Friday, April 10, 2015


I dream the Impossible dream, on this I day of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.

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

Here is another.
 Summerville, South Carolina, 2014
By now, you are asking why I am using this for my "I" post.  Well, the theme for today is Impossible.

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?
Yes, we would.  And we did.  Meet April Rose, the hardiest camilla the nursery said they sold.

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!


  1. April appropriate name. Impossible dreams do come true...let's hope! Do you have a heated green house....just in case you dreamed this possibility!
    Sue at CollectInTexas Gal
    AtoZ 2015 Challenge
    Minion for AJ's wHooligans

  2. A good introduction to the readers. Lovely flowers.

  3. Good luck. I hope she makes it.

    It was so strange, I tried to stop by yesterday, but I kept getting error messages. Like Google kept crashing or something. Not sure what it was.

    Liz A. from Laws of Gravity

  4. It really is a lovely flower. I've never heard f it before.

  5. Oh, that is truly beautiful!!! Best wishes for a successful growing period for your April Rose!

  6. Nice looking flowers. I have some blooming and I can't find my thingy to load my photo on computer.
    I'm in zone 5A Coffee is on

  7. Such gorgeous flowers - how wonderful that you found one that just might survive in your region! Here's hoping April Rose is with you for a very long time. :)

  8. April Rose is a very beautiful camellia. I've always wanted to learn to give such good care to flowers and plants, but at least I travel too much. Now here I find you had one bloom while vacationing. Maybe I can re-visit my goal.

  9. I love camellias. My garden is full of camellia plants and when they bloom they look beautiful. Good luck with your April Rose.

  10. They are indeed wonderful flowers. But you need the right climate to grow them well. Good luck with your impossible dream.
    My mother and her husband lived in the Adelaide Hills back in the 70s, surrounded by mist most of the time. In the grounds of St. Vigeans, about 50 camelias grew, some up to 10 feet high and covered with blooms for many months. You can imagine the way each room in the mansion looked with cut flowers in every corner.

  11. What beautiful flowers! Dropping by from the A to Z I have given your blog a shout out from my letter J post today

  12. It's a lovely flower! Here's hoping she'll be with you for a long time to come. ☺

  13. Hi there - Very pretty pics. BTW, I'm dropping in from a shout out to your blog on Rosie Amber's blog

  14. Saw shout out from Rosie Amber and swung by . Camellia's are beautiful. Can you possibly grow them indoors?
    #Blogging from A-Z 2015 this year two themes Movies and What’s in a name
    4covert2overt ~ A PLACE IN THE SPOTLIGHT
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