I first encountered camellia when I was in College at UC, Berkeley on a weekend trip to Sacramento. The huge camellia bushes had tons of beautiful deep-pink blooms that amazed me. Having lived mostly in the East coast, camellia is just not part of day-to-day gardening—unless you have a hothouse. I really hadn’t thought about camellia all that much until about a year ago when I first visited Stonecrop Gardens. In their conservatory they have an entire section brimming with red, white and both deep and light pink plants. They don’t have much of a fragrance, but they are so perfectly put together—symmetry in nature at its best—that the eye candies more than makes up for the lack of scent.
Depending on the color, camellia means different things in the language of flowers. Pink says, “Longing For You”; red, “You’re a Flame in My Heart” and white, “You’re Adorable.” All lovely sentiments for the love in your life!
Dolphins at Seven Weeks
By Rachel Jamison Webster
Inward lush unpetaling purpose in pink blooms of sleep, and I no longer needed to be separate. I was living there then, at the edge of the sea. And my friends came to visit, trying for a baby, not sure how to read me on that island of dozy sunlight. And there it was: familiarity edged with fear, the way we’d feed each other sandwiches and wonder if we should have wanted something other. We walked the folded cliffs over conifer fronds and mud runneling rocks slick with dropped fruit and rotting camellias to pause at the first ridge. We looked through high pines at the blue moving tides, then his finger caught a snag in the water and another and we saw — glinting fins wheeling the sheen, thousands playing in pods coming closer like the souls slippering into our bodies, attaching to matter as flippers angle into a ferrying strand. We too are a species, I realized. We too could know that as joy.