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.