Livin’ on the edge….of the forest II

Change? What change? It is subtle change around here, and that’s a good thing! Slow and steady still wins the race often times. Here you will find a couple of photos of downtown Umatilla. Not really much difference huh? If you have lived around these parts for the last 50 years, you might notice the changes to my little  hometown.central ave looking south.jpg


There is something missing from the second photo, the railroad tracks. The tracks were always there when I was growing up. They crossed the southbound lane of State road 19 and ran north right through the middle of town. When we would walk to school from Mrs. Smith’s daycare we would cross 19 at the police station, cross the tracks and over to the elementary school.  In the afternoon we would make the trip back.  It always seemed so far, it’s only a couple of blocks, if that, but traveling on little 6  year old feet that can seem like miles. I remember the tracks being there because I fell one afternoon coming back from school. I tripped on the tracks and skinned myself up good. The policeman on duty scooped me up out of the road and delivered me back to the daycare. I was alright but I’ve not forgotten it!

Speaking of trains and tracks our library is housed in what used to be the old train depot. There is a bright orange caboose sitting right out front, a big nod to the railroad that once delivered so many people and goods to and from the river, inland and beyond. library.jpg

The powers that be decided some time ago that those tracks were no longer necessary here. They were removed and left us with some of the most lovely of medians in all of Lake county, in my opinion of course. If you drive through Umatilla north on State road 19 it is beautiful! Beautifully  landscaped islands where the train used roll through town literally.  Join me again for a little history and perhaps some mystery.  Check out our shop’s website and our facebook page. 

Livin’ on the edge…of the forest.

This will be the first in a series of blog posts on one of my favorite places in all the world!  Umatilla Florida!


This is my hometown. This is where my  business, my friends, my family and my heart are. I grew up here, literally.  I went to Mrs. Smith’s daycare on Kentucky ave. with my other friends that grew up here as well. Most of our parents worked at Golden Gem or one of the many packing houses or grove related businesses in Umatilla.478bde77833dd45153fc548793bfdb16--old-florida-fruit-box.jpgumatilla belle.jpg

Umatilla has a rich history in the citrus industry and still has a operating packing house right here. Where most towns in Lake County have turned to tourism and look like Disney on any given Saturday, Umatilla remains pretty much the same,other than a few more traffic signals and a lot less packing houses.

If you venture way out here to Umatilla, it is about 6 miles north of  Eustis on state road 19.  I laugh when people say “oh you came all the way from Umatilla?” It really isn’t that far from our friends in ” The Golden Triangle” That would be Eustis, Mount Dora and Tavares.

Umatilla is truly a unique and very small town. We have three great schools. Elementary, Middle and High. We have a historical school house that is home to our museum. The museum is a great adventure to explore more of Umatilla’s history .  Their hours are noon- 4PM  Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.1975271_1408018226127755_334670109_n.jpg

My shop is located in downtown and sits right next door to our great community newspaper The Northlake Outpost. It is published weekly and covers all the activities in Umatilla and the surrounding area. Always something interesting in The Outpost.

Join me next week for more about life around the flower shop and our little town on the edge of the forest!


Autumn is here!

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Autumn is here! Yeah right?! Our shop is in central Florida and it was very hot and humid today! It does not feel like fall at all Y’All! That doesn’t mean we can’t give our space the feel of fall. We have decorated with our pumpkins and fall leaf garlands. I have the wonderful smells of pumpkin and cinnamon spices in the air.


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It doesn’t take much to create that autumnal atmosphere around your home. This beautiful arrangement can be created for you right here in our shop. Pair it with a variety of fall leaves, pumpkins, gourds and a little raffia and you can have a nice display of fall color right in your home. Around here we have to crank the air down and wish it was cool enough outside for a fire.

I get really excited when we start to see fall flowers on our wholesale flower trucks! Along with berries and branches that can be transformed into beautiful fall arrangements. Some of the seasonal flowers we see in abundance this time of year are, sunflowers, fall mums in all their glorious colors of bronze, gold, butterscotch, deep russet and bright yellows. Bright orange carnations, brilliant orange and yellow lilies, alstroemerias in bright yellows, vibrant orange and royal purples. These are among the few flowers that really get me excited for the Autumn season.

It seems for me anyway, that it only lasts a fraction of what it should. I am not the typical retailer apparently, I want Autumn to last until after Thanksgiving. If I wait then I’m behind on my decorating by my industry standards. So, I have to get with it and put my tree up by November 1st! This really bothers me. You would think I’d be used to it after 30 plus years,but it never has set well with me. I want my fall flowers for as long as possible!

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