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?
Oh my!!! He can have my heart! He is lovely!!! I liked how you described him as a well dressed gentleman!!! He sure is!!! Your garden is looking lovely Holley!!!ReplyDelete
I am so thrilled that spring is finally arriving! It's so exciting to go out and have blooms to see.Delete
Oh Holley, that camellia is just plain gorgeous! Right after roses camellias are my favorite plants and I feel so blessed to live in a climate where I can grow them outside as well. So naturally at this time of the year I am especially looking forward for my white 'Nuccio's Gem' camellias to bloom and I am very smitten by the pansies. They come in such a variety of color and are so cheerful, that if time and money would be no problem I could plant the whole garden with them.ReplyDelete
If I had a shady garden, I would have a garden full of camellias. I do love them. Although, they don't bloom as long as roses, and I have mostly sun in my garden. But I do love to see the camellias blooming!Delete
Those are some gorgeous blooms on your camellia. I can see how he can steal your heart. Love the hellebore bloom.ReplyDelete
I was thrilled to see the hellebore blooming, too. I just wish I didn't have to bend down so low to see it!Delete
Oh how I wish I were in a warmer, winter climate to have him.~~DeeReplyDelete
I feel very lucky to live in my climate. Warm enough for camellias, but cold enough for plants other than only cacti.Delete
Oh I am so jealous. If I were in a warmer climate, camellias would doubtless be enough to quiet the rosarian urge inside me.ReplyDelete
Yes, it is wonderful to have something blooming while the roses are dormant. Gives me something to look forward to each winter.Delete
for us the garden explodes in March, with the first rain. Exuberant March lilies!ReplyDelete
March is wonderful here, too - my garden is not quite exploding yet, except for a few plants like the Professor above. He is just the prelude!Delete
Wow!! This "gentleman" would certainly steal my heart! How absolutely beautiful (or should I say handsome) he is. You're so lucky to have a camellia that blooms this early. There are so many spring bloomers in my garden that steal my heart....I get so excited about every little bloom. But I have to say some of my Iris are just outstanding!!ReplyDelete
I love iris, too. Mine are just starting to bloom here and there -I'm waiting on a big show! I know what you mean about getting excited over every little bloom. The winter makes us appreciate even the little ones.Delete
We had a dusting of snow today. How lovely to already have flowers to enjoy.ReplyDelete
Oh, no! Snow! I hope you are safe and warm inside!Delete
What a handsome gentleman 'Professor Charles Sargent' is! I love camellias and if I had space for another one I would very much have liked to open my garden for this fellow! Great photos Holley, my own camellia is bursting with buds but with the cold weather we have had for weeks on end there is no sign of open flowers yet.ReplyDelete
Your camellia is gorgeous, Helene. Since I started planting camellias, I can't imagine having a garden without one!Delete
Irises and hellebores blooming at the same time! I have never seen that before. Your spring is so very different from anything I've seen. I'm infatuated with nursery catalogues right now and all the picture perfect goodies they are willing me to buy :) utterly irresistibleReplyDelete
Oh, yes, those catalogs certainly are irresistible. I look at the photos and imagine all those flowers in my own garden. If I had all the money in the world, my garden would look just like those they feature!Delete
This is wonderful! I miss the camellias I grew in SC. I love how deep red the petals are. I agree with Marguerite that I've never seen iris and hellebore bloom at the same time, either.ReplyDelete
I was hoping the hellebore would bloom a bit earlier. Perhaps it's because I don't cut off the leaves. Or perhaps it just blooms when it wants to - just like the iris! :)Delete
I have to buy camellia. I am reading too much about them. How much partial shade is good for camellia? Couple of hours of sun or no sun at all? Awesome writing and pictures. Learned a new word - boutonniereReplyDelete
A couple of hours of sun is wonderful, especially in the winter. Ideally, they love to be around deciduous trees, where they have the shade in the summer, and sun in the winter. But, I don't have that situation very much here, so I plant mine anywhere I have mostly shade - as long as the sun is not in the late afternoon. This one is actually planted on the north side of my house, so it gets very little to no sun. And, sasanquas can take more sun than japonicas. Anywhere a hydrangea will work, it will probably be fine for a camellia. I hope that helps! Good luck with yours! They are worth finding a spot for!Delete
I love all the blooms but it is the wonderful smell of hyacinths and masses of grape hyacinths that make me swoon...well until something else blooms...ReplyDelete
I love those too, but like you say - until something else blooms! We gardeners sure are fickle! :)Delete
Camellias are a pefect reason for us northern gardeners to install a cool greenhouse. My garden is currently covered in two feet of snow so nothing is blooming but it won't be long...ReplyDelete
Oh, yes, I believe if I lived up north, I would have to have a greenhouse - filled with camellias! Hope your snow melts soon!Delete
Camelias are one of the things in the south that I am envious of. I should look into hardy Camelias, I here there are some that will make it in a sheltered spot in zone 5. Maybe right by the south side of the house...ReplyDelete
There are some that are more cold hardy now. I don't know much about them, but I think they would definitely be worth checking out! Good luck!Delete
This is a really beautiful Camellia. I have some in my garden too, but they are not yet so far, we have again snow and it's - 2 degr. It is a long way to a bit of spring.ReplyDelete
Brrr! I hope your camellias bloom soon - and that you have an early spring!Delete
How I would like to plant camellia in my garden, but....it isn't in Texas :0)ReplyDelete
Have a nice week!
It's all a trade off, isn't it? I get to have camellias, but there are plants that won't take our heat here, so we each have our own beauties.Delete
I once again, am missing the Camellias of White Rock, they could be counted on to bloom in early February without fail.ReplyDelete
Love your little guy, he is sweet.
It is nice to have camellias blooming. It really does calm the itch of wanting something - anything - to bloom!Delete
My my, he is a dapper gentleman! Absolutely captivating, and I wish I could have me one! Thanks so much for stopping my blog today, it is indeed a treat to have a new visitor! Thank you! Cheers~ReplyDelete
I am sorry you are still snowed in. I have never liked a long winter, and as I get older, I like cold even less! (Not whining, really!)Delete
I've a feeling you'd fall for any dapper dan who stopped by in formal attire in February. Of course, so would I so we're in the same boat there. It's nice that you have this handsome gentleman in red just in time for Valentines Day!ReplyDelete
You are right- I would fall for anyone with a bloom on! :)Delete
I love the red color of your "Professor". I have a red camellia of unknown idenity that looks similar. Could be kin! It is covered in buds this year. Do you ever disbud yours? I remember reading years ago that it's a good idea to disbud some of the buds so that you get larger flowers. And I have just read that it helps to prevent branches from breaking if they get too heavy with so many flowers. I love camellias for their late winter blooms, but what I really look forward to is when the clematis bloom. I'm always grateful and surprised that they have survived my pruning!ReplyDelete
I love every bloom so I don't disbud. Although, when mine grows a bit taller, and if his boughs were in jeopardy of breaking, I would, I suppose. But still reluctantly!Delete
But they're blooming! Lucky you! Some of the spring flowers that infatuate me are Magnolias, Bloodroot, Trilliums, and Crocuses. I can't wait!ReplyDelete
I keep looking for my crocuses, but for some reason, they are not showing themselves. I hope they will come out and play eventually!Delete
Camellias are one of my favorite plants. Yours is beautiful! I planted red camellias last year and I'm still waiting for them to bloom. I will do a camellia post when they do.ReplyDelete
I hope yours bloom beautifully this year. They get better with age!Delete
Heart stolen by Mr. Charming-Sargent! Now that's the way to announce the arrival of spring, just beautiful!ReplyDelete
I'm quite taken with him! I wondered if he would go well with all the other pastels of spring, but he fits in just fine!Delete
Such vivid colour - not exactly shy, is he! For me Spring is about daffodils. or maybe hellebores. Or is it crocuses. iris reticulata? Fat buds on a magnolia? Nope, sorry, can't narrow it down...ReplyDelete
I don't think it's really spring until the daffodils and irises start blooming.Delete
Your iris are already blooming? My that seems early to me. Of course I am thinking of late February in San Antonio when the cemetery iris start to bloom. I need to get some iris in the loft garden. I can grow that in this plot. (I still am in love with your camellias, though.)ReplyDelete
Just an iris or two so far. In a couple of weeks, I'm hoping they will all be in bloom! These are cemetery irises - Love them!Delete
Love the red...I bought Alabama beauty camellias and I thought that it read "red" but they turned out pink....albeit bright and beautiful but still pink...so loving the red that I wish I hadReplyDelete
Isn't that frustrating when you think red, and it comes out pink - or vice versa? Garden marketers are the worst - especially about the word "blue"!Delete
I just met the Professor at the Massee Lane Gardens during their Festival of Camellias. I too fell head over heels in love. Must invite him to live in my garden!ReplyDelete
So glad you've met! I hope he moves right in with you! :)Delete
Most of the professors I know wear tweed (with little elbow patches) -- they aren't nearly as dashing as Prof. Sargent!ReplyDelete
This one really is quite debonaire! All the girls want to be in his class!Delete
Something with seasons is wonderful. For my world, we have hibiscus that is the best the whole year round...ReplyDelete
Nothing infactuating except Valentine is just round the corner.. :)
Hibiscus are so beautiful, I would be quite infatuated if I could grow them year round!Delete
I have this same camellia but I didn't know its name. Right now I have a pink one that is blooming its little heart out. The tree is loaded with blooms.ReplyDelete
I love to see tree-size camellias. Mine will be a tree some day, but right now it would only be classified as a bush! :)Delete