Today was a gorgeous day here in Tidewater, and it was the first one where I felt somewhat normal after catching some sort of crud last week. I took the opportunity ride my bike downtown and enjoy the sparkling sunshine and warm temperatures. While I was there I rode by Waterside, which is one of those Rouse Company "Festival Marketplaces" that were built back in the 70's and 80's in downtrodden downtowns all across the country in the hopes they would resuscitate urban life. High expectations indeed for what were basically shopping malls with expanded food courts. These days Norfolk city life is encouragingly vibrant, with or without Waterside, and the future of this place is in debate at City Hall right now. Anyway, today I found it surrounded by a surprising number of blooms, including German bearded iris, lantana, Knock Out roses, winter jasmine and still colorful Setcreasea pallida. We have had such mild weather here this month, especially compared to how it was last year when things were flash frozen. This year things mellowed nicely.
I took these pictures at work yesterday of a remarkably large flowered, very late blooming Camellia sasanqua. So late, that we rarely see it bloom, as really cold weather has normally already occurred before the buds are ready to open. So perhaps this variety would be better suited someplace warmer, but we do get to enjoy it when conditions are just right. Unfortunately the name of this Camellia has been lost to poor record keeping. Even when it was labeled it was just listed as a seedling number.
About the time I was ready to head home the wind picked up considerably and shifted to the north making my ride home much colder and very difficult, but at least the sun was still shinning. I hope all of you have happy and safe holidays, with good weather and minimal drama.