t the weather crazy over Thanksgiving?! It just couldn’t make up its mind at all. It was lovely and sunny at home but by the time we got to the beach it was rainy and windy! Like you, I rather like to walk when its like that as its really dramatic. Yes…I just started to grow them this summer and so far so good. I bought sun hostas from Lukas Nursery in Oviedo and I grow them where they get a little morning sun but the rest of the day, bright shade. They have grown a lot and seem to be happy so I guess time will tell. I’m not sure if they will die back this winter like up north or keep going. Hopefully you will have success with them. Love Virginia, such a pretty state. We used to live in NC and my daughter graduated college and is now working in DC, so its nice to go and visit and experience seasons again! Thanks again for visiting!


  9. Hi Kate, first, I love that you planted the amaryllis in the tall terrarium. Amaryllises are beautiful, but the thing I hate is that I have to prop the top-heavy blooms up with sticks. But the tall glass makes that unnecessary. Now, why did I not think of something so obvious and simple?!

    Second, your garden is fabulous, as always.Your camellias are gorgeous, and your roses are the romantic sort I love. I realize Florida is more tropical than here, but your garden looks more like summer, though not the wilted, bug-infested summer I usually have. How wonderful that you have monarchs!

    Third, I love beaches with stormed-tossed waves!

    Thanks for sharing your photos! Wishing you a blessed and very merry Christmas season! Deb


    1. Hi Deb! You do make me laugh!! Your lovely woodland garden absolutely never looks wilted and bug infested! I’m always admiring how lush and fresh it all looks! Thank you though for your sweet comments – I really do appreciate it! I’m so glad you like the terrariums and the amaryllis. I went completely overboard this year and have so many of them that my living room looks more like a conservatory! I have been really pleased by how those containers worked out and you can sort of decorate around the bottom of the bulb with bits and bobs. I’ve just used things I have found in the garden. Shells look nice too with a little driftwood. The stormy beach was a little wild wasn’t it, but secretly I like it that way….reminds me of England! Hopefully I will do another post before Christmas but if not I wish you and your family a wonderful Christmas and look forward to more inspiration from your beautiful garden in the new year.



  10. Kate, Your photos are so inspiring. I am a painter and have been searching for some new inspirations from Florida to photograph and paint. You have sparked some inspiration for my own photography to use in my paintings. We have Jatropha in my area of Florida as well. Really lovely photos, you have quite a talent. Thank you for sharing!


    1. Hello Heather! How lovely of you to visit and also for making such wonderful comments! Thank you so much! Florida is such a lovely state isn’t it and we really do have year round beauty. I always feel sad when people seem to think it is just Disney World. I will hop on over to look at your artwork. Thank you again!

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  11. Hello Kate, Superbe article ! C’est un plaisir de lire votre blog. Vos photos sont superbes et vous nous faite partager avec bonheur le bel endroit où vous vivez, votre magnifique jardin et … Lucy (si adorable!).
    J’attends vos prochains articles avec impatience !
    Je vous souhaite de très bonnes fêtes de fin d’année !!!

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    1. Salut Virginie!! Vous etes vraiment gentile and je vous remercie bien de votre visite! I hope you dont mind if I continue in English?! I understand French very well but as it has been about 20 years since I have written any it is very rusty! I have visited your blog too and I am so happy that I have found it. You have some wonderful recipes and posts and I very much enjoy following you on Instagram. We used to live in Belgium, just outside of Brussels, in Tervuren and I have many happy memories! Please continue to write in French as I would very much like to read it. Joyeux Noel et je vous souhaite une bonne et heureuse année 2016!


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