The Empress of Winter

Monday, February 9, 2015

The camellia, often called the Empress of Winter, is one of the few flowers that comes into bloom in the coldest and darkest part of the year.  The evergreen shrub produces large showy flowers in white, red and pink hues that bring the garden alive while other plants hibernate until spring.

In floriography, the camellia is considered the flower of destiny.  It grows in the wild in Japan and was brought to Europe in the early 18th century where it was cultivated in greenhouses and collected as one of the era's most sought after flowers.  

The pure white camellia was a favorite during Victorian times.  It was used in decorative arrangements and also worn in the hair or held in bouquets.  More information about this flower and many others can be found in A Victorian Flower Dictionary, by Mandy Kirkby.

The dining room window overlooks our camellia garden and it is always a pleasure to see the soft pinks and whites of these flowers emerge just before Valentine's Day.  They keep well in vases as long as the petals are kept dry and they do not get too warm.

Have a lovely week!

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  1. Such beautiful photos of camellias Lisa - you must have a lovely selection in your garden. Mine are not in flower yet - I will just enjoy yours for a while!

    1. Thank you, Julie. The flowers usually bloom early here due to the weather conditions. I'll look forward to seeing your camellias when they blossom. Your flowers are always so lovely!



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