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  • Writer's pictureJill

Garden Surprises...After a Week Away!

After a lovely week away visiting Baby Abby, I was so excited to come home and see what surprises my garden held for me.

So today Robert and I spent time in the garden preparing for our outdoor Christmas decorations. We got some lights up, and our Santa outside, but we've got lots more to do! I'll be sure to post a video once we get things situated.

I know every corner of my garden, so when something new pops up, I am immediately aware of all the goings on. And my garden is small enough that I can know what's going on. That's one advantage of having less space!

In any case, I detail in the video all of the small, little things that maybe someone unfamiliar with the garden might not notice. But as I said, nothing escapes my notice! My poor plants, they suffer from the "helicopter parent" syndrome!

I was very excited about my camellia blooms, though. My mother used to tell me that camellias were the favorite flower of my Grandmother Cornelia, my dad's mom. So, they are very special to me. And the one in my front yard has bloomed so beautifully this year, I know that she is thinking of me and of her new great, great grandchild.

The Camellia is called the "Queen of the Winter" because when all the other blooms of late summer and fall pass, the camellia's beauty comes on in full force. I think that the camellia in my yard is some form of Camellia Japonica, as this is one of the most common landscape flowers, although, among that species, there are still many variations. In fact, there are almost 300+ types of camellias to be found, and over 3,000 hybrids.

The camellia in my garden looks almost like a rose, so full, so regal. And the leaves are a shiny green high gloss, so that the plant is attractive all year long, even without flowering. I have several in my backyard as well and am looking forward to their bloom soon.

The camellia was named after a Jesuit botanist, Georg Joseph Kamel who worked in the Philippines, and first described the flower in his writings. I note that because some of the finest people I know are Jesuits! True, I am prejudice because my husband, and all three daughters attended Jesuit Universities. Nonetheless, a Jesuit camellia afficionado, is absolutely worth a mention!

And one last thing about the camellia, it has a variety of uses, besides its beauty in the garden. The leaves of the camellia are used for tea, and tea oil made from the seeds of the camellia is the most important cooking oil for hundreds of millions of people in East Asia, particularly in southern China. It's also used for hair care and anti- inflammatory medicines.

So many interesting things to know about flowers in the garden. It's like a lesson every day! Grateful for it all!


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