Flower nostalgia

I love spring! I'm so eager for the season to begin in earnest. We had a warm spell in early February that tricked the azaleas and Japanese magnolias into blooming and me into planting my lettuce and sweet pea seeds. Not sure if my plant babies will make it, but I think we're sidling up to spring for real in the next few weeks. I'm looking forward to designing with all of my spring favorites: Lady Banksia roses, bridal wreath spirea, viburnum, the list goes on.

Until then, I'm enjoying every minute of camellia season. The best camellia displays are always in older neighborhoods, where you'll find the most sumptuous old varieties. We were lucky to move into a house that already had several established camellias, and I've added a few myself. Camellia flowers don't last long in the vase, but they are absolutely hardy shrubs--enduring cold winters and dry, hot summers. Although they put on quite a show here in the Sacramento region, camellias always remind me of New Orleans. Maybe it's because they bloom in February which is traditionally the month for Mardi Gras in my home state of Louisiana. According to the language of flowers, camellias represent longing. For me they are the flower of nostalgia.


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