In honor of pink Camelias

An article by my friend Bill Amos

“I have learned to like pink”

After noticing all of the pink camellias this week,  I thought it fitting to re post this delightful article.

Today, we have a story from my friend Bill Amos, “I have learned to like pink.”  I think you will enjoy it.  I met Bill thirty five  years ago.  Bill is an amazing artist, a potter, an old geezer, and a philosopher.  I liked the story and thought I’d share.  –john


By Bill Amos

 My mother-in-law, Miss Mary, never liked me all that much. I sensed that from a remark I overheard before the marriage. “He will never amount to anything,” she said.

 The wedding had to be in pink.  Her house was pink, and the whole city of Miami seemed to be pink. I didn’t much care for pink because it reminded me of stomach medicine.  We both loved flowers but she was always talking about masses of color. “To be effective they must be massed,” she lectured on all occasions. I always liked individual plants and planted beds of different plants and colors. 

 Miss Mary had built the house when she was in her late seventies, and even though the old gal was well off financially, she had to have a co-signer, and that had to be me. Now, she would rather chew on toad frogs than have to ask me to co-sign or to find out anything about her finances, but that was what she had to do. 

 We bought a small corner lot on the back side of one of the old Victorian houses about thirty miles from Savannah. This section was at one time the formal garden of the estate and the entire lot was covered by 150 year old azalea bushes eight feet high and twelve feet round, and in seven different colors. The little four room cottage was nestled in among the plants with as little cutting as possible.  It is quite a sight in the springtime. 


Miss Mary was quite a gardener.  She loved the small house and planted her flowers everywhere. Miss Mary planted the same color—always pink.  Time passed—she died—and I inherited her house and moved in.

 “Now I’ll plant what I want,” I told my wife, and I did.  Guess what happened? 

  My zinnia bed of many colors only bloomed pink!  I told my wife.  “Miss Mary is still messing with me.”

 I bought my first rose bush, a “blaze” rose, and waited patiently for it to bloom.  It bloomed pink. Everything I planted came out pink.

 After a lot of pondering I went to the corner of the property, in a nice shady area, and i planted an all pink flowerbed of begonias and impatiens. I named it “Miss Mary’s garden”. Miss Mary’s garden flourished and she left the rest of my plants alone after that.

 After planting Miss Mary’s garden, I was able to enjoy the reds and oranges of my zinnias. Later, I managed to get a very small hybrid camellia, “faysia.” This camellia was pink but I wanted a big blooming bush like my neighbor’s.  I made a deal with Miss Mary. “Help me with this and I’ll keep that corner garden going.”  She did, and I have a bush eight feet tall and full of the most delicate orangey-pink flowers in the neighborhood.

 Now I have learned to like pink. I can get along with it better now, though I still catch a little movement from Miss Mary out of the corner of my eye.

 I get  the feeling, though, that Miss Mary is still around and announces herself by making strange sounds in the other room or helping silverware slide off the counter or setting the spices so that when the cabinet is opened an entire rack of spices falls out—nothing harmful, just aggravating,

 But, I have learned to like pink.

 Bill Amos

December 13, 2009

Published by John P.Schulz

I lost my vocal cords a while back due to throat cancer. The laryngectomy sent me on a quest to find and learn to use my new, altered voice. I am able to talk now with a really small and neat new prosthesis. My writing reflects what I have learned in my search for a voice. My site publishes a daily motivational quote and a personal comment. I write an article a week for my blog, which deals with a lot of the things that I do in the garden. I am also the author of Requiem for a Redneck and the new Redemption for a Redneck--novels portraying the lives and doings of folks around the north Georgia hills. I have an English Education degree from the University of Georgia and very happily married to the lovely Dekie Hicks. You may enjoy my daily Quotes and Notes at

2 thoughts on “In honor of pink Camelias

  1. Bill, this is a priceless story. When I was a freshman art student I had a wonderful teacher; he could do a water color that made you cry.

    But in his class the use of pink was forbidden. How can you water color a sky without using pink? But I didn’t dare. I think my pink talent was suppressed, so now it’s my favorite color (next to yellow). I have pink roses, pink begonias, and a pink sofa.

    Guess I showed him!

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