My theme is America the Beautiful. Today, I blog about a flower that creates beauty in many parts of the United States.
Look upon this beautiful flower. It is called a Camilla.
|Camden, South Carolina, 2015|
|Summerville, South Carolina, 2014|
I fell in love with camellias for the first time in 2010, when I visited Americus, Georgia in late March. I saw shrubs in bloom with what seemed to be roses. But they obviously weren't roses.
I pondered what the flowers were, and then it came to me.
They were camellias. They bloom through the winter in some places. The plants have beautiful evergreen foliage. They have been my dream plant in years, as in "dream on".
Where I live, in upstate New York, we don't have much of anything in bloom in late March.
The common wisdom says camillas are impossible to grow where I live. I am positive I saw a camellia blooming once in Brooklyn, which is USDA zone 6b, but would be pushing it, even for the most hardy of Camillas. In my zone 5b garden, they would be a no go.
Or, would they? After reading an article in the NY Times about camillas, my heart started to beat faster. Because there is a camilla nursery near Chapel Hill, North Carolina. A camilla nursery the author of the article trusts. And (be still my heart) they had a single white camilla called Survivor. It's rated to zone 6A.
With protection, would it grow for me in my zone 5b garden? (we got to -8 at my house this winter.) Would I travel to Chapel Hill to buy one of these plants, bring it home, and try the impossible?
She (and yes, to me the plant is a "she") wasn't in bloom, but she had several buds. So we bought her, and we carried her around on a vacation. During that time, her first bloom opened.
Now, our job is to keep her alive through next winter. On Pinterest, I found a photo of another April Rose pinned by someone on Cape Cod, which is northeast of us, in Massachusetts.
Maybe we can do it, too.
Thrive, April Rose, Thrive! Make my Impossible Dream come true!