Garden Photo of the Day

Camellias in Pauline’s garden in California

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Irvin Faria

Today’s photos are from Irvin Faria in Carmichael, California. We’ve featured Irvin & Pauline’s wonderful garden so many times–HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, here, here, here, here, here, and here. Today they’re sharing some gorgeous camellias they’ve collected through the years, in bloom now in their garden. 

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Irvin Faria

Irvin says, “Early spring-like weather has awakened the camellia plants (trees now) in Pauline’s garden. However, rain is forecast for the next few days. Consequently, before the blossoms are damaged by the wet weather we wanted to share the unique beauty of the camellias. Here are a few examples from the dozens of camellias in the garden we thought might be of interest.

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Irvin Faria

“We live in Carmichael, California, a suburb in the Greater Sacramento metropolitan area. Through the years Sacramento has become known for its camellias. The first camellias, imported from Japan, reached Sacramento February 7, 1852. In 1910 a move was started to make Sacramento known as “The Camellia Capital”. In 1941 Sacramento adopted the camellia as the city’s official flower. The Sacramento Camellia Society, born in 1943, set a goal in 1950 of having city residents plant 50,000 new camellias. To accomplish this goal local nurseries and stores agreed to sell camellia plants for $1.50 each.

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Irvin Faria

“While working near the California State Capital’s camellia gardens in the 60’s, my wife, during lunchtime, gathered fallen camellia seedpods then nurtured them to germinate in our greenhouse. Young plants were then planted throughout the garden. Additionally, over the years seedpods dropped from plants and germinated beneath them. The new plants were then transplanted to other garden areas. The rewards of her efforts can be seen in these photos of the delicate beauty of camellias.”

Beautiful, as always, Irvin. Thanks so much for sharing!

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Irvin Faria
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Irvin Faria
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Irvin Faria
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Irvin Faria
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Irvin Faria
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Irvin Faria
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Irvin Faria
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Irvin Faria

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View Comments


  1. PeonyFan 03/19/2013

    Wow, I am so impressed that you grew many of these camellias from seed. They are really beautiful. Thanks for sharing these photos.

  2. user-1020932 03/19/2013

    well, i just spent time checking out the 10 previous "HERE" features and all are great! i, too, am impressed with the growing from seed how long does it take from germination to flowering size? growing from seed i have patience everything else i usually want RIGHT NOW

  3. tractor1 03/19/2013

    I love the frogs on a bench.

  4. wGardens 03/19/2013

    How special that you've raised so many from seed! I also would be interested to know how many years it took for them to blossom. These photos are a very welcome sight on a VERY snowy NY morning!

  5. User avater
    meander_michaele 03/19/2013

    A sweet thing happened when I saw only the title for today's GPOD in my email was a little surge of happiness because it included the words "Pauline's" and "California". The garden that she and Irvin have created is so memorable and he always so dearly refers to it as Pauline's garden. What with this abundance of such stunning camellias, this has to be the ultimate 4 season garden...there is no blah time. I'll bet as the petals fall to the ground, it's like a dusting of magically colorful snow! It's all so beautiful.

  6. bee1nine 03/19/2013

    Wow! Lots of patience and passion here! Mighty fine rewards
    of labor and TLC remarkably show..and yes, to grow these
    beautiful and radiant camellia cultivars from seed IS truly

    Bet you must have a gorgeous bouguet or more inside, before
    the rains come!
    Thank you Irvin and Pauline for sharing!;)

  7. JTitus 03/19/2013

    I live on the Gulf Coast and Camellias are very prevalent here. My parents always had them where I grew up in Louisiana and when they moved to Florida Dad made sure he planted several. I bought my first last fall and I can tell you it won't be the only one. I love the fact that they bloom in winter when everything else is dormant. I do love your red and white veriegated ones. BEAUTIFUL!!

  8. Cathy_Hosek 03/19/2013

    Beautiful...thanks! And where did you get the adorable 2-frog statue?

  9. GardenersWK 03/19/2013

    Wow! Thanks for sharing. The last one is breathtaking!

  10. tractor1 03/19/2013

    Now that I've had more time I looked at all the previous submissions and remember them all, I especially like all the "things"; that wonderful birdbath, and I envy that Japanese lantern. I found all the historical camellia trivia facinating. Unfortunately I don't think camellias will grow in the Catskills, today a quilt of fresh snow is growing here!

  11. Happily_Gardening 03/19/2013

    Well written narrative! I live in California and was not familiar with Sacramento camellia history. A "want to visit" has changed to a "must visit." In our neck of the woods, Descanso Gardens, is the camellia wonderland. Lunching under a canopy of camellias, as you know, is a soothing and peaceful treat. Collecting seed pods, a wonderful idea, you've planted a seed:)!

  12. caymanmama 03/19/2013

    Thanks for sharing more of your garden photos! They're just beautiful! I didn't realize that they grew into trees! Also thank you for sharing the history of the camellias in Sacramento! We don't see that kind of info. in the nursery catalogs!

  13. tractor1 03/19/2013

    I thought for sure that when meander1 saw today's GOPD title she would have penned The Petals of Pauline! ;) And I thought the snow had stopped, but it's snowing aqain, large fluffy flakes falling with a vengeance.

  14. darylsavage 03/19/2013

    That picture of the pond with the camellia petals and the cobalt blue jar is stunning! Absolutely gorgeous flowers. Even with the new zone changes we are not having those in NW NJ. As you know, I am lucky to have a crepe myrtle. All this snow here does give us plenty of opportunity to look at gardening books and catalogues. Thank god for the GPOD.

  15. sheila_schultz 03/19/2013

    As always, thank you Irvin for sending more photos of Pauline's wonderful gardens. They are nothing less than magical. I have never lived in an area where camellia's grow, so today is a special treat.

  16. Happily_Gardening 03/19/2013

    tractor1 - LI got a light dusting of snow last night which turned to rain and it continues today.

  17. ancientgardener 03/19/2013

    Can't imagine having a garden full of those exotic flowers. That white one with the deep red heart is just breathtaking. Here in western New York the bulbs are peeking up through a few inches of snow, but the temp hovers around freezing. I'm very impressed that you grew them from seed.

  18. janeeliz 03/19/2013

    What a lovely story about your absolutely gorgeous camellias! I am I watch snow fall in Maine. But it's a perfect day...everything's cancelled... to check out Pauline and Irvin's previous photos.

  19. caymanmama 03/19/2013

    I just had to post again after looking back on all the prior photos of Irvin and Pauline's stunning gardens! I realize two things: the garden must be massive and Irvin is one great photographer! I have so many useful ideas now! Thank you again!

  20. DellGarden 03/19/2013

    Thanks so much to all of you for your kind comments. The frog statue is by Beau Smith. You can see his web page by name - Beau Smith Frog Sculptor.

    The camellia from seed to bloom it takes 5 to 7 years.

  21. User avater
    meander_michaele 03/19/2013

    Ha, tractor1, "the Petals of Pauline" definitely won the clever comment of the day award...that was very cute. Although, come to think of it, it's probably only those of us who are of a somewhat older age (notice I didn't say OLD...only older) who understand what's it's a play on.
    Hmmm, even though I don't currently envy your snowy conditions, come the suffocating heat of July and Aug. here in east TN, I will probably think living in a cooler part of the country has its allure.

  22. janeeliz 03/19/2013

    Oh, what an inspiring morning I had traveling through Pauline's sumptuous garden all seasons ....with Irvin's wonderful wring and stunning photos as my guide!
    I wish I lived nearby to visit in person, but it was a marvelous trip-even on the computer.

  23. pattyspencer 03/19/2013

    Can't grow them outside where I live that's for sure. Wow they are just so pretty - the last one is a beauty!

  24. DellGarden 03/19/2013

    Meander1 & tractor1 your comments relating to age and characterization "Petals of Pauline" encourages us to reminisce why the camellia is so special for us. It was a camellia corsage I pined to Pauline’s formal the evening of her high school junior prom 65 years ago. In that regard, as we age the garden appears to become a greater part of our life. Its serenity brings moments of fond memories while keeping us from limiting our horizons. Best wishes.

  25. User avater
    meander_michaele 03/19/2013

    Ahh, no fair, Irvin, now my eyes are slightly welled up with tears and it's hard to see to sweet of you to share that lovely memory about the camellia corsage and Pauline's highschool junior with all of us. I join you in shaking your head and wondering, "where does the time go?" Well, it certainly seems that with you and Pauline the time has been spent well. Bless you!

  26. Happily_Gardening 03/19/2013

    A lovely and touching story of forever love and friendship.
    Please pass the tissues meander1...

  27. thegardenlady 03/19/2013

    Treasures all. Thank you for sharing their beauty with us.

  28. cwheat000 03/20/2013

    Stunning! Your property shows your passion for gardening and it is always a joy to see a new aspect of it.

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