JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – I’m continuing my series of finding out the stories behind some of our SnapJAX photos.

This week’s SnapJAX Story took us away from the beach and into the heart of Jacksonville into Kim Owens’ backyard. It reminded me that there’s beauty and connection growing all around us.

It was Kim Owens’ picture of this flower that got my attention. It only opens at night, once, and then dies.

“I came out when my plant was blooming, I shot it at 10 o’clock and 12 o’clock and 2 o’clock because I couldn’t get enough of it,” said Kim, who goes by “FlamingoKimbo” on SnapJAX.

The plant is called Queen of the Night, but Kim also calls her Betty Jo. In fact, most of her plants have names, for good reason.

“I name my plants from the people that gave them to me,” Kim said.

Some of those people are still around. Others have passed on, like Kim’s mom.

“I was inspired by mom, my mom, to love color and plants,” Kim explained.

Kim inherited her mom’s bright red Amaryllis and they’re all over her garden.

(Copyright 2023 by WJXT News4JAX – All rights reserved.)

“I have so many sets and so that feels like a piece of your mom. It’s a piece of my mom and I can give a piece of my mom away to folks,” Kim said.

All of her plants are special and some are inspiring, like a pink Bougainvillea plant named Michael, one of her favorites, that’s named after a friend who has cancer.

(Copyright 2023 by WJXT News4JAX – All rights reserved.)

“Michael has been fighting cancer for almost 10 years. And this really kind of signifies that we never give up. This thing froze down to nothing last year, and we had our three days of 29 degrees at night. And look at how beautiful it is with its flowers getting ready to unfurl,” Kim said.

Kim calls her backyard the “Owens Garden Retreat.” She’s lived in her home for 37 years years and she appreciates what she has, never taking her view for granted.

“You don’t have to live on the water. You don’t have to have a multimillion-dollar house to find beauty where you are in,” she said. “So I try to embody that in my lifestyle in the way that I take care of my plants and our little house every day. There’s new beauty every day. You just have to take time to look at it. Look for it.”

It feels like her yard is full of the people Kim loves, and that is comforting and quite inspirational for her and hopefully for all of us as well.

Copyright 2023 by WJXT News4JAX – All rights reserved.

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