Monday, December 29, 2008

The White Camellia

My grandmother was planting camellias in her garden long before I was born, probably before my own mother was born. Transplants from Kansas and Nebraska, my grandparents bought about ten acres of land along the St. Johns River in the 1920's.

In 1932 or so, the real house my grandfather built was finished. Before that they had lived in a single room apartment over the garage and before that they had lived in small wooden cabin. There have been many improvements and changes to the house since the building contractor retired and moved into the house where his wife grew up.

The features we expect in a home now a days are quite different than what was expected in a home in 1932.

The back part of the garden was sold off recently, joined to the back part of my great aunt's property next door and turned into an office condo complex. A long time ago my grandfather actually farmed the land my grandmother had not claimed for her three acre garden. They had sold this farmed portion of the land long before I was born. What they kept was the house and my grandmother's huge garden. This was the garden I knew a a child.

This is the garden that has now shrunk from three acres to a bit over one as my parents have subdivided and sold a piece of it on each side of them. Still this aging garden is almost too much to maintain. The comfort it continues to give can't be replaced though. Even in it's vine encrusted condition, a gardener's will is one of optimism and perseverance.

A maple tree in Florida contemplates fall, while camellias gather steam to bloom in profusion.

The white camellia bloomed for me this morning

before I headed further south to the town where I grew up.


Lisa at Greenbow said...

Thank you for taking us down memory lane with you. You were blessed with this beautiful camillia blossom.

Frances said...

Talk about gardening genes, you've got them in every fiber of your being! The white camellia shot is ethereal.

lola said...

I am so glad the white Camellia bloomed for you before you leave. Sometimes it's sad to have to give up things that you love so much. I hope that your grandparents enjoy their garden for many years to come. Your parents as well.
Do be safe on your travels. Have a great time.

chuck b. said...

Will you be able to propagate or divide some of these legacy plants for your new garden?

Camellias are wonderful. They don't really get started around here for a month.

Siria said...

Hi Christopher! That is a wonderful story and you are so fortunate to still have that home and garden to enjoy. Childhood memories .... So glad that camellia bloomed for you before you left. Have a wonderful time away. Happy New Year!

lisa said...

I'm catching up but had to comment on such a beautiful story! Very cool to have access to a place with so much family history. Happy (belated) New Year!!