January 2, 2022
Reflections, Day 81
“Everyone wants to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.”
― Oprah Winfrey
“The flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest and most beautiful of all.”
― Walt Disney
I really enjoy using camellias in landscape gardens.
The plants are strong and seem to accept adversity when it rolls around. Camellias will not put up with total neglect, but they will struggle through a drought, heat, or cold while working on developing flower buds that begin to open into beautiful flowers right before, during and soon after the winter. While most other flowering shrubs are shivering, the camellia quietly covers itself with blooms.
One variety of this plant, Camellia sativa, is grown extensively in southeast Asia and the leaves are used for a popular tea that goes by the same name.
There are over 3,000 cultivated camellia hybrids but these varieties have been developed from two different plants, “Camellia Japonica” and “camellia sasanqua.”
The “sasanqua” is a smaller leaved plant that blooms earliest in the pre-winter weather. The “Japonica” has larger leaves and blooms around December, January, and February.
I have seen camellias shaped into large accent plants, tree-forms, and even bonsais. Left to their own devises, the plant will become rather large, cover itself with beautiful flowers, and then drop the flowers to form a free-form colorful carpet.
But the part of this plant that I admire is its ability to bloom during the harshest part of the year and to use the more temperate times to grow beautiful shiny leaves while it forms flower buds for the next winter.
I do believe that there is a lesson to be learned there. I just haven’t fully processed it yet.
Adversity tempers strength with beauty.