Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Naughty Camellias, or Pink is the new White

Last September... loads of potential blooms there...

Quote du jour: Half the interest of a garden is the constant exercise of the imagination.
- Mrs. C.W. Earle, Pot-Pourri from a Surrey Garden, 1897

In today's news, I’m mad at Home Depot. (Yes, that is news. Usually I’m mad at Lowe’s.)

Last fall I planted seven, count ‘em seven Camellia trees (C. japonica). Only one of which bothered to put forth a few blooms last month. According to the label, it was supposed to bloom in the fall. Which, last I checked, ain't January.

Oh, I suppose I'll bloom a bit...

The others were “supposed” to bloom in early winter. Considering winter is two-thirds of the way along (at least if you believe the calendar), I’d say they’re confused. They’re not the only ones.

I planted these trees according to a plan, damn it. I was going to be this fancy dancy landscapey person, so I alternated the colors carefully: red, pink, white, red… all the way down the row.

I even left the labels on the plants, so I’d remember which one was which. (Yes, I could’ve written that info down, but then I’d lose the piece of paper.)

Here’s a picture of one of the camellias, which is thinking about considering the faint possibility of maybe, just possibly, starting to bloom a bit.
To bloom or not to bloom... decisions, decisions...

What color does that bud look to you? To me, it looks dark pink or maybe red.
Here’s the label came with the camellia tree. It's still attached; I never took it off.

White? It's not even remotely Caucasian...

Either the camellia is suffering from an identity crisis, or Home Depot has an issue with truthiness.

So yesterday, I blew money on a camellia that was already in bloom. I like the looks of these flowers, the color and the form. Plus, the label matched the blooms that were actually on the plant.
Not ashamed to be labeled a pinko

I like that I know what the heck I'm planting ahead of time, which makes me feel a bit more in control of the landscaping. The only drawback is the name of the variety.

Is it just me, or does that sound like the name for a naughty type of massage implement?

I realize that this camellia is also pink, not white, but a) I liked the particular color of pink b) I like the form and c) I couldn't find any bloomin' white camellias. (Sorry, guv. Slipped into Cockney dialect for a sec.) Besides, this one was intentionally pink. Plus, I bought it at a store that was not Home Depot. And I got to include a bit of spring color in the grey despair of Cubicle World.
Bloomin' camellia with a cuppa tea

Exercise du jour: Look, all I'm going to commit to is 20 minutes on the elliptical first thing in the a.m. before doing anything else besides getting out of bed and opening my eyes. After that, everything is negotiable.
Done! Plus, 3 miles walking. Plus, I didn't annihilate a single cow-orker today. That definitely calls for a star!

Quote courtesy of QuoteGarden.


Kelly the Happy Texan said...

I love camelias!! When I was a kid I had one growing outside of my bedroom window. It was a HUGE tree and was loaded with flowers. Apparently it was an "heirloom" type and you can't find it anywhere now.

May have to go find some shrubs for the landscaping now. :)

Your flowers are so pretty.

The Merry said...

I grew up with camellias too. My mother's white camellia tree is over 20 feet tall and covered with blooms from Christmas to Mardi Gras. You're right; they don't make 'em like that any more :(

Lee said...

Hmmm, I don't think I got a single bloom on the camelias this year. They tend to bloom in January too, if they bloom that is. I would buy that plant just for its name. Wonderful.

Retta said...

I love camelias, too! I distinctly remember the pink ones outside our house when I was a kid. It was a HUGE bushy plant, and would be covered with blooms.

Mrs Tingley... that's cute. Gave me my first out-loud laugh of the day.


English Rider said...

Fertilizer at the right time will jump-start just about any blooming plants. Camellias are so serene.

The Merry said...

But... what is the 'right' time? It's going to snow tonight, so I'm guessing now might not be the best time to encourage growth.
Still miffed at HD for putting the wrong labels on their plants. (White? Pink? Oh, just put something on. The customer won't notice.)

Amy said...

mrs. tingley is definitely meant to be in the eighth harry potter.

messymimi said...

This is a great plug for local nurseries, where they care.

English Rider said...

The back of the box of Camellia Food gives instructions as to best timing. Your local nursery will also advise you. That's where I learn a lot.
The great thing about gardening is "there's always next year"

Gay Straight Alliance said...

Mislabeling -- hmmmm -- the trickery of an eight year old? (...she says while strolling down embarrassing memory lane...)

I wonder if camellias are good for our zone (Utah). I may look into that (but I doubt they allow any "Mrs. Tingly's" in Utah County, although she's at least married).

The Merry said...

*Snort* Thank you, Gina, after a day like today I needed a laugh.
ER, thanks for the advice!
MessyM, I will definitely be consulting my local garden shop in future. And purchasing from them, likewise.

London Mabel said...

Awww lovely! And just wanted to say, I enjoy your blog--the little daily quotes and pictures and such. :-)

The Merry said...

LondonM, thank you! After a day like today, I really appreciate the thought that someone is enjoying this!

Shelley said...

Home Depot has screwed me more than once with flower colors - glad to see that I'm not the only one who gets miffed at that! Pretty, pretty camellias, though.

So snow...what is up with this? We are having to drive into Portland a day early just in case the roads are bad. Wild!

Anonymous said...

Oooh I never shop at the nasty box stores... and here's just another reason to validate my obnoxious standards. And damn, now I need to go look out the back window and see if ours has any blooming activity going on.
Uh also, typo or intentional (and hysterical) dig? "... cow-orkers..."
(11:41pm, we are just NOW getting some snow)

The Merry said...

The cartoon Dilbert tends to refer to co-workers as cow-orkers. If it's good enough for Dilbert, then I figure I can use it without him claiming copyright infringement.
Snowing already? Geez, we ain't got nothing up north. Yet. (Well, apart from lunchtime, when I wanted to walk. But that didn't stick. The snow, I mean.)

Dr. J said...

I'm seriously jealous here!! I have a small camellia that had only two buds in the winter. I protected it from the several freezes we had this year, but they both fell of the bush! :-(((

LMI said...

Oooooh! I LOVE Camellias! When I lived in Tallahassee there was a local park that hundreds upon hundreds of them--beautiful!

Andrea @ The Skinny Chronicles said...

We inherited a baby pink camellia. I would have preferred white.

rssasrb said...

They are beautiful even if not white. Love the way you are landscaping.

Wish I could do camelias here but it's a bit too cold.