Friday, February 27, 2009
Spring always reminds me of Dad and his camellias. Papa had over 200 hundred camellias when we moved from Atlanta to Monroe. A lot of them were in cedar tubs. These were the cedar tubs with eight sides and two metal bands around them, depending on the size of the tub. I believe the metal was brass. Every Sunday when the camellias were blooming, Dad would pick camellias for each of his girls and all of our Sunday School teachers. He would put florist wire through the stems, and then wrap the wire with florist tape. We would proudly wear our camellias and our teachers were thrilled to receive their flowers. When the tea olive (osmanthus fragrans) was blooming, we would get tiny bouquets pinned to our dresses.
Dad loved to work with his camellias. I can still see him, sitting in the backyard, grafting and air-layering the camellias. He grew many seedlings that over the years became quite large. There ended up being about a 20 x 20, 40 x 40? foot area in the backyard with large camellias that Dad had grown from seedlings.
Of course, his favorite place to get camellias was from Nuccio's in Altadena, Ca. If you are ever in the Pasadena area, it is a must see. Cliff took me there twice while we were in California for his prostate cancer treatment at Loma Linda. Julius Nuccio was kind enough to take us 'behind the scene', to see their operation.