I wasn’t even going to write this post today. I wasn’t going to blog at all. In fact, I was going to throw in my blogging towel today and use my get-out-of-jail-free card in the face of general exhaustion, a second round of fever and vomiting sweeping my household, lack of an interesting topic, and enough time or indeed creative inspiration to find one. With disappointment and frustration breathing down my neck, and after conferring with my ever-wise and compassionate twin sister, I vowed to let it go and try again next week.
But then I decided that y’all really needed to know about this.
The show runs for two days and provides local Camellia enthusiasts the chance to enter prize blooms for judging, viewing or simply geeking-out on flowers of every size and variety imaginable. It’s free to the public and I’d never been; and seeing as the Camellia is Sacramento’s iconic flower (we are “the camellia capital” after all) with everything from schools to orchestras to dry cleaners named after it, well I just had to see what all the fuss is about.
[ insert sound of crickets chirping here ]
I certainly don’t want to come off all ‘Debbie Downer Does The Flower Show’ or anything but I have to say that at first impression the event seemed kind of like a snooze-fest. Perhaps I’m not the right age bracket to truly enjoy the whole flower show thing anyway? While I loved the seeing flowers up close I couldn’t really get with the “conceptual floral art arrangements” or the plain-air “paint in” being held, wherein folks could come set up an easel and make artworks on site using the plethora of gorgeous floral subjects. It all did seem slightly awkward.
However, I really did enjoy seeing all the specimens of Camellias and the variation in color and size and petal pattern. Some were as large and gaudy as a tropical Hibiscus flower. Some were teeny little boutineer-sized buds in deep burgundy, about as masculine as this flower can get.
The day I visited the winners had already been announced. There were awards in divisions such as “Best Miniature” with a single bloom displayed, or “Best Tray, Large to Very Large Japonica” for multiple blooms off of one cultivar. With the number the entries on the tables that had not even made it up to the Winner’s Circle, one can only surmised that there must be some serious intrigue and behind the scenes drama in Camellia world. Whowinswhatwhy?
Or maybe not.
Besides, everyone involved in the Camellia Society that I happened to talk to was exceeding nice and helpful. I learned how to control and treat the petal blight that causes the browning of camellia flowers. I was encouraged to join the Floral Design Guild who is “always looking for new members”. I overheard some hip(ish) looking ladies discussing the tricks of displaying single buds to best appeal to the eye. Fascinating.
I mean, who am I to judge?
But it was upon returning home and looking through the pictures I had snapped, that I really realized why I ought to blog about this:
Because these are some seriously beautiful flowers.
The perfect design of the petals. The palette of pinks, reds and whites. The classic old fashioned varieties next to the tawdry modern hybrids. All together in one place – pretty cool.
So thanks, 89th Annual Camellia Show, for being a bright colorful spot in my otherwise discouraging and flu-ridden day. I’ll be enjoying Camellia season here in Sacramento that much more for the next couple of weeks, having been reminded of the therapeutic balm of flowers and the inspiration (to blog) that they bring. Now that’s a gift.