Camellias are my favorite flowers. They are considered “winter flowers” since February is the typical blooming time for them. My mother’s shaded backyard in Florida was (and is, though she’s now deceased and the house now rented out) covered with camellia and azalea bushes. Since I left Florida when I was 25 years old and typically visit either in summer or fall, I haven’t feasted my eyes on many since then. Imagine my delight then when my new online friend Bobbie in California emailed me these beauties earlier this week.
It’s not quite the same as holding them in my hand and sniffing (camellias typically don’t have a strong scent, it’s just that they so beautiful you assume they must smell as good), but it’s real eye candy to my winter-weary eyes and soul. As you can see, the photographs were made on Monday, so these are very likely still there looking fresh and magnificent.
This first photo shows a “double” bloom. As Bobbie pointed out in her email, it perfectly illustrates the two centers.
She can’t remember the names of these beauties, but calls this one “God’s Perfection.” If it isn’t really called that by the Camellia Society, well, it ought to be!
From my “camellia research” I’m tempted to say this one is “Seafoam,” but there are so many hundreds of varieties, it’s hard to know for sure not being a horticulturist.
I’ve spent time the last two days looking at online pictures of camellias on various websites. (Hubby says I’m crazy! but what does he know?) In case you’re a nut for flowers in general, and camellias in particular, or–like me–just a blooming idiot who can hardly get enough of looking at real or online camellias, I’ve culled the list down to these four. Enjoy as many or few (or none) as you wish.
The American Camellia Society is a good place to begin. Here you can peak at the free gallery preview without being a member. To begin, click on the small camellia photo on the right. Should anyone encounter problems, I hope you’ll let me know.
The second site lists cold hardy camellia varieties, since I gave a tiny bit of thought about trying one here in my backyard. (I probably won’t unless I wake up one morning to find myself miraculously 20 years younger!)
This site lets you have a look at Jim Dwyer’s camellia photographs , a veritable feast of every conceivable bloom, color and variety. If there’s one you remember from way back and wonder about (such as I was wondering if I could find a picture of one of my favorites from childhood, “Professor Sargeant,” you’ll probably see it here!) These web albums are listed alphabetically by name, and this link takes you into the first one. From there you should be able to navigate all the way through Z at your leisure.
There there’s this final but really quick one, Greer Gardens, for a one-page potpouri of the more rare and unusual varieties.
Back to Bobbie in California, who tells me that–at age 81–she feels she’s not as able to keep her garden up as she once was and may have to hire someone to help her, I’m only 65 (66 in May) and Hubby and I hired on with a garden service last fall. Just enjoy your garden no matter who does the work. Again, thank you very much for bringing a little much-needed color and beauty into my week and allowing me to share it here on Wintersong!