Thursday, February 11, 2016


Last Sunday, I made a visit to Nuccio's Nurseries in Altadena. They are world famous for their camellias--perhaps my favorite flower.

Forty or fifty blooms, each land-labelled, were laid out on tables, with names like "Frosted Star," "Angel Wings," "Sweet Emily Kate" and "Pagoda."

My own yard also has four or five old-growth camellia bushes, each a good two stories high. I can almost reach off my balcony and pick the blooms.

The bush closest to me has five different colors and types of camellias, all on one tree. I don't know whether grafting, or another phenomenon, is at play. I just know they're spectacular. One is snow white with a pale, pale pink stripe or "stain."

The Secret Life of Plants  is a book by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird, later apparently made into a 1979 documentary. For now, both must come under the heading of  What I Wouldn't Do for Two or Three More Hours in Each Day.

That is part of the Cross. Sometimes it seems we're either enduring life on the one hand, thinking, Man, life is long! Or on the other hand, we're so excited about life we can hardly stand that in our short span here on earth we're never going to be able to take in, learn about, and experience everything we wish we could.

I love taking pictures of flowers. My sense is they are shy about their beauty! If you admire them very much, and stay very quiet, and exercise great patience, sometimes they will yield up a secret or two.

The photos below are of the camellias in my yard at night, lit by the motion sensor lamps that come on along the outside stairwell.


  1. I had to leave behind my Mother's Day (a gift from husband and son) camellia bush in North Carolina when we moved to the Midwest. I love how they bloom all winter.

  2. Thank you for your blog and books, Heather. You have helped me tremendously over the years. I pray for you.

    Also, your pictures make me homesick for California. I had to finally comment because of the camellias.

  3. Nuccio's is great, but don't forget this!

    1. So many camellias, so little time!...Thanks, Bill, haven't been over this year but yes, the Descanso collection is incredible...

  4. As a mutual Friend of Bill's, I too thank you. I don't read your blog often, but appreciate your heart. Waking grateful every day says it all for me.

  5. So glad you all responded to the camellias. To me they are endlessly fascinating. The yard of the circa-1930's house where I live has many camellia bushes scattered about. A couple of new ones, one a deep red, the other sea-shell pink, just began to bloom this week!


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