I realized recently that many of the camellia's in my garden are one's that I simply refer to as 'Skip's camellia' - best defined as one handed to me in a pot at the end of visit to Skip, my most favorite camellia growing friend. Some he tells me the name of - others are a mix of 'this and that' he says - and as long as I like the flower, the name doesn't matter anyway he says, right? (However, I know that he has in his head the names of at least a 1,000 camellias - so this casual approach is just a cover to hide his intense camellia geekiness. He's a humble man, and not known to boast).
Skip's son, my friend Pete, called recently to talk, and mentioned that his father was turning 91 in March. Wow! Considering that whenever I stop by, that I either find him eating or working in one of his greenhouses (felcos in hand) - I'd say that he's turning 91 as a passionate and vital person, and during my last visit, he was still listing the new camellias coming out that he wanted to add to his collection, and the others that he could now start propagating. He's a remarkable man.
So today - as the temperatures stay in the mid-50s (still below average for us) and as the sun shines (there's a beautiful blue sky out there this morning), I am going to run errands, which will include getting the ingredients to make Skip his favorite pound cake, and buying 91 little candles - and this afternoon I will make Skip a cake - and tomorrow I'm heading out to Johns Island with an artist friend where I will wander a collection of camellias that reside along Church Creek - and eat birthday cake with a special friend.
I've mentioned Skip numerous times before, and thought I'd try to consolidate some of the links to those posts this morning (this is not all of them - I might need to dig a little more to find them all).
Visits to see Skip and his camellias: