Not long ago, I wrote a post about how delightfully odd I am finding it to be not just tending the garden, but actually finding new growth — in the middle of fall and, now, winter. I’m not totally sure when people around here consider the start of winter; there are still golden and orange leaves on some trees, but we get a skim of ice on our ponds now, and we’re expecting snow this week. In Anchorage, my most recent home, and Northwestern Ontario and British Columbia, my childhood homes, we’d be well into winter now.
In any case, whatever the official season, we keep finding more examples. Yesterday Aaron came in from doing some yard work and announced that the big maple in the back has leaf buds. A few weeks ago, I discovered that my brand-new, freshly-planted grape hyacinths had popped up already. I see fresh young leaves on the unidentified shrub in front of our house.
Today I was taking the puppy out for a potty break and paused by the camellia behind our garage while I waited for him. And what did I see? Flower buds! They’re small and tightly furled, with no color showing, but they’re unmistakably flower buds. Amazing.
I don’t know what kind of camellia it is or when to expect blooms. I did a quick search of the Internet to make sure my plant hadn’t lost its mind and discovered that, indeed, some varieties bloom in winter, and some in spring. I suspect ours will flower in the spring. When we moved here at the end of April, the ground underneath it was littered with rotten-looking, unopened, coral-tipped buds. I’m hopeful that was a one-time problem and this spring’s flowers will succeed.