Mid-February, Briefly Feeling Lucky

NC Botanical Garden

NC Botanical Garden

On Friday, to celebrate Darwin Day, my husband and I attended a lunchtime lecture entitled “The Evolution Of Biodiversity: History or Science” at the North Carolina Botanical Garden.

Charles Darwin, circa 1871, by Oscar Gustave Rejlander (1813-1875)

Charles Darwin, circa 1871, by Oscar Gustave Rejlander (1813-1875)

There were snow flurries during the talk but by the time we walked to the car only the cold remained.

We did not take time to explore the garden that day, but as we hurried back to the parking lot, we admired the light on the grasses fronting the parking spaces.

NC Botanical Garden

NC Botanical Garden

NC Botanical Garden

NC Botanical Garden

Upon returning home I noticed a camellia on the side of the house was blooming. It has been too cold. How is that possible? Well, the days are lengthening and, before it turned cold this week, it actually had been very warm.  Three flowers were open. Because of cold weather this camellia failed to bloom at all last winter. Tonight’s low is predicted to be 15°F.  Who is feeling lucky?

Camellia x 'Coral Delight'

Camellia x ‘Coral Delight’   Synonym: Camellia japonica x Camellia saluenensis

I have been taking this winter one day at a time. Even so, winter is passing by quickly. In a couple of weeks a friend and I will travel to Virginia for the hellebore festival at Pine Knot Farms.  Making plans around here in February is usually a sure-fire way to invite an ice storm into town, but definitely this year we are feeling lucky that we will make it.

Looking ahead, April is promising to be a great month. I already have tickets for some  Art In Bloom events at the North Carolina Museum of Art early in the month. The Chapel Hill Garden Club’s biennial spring garden tour takes place the last weekend in April, featuring seven private gardens. I am already signed up to be a garden guide at one of the gardens for the spring tour.

And, not everything special is a garden event. Also in April our daughter is coming to visit from the west coast.  March will be busy but I am feeling lucky.

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25 thoughts on “Mid-February, Briefly Feeling Lucky

  1. Pauline

    Your Camellia is beautiful, a sign that spring can’t be far away now! Is that a witch hazel in your first photo?
    It sounds as if you had a good day with your Darwin lecture and you have so many plans for the future organised – fantastic!

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks Pauline. I should have double-checked the name of that shrub but I believe it is a winterberry (Ilex verticillata). There are lots of red ones in this garden but I hadn’t noticed a yellow one before.

      Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thank you Brian. It is nice to have a few plans to look forward to. The temperatures have been springing wildly up, then down, so it will be interesting to see what does well this spring. Have a good day.

      Reply
  2. Cathy

    What a beautiful Camellia. A full schedule is the best way to get through winter. 😉 I will be glad when February is over… spring wants to come but now they are forecasting another cold spell here too.

    Reply
  3. Donna@Gardens Eye View

    I do wish we had some nice talks and distractions here to make winter go by faster…no luck. it is -20F and several days of snow now….too cold in fact to be outside more than 10 minutes without risking frostbite.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Wow Donna. -20F sounds ridiculously cold. We were at 15F last night and that’s way too cold for me. Snow is on the way tonight. Hope you can stay warm and busy until spring pulls us out of this.

      Reply
  4. Beth @ PlantPostings

    You have a cheery outlook. 🙂 It amazes me that Camellias bloom in such conditions! They are such amazing plants and the flowers are dreamy. Wish I could grow one here. I tried growing one in a pot, but failed. So I will appreciate them virtually through blogs like yours. I also enjoy the beauty of light filtering through grasses.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      The big fat camellia buds remaining on the bush are biding their time. It’s been in the 50s the past two days after all that ice on Monday, so there may be a few more blooms soon. I don’t have much shade so haven’t added more camellias (that have survived anyway). They are so tempting.

      Reply
  5. Annette

    Darwin was such a clever guy, bet your talk was interesting. I’m reading ‘The 6th extinction’ right now which is a great book and helps me through winter. Lovely camellia, I was very happy with how my sasanqua performed this winter.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      My husband is a big Darwin fan so we’ve attended these lectures the past 4-5 years. I think this was the 12th anniversary of the talks. This one was not particularly exciting, but we must show support.

      Reply
  6. bittster

    The camellia is just as beautiful in the garden, glad you were able to spare a few for the vase, I just wish there were a few hardy enough to make it up here!

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks. Camellias are ubiquitous around here, but I’m finding many are borderline hardy (zone 7b). The plant may survive but often the flowers are ruined. When they bloom thought they’re glorious.

      Reply

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