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Garden Photo of the Day

Love at First Bloom

Camellia japonica ‘Covina’

Today we have a love story from Irvin and Pauline. Once upon a time, there was a camellia…

"With this GPOD entry we want to share the delightful beauty of our camellias. Here in Carmichael California, a suburb of Sacramento, spring-like weather has awakened the delicate beauty of camellia plant blossoms in our garden. During a walk through the garden it becomes evident why Sacramento is known as the “Camellia Capital”. These evergreen, drought tolerant plants once established, bloom from late fall through early spring. If grown outdoors they prefer zone 7 to 10. There is even an Ice Angels® series, which are hardy to minus 10 degrees. 

Our passion for camellias arises from our teenage high school and university years (1948-53) when I would present my girlfriend, now my wife, with a camellia corsage for our dance date. They continue to bring back those wonderful moments. The camellias seen in this GPOD entry were grown from seedpods, which Pauline gathered in 1960’s from the California State Capital gardens."

Have a garden you'd like to share? Please email 5-10 photos (and a brief story about your garden) to GPOD@taunton.com, or tag your photos on Instagram or Twitter with #FineGardening!

Whether you've never shared before or you've been featured multiple times, we want to see your garden! You don't have to be a professional garden photographer – check out our garden photography tips!

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Camellia japonica ‘Adolphe Audusson’

Camellia japonica ‘Rosa Maggle’

Camellia japonica ‘Pink Perfection

Camellia japonica ‘Dixie’

Camellia japonica ‘Coquettii’ 

Camellia sasanqua ‘Northern Exposure'

View Comments


  1. wGardens 02/26/2016

    Oh, my. Just superb! And so wonderful that they were grown from collected seedpods. Even more special, that it is something that you've shared for so many years. Such beautiful photos~ And a lovely story! Thank you for sharing!

  2. User avater
    meander1 (Michaele ) 02/26/2016

    I cannot get enough of pictures of your garden or of the memories you are willing to so generously share. The variety in your camilla collection is so impressive...each bloom is lovely in color and shape. Is is possible that you have a favorite? or, like with one's own children, each is a favorite for different reasons?

  3. diane_lasauce 02/26/2016

    Nice eye candy! Thanks for sharing!

  4. VikkiVA 02/26/2016

    Oh my stars! Love me some camellias. I only have two bushes and I think this years snow may have jinxed the buds on my japonica. :(. Your bushes are glorious! Vikki in VA

  5. greengenes 02/26/2016

    These truely are beautiful flowers! I like your story backing up your collection. There are so many beautiful ones! Up here in the northwest it is so rainy that sometimes it ruins a lot of the blooms. Down there where you live is perfect for them. Iam so glad you guys are getting some water! Thank you for sharing with us!

  6. Annek 02/26/2016

    When I see the names 'Irvin and Pauline' on GPOD, I know the content will be spectacular. Your camellias are gorgeous. Thanks for the tip on ice angels - I'll definitely be looking into that option

  7. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 02/26/2016

    I never tire of images from your garden, Irvin and Pauline. What a great story. Those camellias are a rich treasure for so many reasons. I am so jealous! I love them. I had a small hardy one in my garden, but a bitter winter did it in. I would say that Camellia "Pink Perfection" is perfection! That's my favorite flower form. Thanks for sending some California spring our way.

  8. User avater
    gringopeligroso 02/26/2016

    Irvin & Pauline!
    Don't know who the shutterbug is but I LOVE those macro shots! I strive to get pix like those everyday!
    Your sharing has also triggered my memory to recollecting selling these beauties while working part time at a nursery after school on the Texas Gulf Coast. (Zone 9.) Not nearly as nice a story as y'all's, and I like yours better!
    Like others, I really appreciate the tip on the Ice Angels, as we no longer live that warmly!
    Does my Swiss Cheese memory fail me.....again...or, do I remember that some varieties possess a heavenly fragrance? Thanx for sharing the views, the memories, and the enlightenment!

  9. Foxglove12 02/26/2016

    Just beautiful.

  10. Sheila_Schultz 02/26/2016

    Reading your always thoughtful words, Irvin, and having the opportunity to see photos from Pauline's beloved gardens is a lovely way to start my day. Your camillia's truly are perfection, as Tim mentioned earlier.

  11. GrannyMay 02/26/2016

    Beautiful flowers and even more beautiful sentiments! Irvin, how long did it take to grow them from seed to first blooms?

  12. GrannyCC 02/26/2016

    Gorgeous thanks for sharing.

  13. Cenepk10 02/26/2016

    Love it ! My brothers' property have several - nearly that old. If given the room & proper setting- There is nearly nothing that can bring that much pleasure as camellias at bloom time.

  14. JaneEliz 02/27/2016

    Irvin, thanks for sharing your beautiful love story...and your beautiful photos of your gorgeous camellias. They are all so lovely I can't pick a favorite....but I lespecially love that last shot with the approaching bee! Always a delight to see your magnificent garden!

  15. Green Thumb Joe 02/28/2016

    Very pretty flowers

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