Pardon our silence, but Jaithan and I have been happily out and about in Southern California, lapping up the sun more than our computer screens. At the moment, we're in San Diego, where at last weekend's Home & Garden Show in Del Mar, everything turned up camellias.
With glossy green leaves and large, conspicuous blooms, camellias have an exotic sort of beauty, as though the gifted offspring of a peony and a begonia. They're a durable shrub, growing well in dappled shade with blooms ranging from pure white to dark red. For a no-fail centerpiece going down a table, I love floating them in pressed glass compotes of varying heights. These varieties are from a display of the San Diego Camellia Society at the garden show. I know my favorite; which is yours?