Camellias. To me they are pure joy. They bloom when little else is blooming. The colors are vibrant. The blooms are varied. They cheer up a gloomy day indoors or out. In the Carolinas we have camellias blooming from November through April and the earliest ones show up in a sheltered little spot on my side patio. By Christmas my neighbors’ 20 foot tall bushes (over 100 years old) are blooming in glorious solid red blooms that I include in my annual Christmas Eve dinner arrangement. Late winter bloomers mix with early azaleas and other glorious gifts of nature for a spectacular display when spring is approaching.
Camellias were first introduced in the south here in the Carolinas. If you are in the Charleston area visit Middleton Place or Magnolia Gardens for “Camellia Walks” or visit their websites to learn more about camellias.
Tea plants are a variety of camellias and the only existing tea production in the United States is here on Wadmalaw Island, South Carolina. But that’s another blog for another time.
Here’s some beautiful examples of what is blooming right now!