Monday, January 16, 2012

Empress of Winter

Camellia: Pink Perfection

The camellia season has begun, starting with a show at the Decanso Gardens. Over the next two months, nearly every weekend will feature a flower show somewhere in Southern California, from Kern County in the North to San Diego in the South and out in the Pomona Valley to the East. Yeah, we love our camellias out here in SoCal.

As a flower of Western fashion, the camellia was queen during the early to mid-19th century, but it fell out of favor in the late Victorian and Edwardian periods, leaving it with an "old-fashioned" reputation. For most of Europe and the USA, it still trails dahlias, orchids, roses, and tulips as symbols of glamour.

But California is a Pacific Rim civilization. As with the other great cultures along the Pacific, California recognizes within the camellia a special splendor, a floral elegance both refined and bold.

Camellia: Tama Peacock

And that's why we are blessed with two months full of camellia celebrations. ;-)

But, although I'll be visiting many a show, we aren't transforming Paideia into a Camellia blog. I'll try to keep a healthy mix of flowers going for our Friday showcase.

Here are some more flowers:

Camellia: Bunny Ears

Camellia: Debutante

Camellia: Wild Fire

Camellia: Cupcake

Camellia: Water Lily

And here are a few vids:

Photos set to Beethoven's Fur Elise

"Passacaglia" from La Dame aux Camelias (1981) by Ennio Morricone

Lady of the Camellias ballet featuring Lucia Lacarra


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