Christmas pudding

You know the Christmas crunch has arrived when the Christmas shelves are empty and your stove and ovens are running full tilt. Savannah must be one of the most decorated cities in the universe at Christmas! Do the shelves in your local hobby shop empty out like this two weeks before Christmas?

You might have to quit decorating and start the holiday baking. Each year, I start the hunt for the beef suet that is a necessity to the making of my Grandmother’s Plum Pudding. The local Kroger butcher tried to sell me fatback. Oh heavens! Does no one else in all of Savannah know how to make a proper Christmas pudding? The only place in Savannah selling it this year was the Ogeechee Meat Market. So, for my Grandma, descended from the Bell family of Scottish origin, this steamed pudding was a staple in the Christmas repertoire. My Mother kept her Mother-in-law’s recipe safely guarded, and I feel I must safe guard it too. Not sure if my daughter will ever feel the need to make it. Thus far she has not explored her culinary side. But mixing up the bread crumbs, suet fat, dried fruits and jelly is a tradition I enjoy.

Turning the pudding out on a plate, wrapped in muslin, after 4 hours of steaming is so satisfying!

Bake on and Merry merry Christmas!

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Mine no yuki

Some camellias will capture your attention more than others. And some perform so well that they become your favorite child.

This year Camellia ‘Mine-no-yuki’ is on its way to becoming the favorite of ’19-20.

This lovely white sasanqua was grown from layering. She is still growing in a pot and after 3 years, may be ready to go in the ground but I think I will wait until Spring. The Mother plant has not one bloom this year! What a disappointment! But her offspring is a delight this Autumn! In Jennifer Trehane’s book, “Camellias”, this Camellia is described well. “It evokes the purity of the first snowfall of winter.” I am happy to enjoy the first snowfall this way…a benefit of living in Georgia where the snow flurries are very rare! “A jumble of Snow White petals” is a perfect way to describe this jolly bloom.

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Forlorn November

November needs sunshine! But it is in short supply. Savannah is known for its shaded paths and streets, the mighty live oaks draped with Spanish moss casting sun beams in many directions. But when the cloud cover grows thick and the temperatures sink, the magic disappears. Even the happy blooms of a stalwart camellia don’t lift the mood.

Our average temperature in November should be in the 60s which allows for some days in the 80s, but I for one do not want that allowance to mean we must endure the 40s.

We almost dipped to freezing two nights ago. I almost had to purchase a cover for the garden in previous years. Will this be the year?

Skidaway Farms

The way I go on, you’d hardly imagine I was born and raised in the Hudson Valley and have spent most of my life in the Northeast! I know snow

Snow and ice

But I hope we don’t see another cold winter like the one a couple years past! The rule about no Christmas until after Thanksgiving may have to be disregarded this year! Give me sparkle with outdoor parties on the marsh and blooming camellias!

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Camellias Coming Along

November in my yard means the Camellias are coming! When we gardened in the Northeast, November meant clean up. A hard frost meant digging dahlias, cutting back perennials, leaving seed heads for the birds. But here in Georgia, we prepare for a glorious season of blooming camellias!

This week end I attended a meeting of the Coastal Georgia Camellia Society! Held at the Coastal Georgia Botanic Garden, it was difficult to go inside because the gardens there begged to be viewed!

Dr. Michael Poole, the President of the group, brought along some beautiful blooms to share.

Camellia ‘Akebono’

Not only were they enticing, but it was a reminder that this is planting season! Now is the time to get out and see the blooms, and find a place for a new Camellia tree or shrub in the landscape! I have already planted two sasanquas, “Marshall” and finally taken the big step of planting the seedlings that I grew from seeds gathered during Hurricane Matthew (while visiting AikenSC).

We received a lesson on “gibbing.” Google that if you want to learn a secret on how to get the biggest and best blooms for show!

Come on Camellias, time to bloom…right through till Spring if you plant different varieties, according to bloom times!

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Dear Dahlias

Dear Dahlias, In the North, you are awaiting the first killing frost. The freeze will set you free from all that continuous feeding and blooming. Soon you will throw off the cloak of bloom, and return to your resting state. Your large lobes of promise for the next year will be stored with hopes for another bright summer of form and color.

In the South, you are finally released from the struggle through heat. The scorching heat and mid day sun made you wilt all through August and September. What a valiant fight you had to stay alive. You waited for the cool ocean breezes and lower temperatures to persuade you to do what you do best…bloom. Your season seems to just be starting.

Your friend who stands nearby with some concern for your fragility, has managed to bloom throughout summertime so easily.

Those large scrappy leaves of the crinum not only shade some of you, but protect smaller flowers below. Ahhh, autumn!

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Glorious Gingers

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How many words?

A picture is worth a thousand words, but Instagram does not satisfy my Curiosity. I see a photo and I want to know more. A blog with a few photos is, then, a few thousand words, yet I still need to say more! However, I will try to keep it to a minimum in the future.

September has always been one of the most pleasant months in Georgia since we moved here, but 2019 has been HOT! My evening walk is pleasant to the eye but it brings on a sweat. This picture doesn’t tell you that, but believe me it is hot and humid.

At the community farm where we have a plot, the farmers are getting ready to plant the cool weather crops, but I am certain that will be later than usual in this heat. My two daffodil orders are sitting in a dark closet. I am surprised they were sent out so early!

Can it be two months since we were staying in Taos NM where the mountain shakes off the heat each night and you wake to a cool and refreshing world each day?

Sangre de Christo range

Son and his wife make their home in a very beautiful spot outside of town, not too far from the Millicent Rogers Museum, which I eagerly visit each time we stay in Taos. A lecture and exhibit on owls was fascinating. Owls hold a special place in Native American culture.

Majestic owls at this deeply personal and spiritual museum.

Taos is so unlike anywhere I have ever lived..the Hudson River valley, the suburbs of Ct, and the coast of Georgia. How my son ended up in such a foreign place is a mystery to me, but it is a place I love to experience. In such a simple place, the deep and complex meanings of the universe beg to be explored.

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Cavalier King Charles Spaniels

Several years ago, when I launched this blog, attracting viewers was part of my goal. It took time and effort, but I met some wonderful readers and fellow bloggers. Like friendship, you need to put your best face forward to keep the relationship going. I think I am not alone among my many blogger friends…..I have fallen down on the job! My posts are fewer and fewer and my views are less and less. It’s my own fault.

Here is the thing…real life is more interesting than the solitary hours spent at the computer or on the device! I see this happening to other bloggers as well. I will contemplate what this means for the future of Jayne on Weed Street.

I recently entered a photo contest, and sent a favorite picture of my girls (not this one)to The Enchanted Home. I’ve read this blog for a long time. I enjoyed it more before she became very commercial; she uses the blog to sell decorative items for her “store.” I still surf the site, especially for something as fun as this photo contest. My pups got some votes, but a puppy of the same breed won! If you’re going to lose, it is not too bad to lose to another Cavalier King Charles spaniel! this is how they were presented in the contest…

So I will be spending the summer deciding If I will abandon this platform…..pretty sure I will be alone in missing it. Do I need to become more commercial? Have photo contest s? Give away prizes? Hmmmm. But for my few followers, hello! And here are some photos of what is keeping me from the grind of making new posts for you and WordPress! The crepe myrtles are blooming, and my neighborhood keeps drawing me out of my study….

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Really Raining

After several weeks of dry weather, we finally have rain. Now the garden will get growing again,

The tomatoes were suffering, but now they should ripen. We have a critter who has been taking the green tomatoes, eating half and leaving the remains. My solution is to ripen on the windowsill. Fried green tomatoes are popular in the South, but I prefer a raw red tomato, thank you.

my neighbor’s tomato looked like this when I sent her a photograph but by the

afternoon when she came to pick, it was half eaten. Sob!

On a happier note, the agapanthus began to bloom in one of the squares in downtown Savannah. They grow well in our area, grown as a perennial. However I have nursed one along for 5 years and nary a bloom! How long would you keep an agapanthus that never blooms?

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Monet to Matisse

Three years ago Telfair Museum brought a wonderful exhibit of American Impressionism to Savannah, “Monet and American Impressionism.” It was hugely popular which may be why another exhibit of Impressionist art has been brought to the Telfair’s Jepsen Center, “Monet to Matisse.”

Claude Monet

Originating from the Dixson Gallery & Garden, it is a small show (spoken by someone who cut her art teeth at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and MOMA) but includes artists you may not get to see too often.

For my garden friends who are acquainted with Fantin-Latour’s botanicals which were very successful, if commercial, works in his time, this painting may not be what you expect. Most Impressionist artists enjoyed working en plein air, but Fantin-Latour was not known to set up the easel outdoors. His study of flowers did not include a curiosity of how they grew or moved in the garden, perhaps?

Henri Fantin-Latour

Marc Chagall is another favorite. I spent more time with this painting than I did on my previous two visits. It is curious how one day a painting may not reach out to you, and on another day, it speaks loudly.

The Jepsen Museum is a setting unlike other Museums I have visited. Each time I visit, the architecture shows me something new. Today’s view from inside toward the old Trinity Methodist Church with the Savannah Bridge beyond stopped me in my tracks.

View from Jepsen Museum

Still time to see this exhibit if you are in the Savannah/Hilton Head area!

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