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Sunday, September 29, 2013

Garden fairies and raindrops

Columbine in the spring.
I've recently discovered the source of the various powers that garden fairies seem to have.  Having this knowledge has given me greater appreciation for rainy days and for having a variety of flowers blooming in my garden.

I have somewhat been sworn to secrecy as to where I obtained this knowledge, I made it up, so all I can say is you can believe me or not. If you choose not to believe me, I will harbor no ill-will against you, though I'd be careful in your garden the next time it rains.

And for good measure, just in case, be sure and plant a variety of flowers throughout your garden.

Where to begin?

Let's begin with the overall concept.  It seems that garden fairies receive their powers, of various and sundry types, by sitting and lying under flowers when it rains, waiting for droplets to form on the petals and slowly let go, falling straight onto the garden fairies' tongues and into their mouths.

The power the garden fairies receive depends on the type of flower.

For example, garden fairies get their power to flit about and sometimes fly from raindrops that fall from Aquilegia or Columbine blooms.  Aquilegia, as you know is derived from the Latin word for eagle, aquila, and columbine is derived from the Latin word for dove.  Most garden fairies need just one drop of rain from a columbine petal to be able to flit about for life.

The garden fairies get their ability to get out of thorny situations from the raindrops that fall from rose petals.  There has been more than one garden fairy who has had to go back for multiple raindrops from roses, as this power diminishes each time it is used.  During a gentle rain, it is almost always standing room only under any blooming rose.

Every garden fairy knows that a cure for most any type of sadness is to sit or lie under a sunflower in the rain and wait for a big drop of rain to hit them on the head and slowly drip down their face until they can stick out their tongue and swipe it into their mouth.  It's not easy to do, they say, but well worth the trouble.

When it comes to courage and strong hearts, the garden fairies look for droplets of rain falling from Digitalis, foxglove. They have to be very careful not to get too much of these droplets.

Many a garden fairy has found that the rain droplets from Galanthus, snowdrop petals help them stay warm through the final weeks of winter and in general help them wake up from winter, when they mostly slumber.

To ward off evil spirits, garden fairies prefer the raindrops that fall from the blooms and leaves of the witch hazels, Hamamelis.  This is one of the rare plants where the droplets of rain falling from the leaves can provide as much power as those from the blooms.

There are many other examples because most every flower is associated with a specific power that comes from the droplets of rain that fall from its blossoms.

As any garden fairy knows, the droplets have to fall right into their mouths to be effective.  Bottling up the raindrops causes them to lose all their special qualities and such bottles of raindrops are as worthless as a bottle of rain.

It is also commonly known that during periods of drought, droplets of water from sprinklers and irrigation systems will work, but are never quite as effective as actual raindrops.

I am pleased to pass along this knowledge made up stuff and hope that you will think of it the next time it is raining on your garden.  I hope you will remember that the rain is good for the plants, and is good for the garden fairies, too.

In any garden where there are flowers, if you go out in the rain, you will find garden fairies running, skipping, hopping and flitting from bloom to bloom, hoping to catch on the tips of their tongues, raindrops sliding off flower petals.

Garden Fairies Discuss Restorative Power of Goldenrod Raindrops

Garden fairies here.

We are garden fairies and we are taking over this blog once again because we feel obligated and inclined to comment on recent events regarding the discovery by Carol of the  Secret Diary of a Garden Fairy.

We garden fairies normally post in the evening, but it is raining this morning so we thought we would come in where it is dry and take over the laptop while Carol is off reading something called Agatha Christie mysteries featuring Miss Jane Marple.

Some of the garden fairies of course did not come in out of the rain because they are lying under the goldenrod trying to catch raindrops that drip down from the goldenrod flowers.  Such raindrops, when they drip off a goldenrod flower,  have restorative properties.  We garden fairies have waited quite some time for this rain, while there are still some blooms on the goldenrod, so it is not to be missed.

Restorative properties, you ask?  Oh, we are garden fairies and we can see your minds spinning.  The next thing you will ask is why don't you put some tubs under the goldenrod to catch the drops of rain coming off the goldenrod flowers and then bottle them and sell them if they have restorative properties.

We are garden fairies and we will tell you why would never put some tubs under the goldenrod to catch the drops of rain coming off the goldenrod flowers and then bottle them and sell them for their  restorative properties. It is not because we are lazy. Granny Gus McGarden down in the vegetable garden takes great offense to the idea that garden fairies are lazy, by the way, so don't say or even think that in her presence.

The reason we would never bottle up the raindrops that drip from the goldenrod flowers is because the raindrops lose all their restorative powers if they touch anything other than a garden fairy's tongue.

That is why on rainy mornings when the goldenrod is blooming, if you should care to go out in the rain and see for yourself, you'll find more than a few garden fairies lying beneath the goldenrod with their mouths open, waiting to catch just one restorative raindrop as it drips off the tip of the blooms.

Submitted by:
Violet Greenpea Maydreams, chief scribe and keeper of the Secret Diary of a Garden Fairy

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Secret Diary of a Garden Fairy - Shocking Excerpts

Now, where were we? Oh, yes, I remember.

A week or so  ago, I discovered the Secret Diary of a Garden Fairy  on the lawn, out in the open where anyone might pick it up.

I ignored the usual "do not read" blah-blah-blah warnings and read through quite a bit of, sharing some of the excerpts from the diary several days ago in a blog post.

There are so many excerpts to read. This diary must be over one hundred years old.

One of the entries was about some alyssum growing up through  a crack in the patio.  "Dear Diary, I think if a tiny itty-bitty alyssum seed manages to germinate in a crack in the patio, everyone ought to let it grow.  I think the gardener here agrees with me on that because she has done nothing to pull this one out, even though it is right where she sees it whenever she comes out here."

I began to think the diary was just going to be a mix of minutia and musings from a garden fairy when I found this entry.  "Dear Diary, I, Violet Greenpea Maydreams, have been asked to write a foreword for an actual book that people can buy.  This has never happened to a garden fairy as far as anyone in the garden fairy world knows. The book, Miniature Gardens: Design & Create Miniature Fairy Gardens, Dish Gardens, Terrariums and More-Indoors and Out by Katie Elzer-Peters (Cool Springs Press, March 15, 2014) doesn't come out until early next spring, but when it does come out it will have a foreword written by me, a garden fairy. I can hardly wait."

Ah ha! I thought. That's why Violet the garden fairy left her secret diary out in the open. She wanted me to find it, wanted me to read it, wanted me to find out she had written a foreword for a book and wanted me to share her big news with everyone by blogging about it.

I have no idea why she just didn't take over my blog and post this herself.  Regardless, I have fallen for her tricks and shared her big news.  I imagine that she is outside now, in a brand new aster petal skirt, wondering if I've shared her good news with everyone.

I'll bet she chose to make her skirt out of these asters, which are now covered with bees and butterflies.


I continued to read the diary, enjoying entry after entry. There is a lot there. Finally I found this entry;  "Dear Diary, I sure hope that if anyone ever finds my diary, they return it by leaving it at the base of the honeylocust tree. I would hate for it to get into the wrong hands."

I would also hate to see this diary in the wrong hands, so I took it outside earlier this evening and left it at the base of the honeylocust tree.

I hope Violet finds it later tonight, and I hope that someday she'll decide to leave it out for me again.  If she does, I'll read a few excerpts and share the best of them here on my blog.

The End... For Now



Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Secret Diary of a Garden Fairy - Excerpts

Garden Fairy Book
To catch everyone up, a few days ago I discovered the diary of a garden fairy.   Excuse me. It was actually titled Secret Diary of a Garden Fairy.

I looked for clues to determine whose diary it was and found written in the inside, "This garden diary belongs to Violet Greenpea MayDreams. All others keep out."

I assumed "all others" meant "all other garden fairies", so I began to read through it.  I'm not finished yet but here are a few excerpts.

Sometime in late summer...  "Dear Diary,  All seems quiet in the garden these days, and nights.  Well, all quiet except in the vegetable garden where Granny Gus McGarden has been up in arms over the state of the paths between the garden beds.  They were so weedy! She just didn't know what to do. Then one day Carol showed up with a cordless electric weed whacker thing and whacked all the weeds down. Granny has settled down since then but is a might worried about more weeds next spring."

Some other time in late summer... Dear Diary, We are all parched for a bit of rain.  Sweetpea MorningGlory said she was going to figure out how to turn on the faucet up by the house if Carol doesn't come out here and water."

Later just a few days before I found the diary... Dear Diary, I'm so excited that the asters are starting to bloom. I need a new skirt because this one made out of coneflower petals is just about shot for the season. When I get a new skirt made out of aster petals, I like to go around to the other garden fairies and say, "Does my aster look too big?"  Always good for a laugh.

Oh, and then there was this one... Dear Diary, Brrrr, it's starting to get colder at night. This means it is time for us garden fairies to make our way toward the house.  We need to escape to the inside where we'll spend the winter.  Most of us will gather in the sunroom, except when Carol puts up that tree with all the lights. 

Then there was this one... Dear Diary, I was chased by a rabbit today!  I stayed out too late in the morning one day and wouldn't you know it, as I was crossing the big green sea of grass, a rabbit saw me and gave chase. I'd been out all night helping to coax some toad lilies into bloom - there are a couple of tricks to it, so it isn't as easy as it sounds - and was in no mood to be chased. But I got away. I knew I would. 

But the most shocking entry of all...

To be continued...

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Garden Fairy's Diary Discovered

Today started out a bit overcast and cool.  Perfectly ordinary.  When I got up in the morning, I looked out about the garden and was pleased by how well it seemed to have responded to the rain from just a few days ago.

I decided as the clouds moved on and the sun came out that this should be a gardening day.  The garden was calling "weed me, weed me" and the birds sang it back to me in unison "weed it, weed it".

I was thinking I might weed.

I'll weed in due time, I thought. I'll put off weeding, and mowing, until tomorrow and instead work on the house plants, freshen them up a bit for the winter.   Yes, that's what I would do.

I took a little inventory around the sunroom and saw that more than a few houseplants had outgrown their containers. They looked like school kids in the fall trying to cram themselves into clothes they had just worn a few months earlier. How could they, and the plants, have grown so much?

Just outside the back door, I had a stash of containers and thought there was one there that I could use to "up pot" a particularly crowded-out plant.  I stepped out the door to look for the container.

Now, at this point, you might expect that I am going to say that I reached down for the container and noticed a bit of paper sticking out from under it. You are probably anticipating that when I pulled on the paper, I realized it was an entire book, a diary of some sort.

No, that's not how I discovered the garden fairy's diary.   Close.  I didn't actually find it under a container.   I actually found it because someone had left it out in the open where anyone would find it.  I didn't see it at first, of course, because it had a dark green cover on it and blended in with the grass.

But then I literally tripped over it while walking across the lawn.

A garden fairy's diary. I never knew that such a diary existed.

After I found it, I spent quite a bit of time reading it, looking for clues as to whose diary it was.  I found the clue I was looking for right inside the front cover.  There on the right hand page, someone had written "This garden diary belongs to Violet Greenpea MayDreams. All others keep out."

By "all others", I assumed Violet met "all other garden fairies".  Who wouldn't assume that?  So I did not keep out and began to read, "Dear Diary..."   

What I read after that was shocking, and illuminating, all at the same time.  In the very first entry, Violet revealed...

To be continued.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Don't even think...

Don't even think that as soon as fall arrives in the garden this Sunday you'll make a hasty retreat and head inside to think about Thanksgiving turkeys and Christmas celebrations.

This is no time to give in and call it quits in the garden until next spring.

If you call it quits in the garden now, you won't have a spring with all kinds of pretty spring flowers. Your flower borders will be a mess of weeds and plant debris and faded floral flotsam. You will miss out on a great season to plant trees and shrub.

You are a real gardener. You just march yourself right back out to your garden this fall and start planting.  Shrubs, trees, bulbs. Now is the time to plant them.  Now.

And while you are out there, you need to weed, edge those borders one last time and apply a new layer of mulch to the garden.   Now.

And if it doesn't rain enough, you need to water those newly planted shrubs so they aren't thirsty all winter. Now.

Henry Mitchell said it best in The Essential Earthman“… but fall--not spring—is the great planting season for woody things. If, in other words, you had thought of lolling in the warm weekends admiring the chrysanthemums and the dogwoods turning red, congratulating yourself perhaps that the weeds are losing heart, let me cheerfully remind you that you should be exhausted (not lolling) since this is the busiest of all the garden seasons."

It's almost fall. Everyone out to the garden, now. Times a-wastin'! Now. Don't come in until winter!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Floral Flotsam

I have finally come across a phrase to describe those blooms that hang on well past their season or show up after their season is over.

Floral flotsam.

The season for these blooms, this flotsam of the garden, has sailed away, leaving them to hang on for as long as they are able.

In the early summer, there is not much floral flotsam left over from spring. Or perhaps there is some floral flotsam among the tulips and we are just too busy with all the other blooms that seem to come in rapid succession to notice them?

 Most assuredly in early fall, we can find floral flotsam throughout the garden.

We hardly notice it at times, we are so used to seeing these blooms.

But it is there, exposed as leaves die back.
I went out to the garden early one evening a day or so ago to look for floral flotsam. I found a few blooms from summer, but not as much as I would have hoped to find. Perhaps there will be more, or perhaps this dry spell has wiped away even the floral flotsam of the garden?

I will look again in a few days, perhaps after we've received some much needed rain. It's in the forecast. We'll see and hope.

In the meantime, we have what we have around the garden, floral flotsam.  A bit out of season, but a reminder that every season leaves something behind when it moves on, a remembrance, a bit of debris, some floral flotsam.



Sunday, September 15, 2013

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - September 2013

Solidago shortii 'Solar Cascade' and Aster 'Purple Dome'
Welcome to Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day for September 2013.

Here in my USDA Hardiness Zone 6a garden in central Indiana, the last few days have finally felt like fall, with crisp, cool mornings and nice breezes.

Before that we experienced, within the last week, near record and record-high temperatures in the 90's (Fahrenheit).  In the last 45 days or so, we have also received little to no rain, and this was after a summer that was doing so well, with moderate temperatures and rain when we needed it.

But we must grow our gardens with whatever Mother Nature provides for us and this dry spell is nothing compared to last year's record-setting drought.

In my garden, the goldenrod, Solidago shortti 'Solar Cascade' is in full bloom and the first blooms of Symphyotrichum novae-angliae 'Purple Dome' (formerly known by the much more easily remembered name, Aster) are just starting to reach their crescendo.

Nearby another aster, Symphyotrichum novae-angliae 'Alma Poetschke', blooms.
Symphyotrichum novae-angliae 'Alma Poetschke'
Across the way, in the garden border I refer to as Plopper's Field, where flowers are plopped in wherever there seems to be an open spot, another Aster, alsoo Symphyotrichum novae-angliae, is just starting to bloom.
Symphyotrichum novae-angliae
This aster is a passalong plant from my Aunt Marjorie, who died almost three years ago.  She told me that she had once given some of these asters to my Dad, but he thought they were too messy for his garden so he didn't keep them. They are not too messy for me.

I also call them by another well-known common name, Michaelmas Daisies, because they should be in full bloom around the Feast of St. Michael the Archangel, September 29th.

Back across the garden, marking the entrance to the path I call Ridgewood Avenue (do you know why I call it that?), another late blooming perennial, Hylotelephium telephium, which you probably know as Stonecrop or Tall Sedum or Sedum telephium, is blooming.
Hylotelephium telephium
I have a couple more patches of Tall Sedum in a few other spots in the garden, too, because once you have a little of it, you have a lot of it. It is easy to dig up and divide.

The rest of the garden is dotted with the floral flotsam of summer, blooms that have been hanging around, through the dry spell, providing bits of color here and there.

One such piece of floral flotsam is the ever-blooming Sunny Knock Out® Rose (Rosa  'Radsunny').
Sunny Knock Out® Rose (Rosa  'Radsunny')
Another bloom that has lingered from August is Lo & Behold® 'Blue Chip' Buddleia.  I have six of these low growing butterfly bushes planted on both sides of my front walkway.
Lo & Behold® 'Blue Chip' Buddleia
They are covered with butterflies and bees.  When I walk up the front walkway, those pollinators all scatter, probably scolding me as they go. But if I stop and stand there for just a few seconds, they all come flying back and I am surrounded by them. I am tempted to get a cushion and just plop myself down on the front walk to see the show of pollinators. It would be better than anything on TV.

But before I do such a thing, I have just one question to ask.

What's blooming in your gardening on this mid-September day?

I would love to have you tell me about your blooms and invite you to join in for Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day to do so.

It’s easy to participate and all are invited!

Just post on your blog about what is blooming in your garden on the 15th of the month and leave a comment to tell us what you have waiting for us to see so we can pay you a virtual visit. Then put your name and the url to your post on the Mr. Linky widget below to make it easy to find you.

“We can have flowers nearly every month of the year.” ~ Elizabeth Lawrence







Thursday, September 12, 2013

Weeding: A series of minor victories

Not bindweed, probably morning glory
"Miss Marple bent down on the terrace outside the french window and dealt with some insidious bindweed. It was only a minor victory, since beneath the surface the bindweed remained in possession as always. But at least the delphiniums knew a temporary deliverance." ~ Agatha Christie in Sleeping Murder.

A minor victory, a temporary deliverance, that's what weeding really is, isn't it? 

We pull the weeds. For a brief time, the garden looks well-kept, as though a gardener tends it.

We turn our backs.  The weeds grow.  They were never really gone. Beneath the surface, they waited.

We pull the weeds.

Once we accept that weeds have possession of the garden, life in the garden improves immensely, doesn't it?


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

"It's gardening that's needed here..."

Just some pretty flowers from before it dried up here.
Earlier this summer I started reading mysteries by Agatha Christie, particularly those that feature Miss Jane Marple as the detective/sleuth/mystery solver.

I was lured into reading the first Miss Jane Marple mystery, Nemesis, by a co-worker who said I should read it because it involved a garden tour.

As though my criteria for whether or not I read a book, any book, is whether or not it involves something gardening related? (Absolutely!)

I took the bait and accepted the suggestion to read Nemesis. I did enjoy it as it did involve a garden tour.

Then I received a second suggestion to read Sleeping Murders because this also involved a garden of sorts.

At this point, I realized I had read the last two Agatha Christie mysteries featuring Miss Jane Marple. That seemed a bit incomplete to me, so I started reading all of them, this time reading them in chronological order. (No, not all at once, one at a time.)  So far, I've read The Murder at the Vicarage, The Body in the Library, and The Moving Finger and am currently reading A Murder is Announced.

I've been stuck on the last book, A Murder is Announced, for several weeks. Or rather I paused my reading of it to read Tell About Night Flowers: Eudora Welty's Gardening Letters 1940-1949 edited by Julia Eichelberger.

Halfway through reading Tell About Night Flowers I wanted to grow camellias, at least one or three, even though they are not hardy here.  In fact, over the weekend, I put three camellias in an online cart and almost hit the "buy" button.  But I didn't. I decided if I still have a hankering for camellias in the spring, I'll buy one or three then. (An open invitation to southern gardeners to convince me to at least try to grow a camellia or three!)

Having finished reading Tell About Night Flowers, I am back to reading A Murder is Announced. It has a few nice quotes about gardening and gardeners in it.  All the Miss Jane Marple murder mysteries seem to have nice quotes about gardening in them.

There's this one: "...remember that an elderly unmarried woman who knits and gardens is streets ahead of any detective sargeant."  Well, now. I just need to first get a little, really a lot older and second learn to knit and I'll be able to solve all the mysteries in my neighborhood.

And this one:  "But it's gardening that's needed here. And that isn't learned in a day. Gardening, that's what this place needs."

Isn't that the perfect line to use when someone asks you, a gardener, to look over their yard and tell them what to do with it? They want it to be a nice garden, right now.  Just place your hands on your hips and state loudly, "it's gardening that's needed here.  And that isn't learned in a day."  Then they'll know there are no quick fixes when it comes to a messed up yard.  "it's gardening that's needed here..."

There are more quotes related to gardening throughout the Agatha Christie mysteries feature Miss Jane Marple. But that's enough for one post. I'm going back to reading now, reading all about how Miss Jane Marple solves mysteries, while knitting and of course, gardening.

"It's gardening that's needed here."

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Garden fairies rescue a bee

Garden fairies here.

We are garden fairies and we think that Carol is just using us to tell about what's really going her at May Dreams Gardens when what's going on involves her and something she has gone and done and she won't tell about it.

We are collecting evidence now to see if this is the case, but we really do believe that is what is going on.

However, that is not going to stop us from telling about what happened today in the garden when our own Buzz Honeycrisp, a well known bee whisperer amongst us garden fairies, rescued a bee right here in this garden.

What happened was that Carol planted three Lo & Behold® 'Blue Chip' buttefly bushes on one side of her front walk and planted three more Lo & Behold® 'Blue Chip' butterfly bushes on the other side of her front walk.

This means, of course, that when they are in full bloom, like they are now, they are covered with bees and butterflies and other pollinators and many of these pollinators, especially the bees, do not appreciate when people walk up and down the front walk disturbing them, like Carol seems to do. Geez, can't she just go one place and stay there?

Apparently not.  Today when she was mowing her front lawn she decided to mow up and down, from the street up to the front walk and then back down to the street and then up toward the front walk, and the butterfly bushes, and then down to the street again.  

Well, we are garden fairies and the few of us that were around today when she was doing this noticed that at one point one of the bees seemed to have had enough of Carol's nonsense and followed her down to the street. 

We are garden fairies and we saw Carol try to wave the bee away but it came back so she waved again and it came back a second time. Well next thing we know, we thought Carol was going to swat the bee and we were going to having another stinging situation on our hands like that time when she tried to destroy a nest of German Yellow Jacket which resulted in the German Yellow Jacket Stinging Incident of 2007.

Then there was the other time when Carol was mowing and  she actually was stung by a European Paper Wasp.  She thought that was unfair, as we recall, because she had done nothing to provoke the wasps, except mow near their nest or hive or whatever you call that place where they all go and lay eggs and multiply. 

Well, we are garden fairies and we were determined that there would not be a stinging incident today, so we sent Sweetpea Morningdew to go wake up Buzz Honeycrisp so he could talk the bee out of stinging Carol. 

Buzz was not too pleased to be awakened mid-day like that, but he did his duty and went and whispered to the bee and got it to calm down and leave Carol alone. By the time he did this, she had already moved away from the butterfly bushes anyway, so who knows if we really needed Buzz. But it was good to have him help, regardless, and it probably saved that bee's life because Carol looked like she was swatting to kill.

Anyway, we are garden fairies and we help how we can, whether it is by whispering to bees to leave Carol alone or by doing other various and sundry other things around this garden, which we will not go into at this time because we are garden fairies and we do not like to brag.

However, we thought you should know why Carol was waving her arms around while mowing, in case anyone happened to see such a thing.

Submitted by
Violet Greenpea Maydreams, Chief Scribe and Head Bee Watcher for the Garden Fairies at May Dreams Gardens.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Summer wanes and fall waxes

August Dreams Border in bloom in early September
There's still many a grand display left in this garden, even as summer wanes and fall waxes.

Here Solidago shortti, 'Solar Cascade' blooms with Boltonia asteroides 'Snowbank' in the August Dreams garden border, just as planned.

It's like flower fireworks, right in my own garden.

I will enjoy it while I can.  After all, summer wanes and fall waxes.

Sunday, September 01, 2013

I never cared about Camellias until...

This is NOT a camellia, it is a rose.
I never cared about Camellias until I started reading Eudora Welty's gardening letters (Tell About Night Flowers: Eudora Welty's Gardening Letters, 1940-1949, edited by Julia Eichelberger).

I thought I knew all I needed to know about them. My daily iced green tea is made from the leaves of Camellia sinensis  and those grown for the flowers, generally Camellia japonica, are not hardy here.

Not hardy here.  Camillias are generally hardy in Zones 7 through 9.  I am in Zone 6a, formerly Zone 5b. Not hardy here, still.   I did a search online and found that people are attempting to grow them in Zone 6b, but did I mention how much fussing and coddling Eudora Welty seems to have done with her camellias, and she lived in Mississippi in a zone where they are hardy?

They seem like such touchy plants.  Any sudden changes in temperatures, watering conditions, humidity or whatever and the Camellias sulk and drop their flower buds.  And they don't like to be moved. But they are a long-lived shrub, apparently. I only know that from what I read.

Eudora did send a potted camellia to her literary agent in New York and often wrote him asking how it was doing.   She wrote in one letter, after he wrote telling her how sickly looking his camellia was, "The camellia sounds awful! Did I warn you, I should have, that if it arrived with the ball of earth cracked or disturbed, to send it right back? You read about plants "resenting" being disturbed, or even "highly resenting" but that is pale beside what camellias feel -- they all but put an arm out and hit you if the ball is disturbed and if it breaks that is fatal."
 
I only know what I read but grown inside, camellias seems to also attract every known insect that attacks indoor plants - aphids, white flies, scale, mites, and mealybugs.  Plus, see above about not liking any sudden changes in watering, humidity, or growing conditions in general.  One week of forgetting to water and the camellia would sulk and drop its flower buds.

Fussy!

I have the good sense to know that in my sunroom, a camellia wouldn't last long.  See above about sudden changes in watering, etc.

But I keep reading Tell About Night Flowers and Eudora keeps mentioning camellias. So I keep thinking maybe I should try to grow a camellia. Maybe.  I keep thinking that those flowers must be something special for all the fussing and fuming and coddling Eudora and others seem to have done to get their camellias to bloom.

Maybe I should give one a try.  Just one.  Inside.  Or outside? Maybe.