A hellebore bloom.
Tiny cyclamen with petals that reach up toward the sky. A few muscari. Daffodils that are not quite blooming, but soon.
I have to look closely for these blooms. None of them are blooming in big enough swatches to make much of an impact, except on my anxious heart. Anxious for spring, I take pleasure in each of their tiny displays of longer days, warmer weather, and the approach of spring.
|Professor Charles Sargent camellia
But I have one plant that is not shy at all. He proudly proclaims his entrance into the coming spring. Waving from afar, his bright red blooms become the center of attention. "Forget those little blooms", he says. "I am the one you've been waiting for."
Like a Prince Charming that rides in on a horse, this plant has swept me off my feet. I almost swoon at the sight of his multi-petaled blooms. His arms are heavy from the weight of all the flowers he bears. Smaller blooms are easily forgotten as I adoringly look his way.
He is bold. His bright red blooms can be seen from across the garden.
He is shy. His boutonniere turns away from me, and blooms turn toward each other, or hide in his leaves.
He normally is a solid, tall, handsome evergreen. He seems content to live in the background of the garden, lost in the shadows. But as winter begins to fade, he morphs into a tender and passionate aficionado of spring. He will arrive to the spring celebration dressed to the nines. Oh, how I love a well-dressed gentleman!
I am infatuated. So infatuated by his captivating charm, I couldn't resist showing him off before his full display of blooms open. I can't wait until he opens up completely to me.
Let me introduce you. This is 'Professor Charles Sargent'. Named for an American botanist, Professor Charles Sargent is a japonica camellia that blooms in late winter or early spring. He will grow to the size of a small tree - around 20 ft, in zones 8 through 10. Like most camellias, he loves to grow in partial shade. But watch out - he will steal your heart!
Which plant infatuates you in spring?