Both of my grandmothers were huge fans of Camellias. Regrettably, the huge pink camellia that once belonged to my father’s mother at the house they currently live in is no longer alive. My mother told me that Mama Parkee was continuously rooting pieces of that bush for people. A ten gallon aquarium use to sit on top of the television when she was alive. Momma said she would walk outside, break off a limb, toss it in the aquarium as she walked by and it would root every single time. I wish I had a piece of that old bush, but it’s too late now.
Some of you have heard me tell this story before, but I’m going to repeat it since it’s blooming now. My grandmother on my mother’s side passed away about six years ago. Her estate was liquidated and the house was sold. My grandmother loved her flowers and she loved to work in the yard. Before the house was sold I went down there to see if there were any small plants I wanted to dig up to place in my own garden. Right before she passed my grandmother had rooted a piece of one of her Camellias. It was barely six inches tall and if I remember right, may have had a total of five leaves on it. I dug it up and brought it home to plant in my garden. Year after year I watched it inch up in height. After about the third year, it began to get buds but they would never open and they always fell off the bush. I now know that is the nature of Camellias, the first three or four years after they are rooted they don’t usually have the strength to support blooms so they never open and simply fall off. Last year for the first time, it finally rewarded me with blooms and this year it has started again. It’s about 3 feet tall and wide now. Here is a picture of one of the blooms, but I have no idea what kind it is.
Judy, my garden buddy next door has Camellias planted in her yard too. Following in my grandmother’s footsteps I’ve decided to attempt to root a piece of Judy’s camellia. I’ll keep you posted on the progress. If I’m successful in my attempt, we will be adding this unknown beauty to our garden somewhere. Although I was just a small boy when Parkee’s Camellia was alive, I’m pretty certain it was the same one, so I’m really hoping I can do this.