Part of taking possession of a house, for me, is figuring out where and what everything is. That includes identifying all the plants and trees, and learning how to best care for them.
I was channeling middle school biology class looking at pictures of leaves and determining whether they were ovate or pinnate. Everything is so much easier when you have a flower to look at, but it wasn’t going to be that easy for me.
The first challenge were the two thin, vase-like ornamental trees in front. I thought, “they’re like crepe myrtle but there are no flowers; all the other crepe myrtle in town are blooming.” Two or three weeks later, they bloomed, and my suspicions were confirmed. Though, why they took their time is still a mystery.
The next was the flowerless, leather-leafed bush in back. It was especially difficult to track down but eventually I figured it might be a camellia. I would have to wait until it bloomed to tell for sure, and last week, it did just that.
Camellia, also known as the rose of winter, is an evergreen shrub native to China, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea. It flowers in late fall, when so many other shrubs and perennials have gone dormant, even in Florida.