Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Charlie Brown Camellia Bush

Sacramento is known for its camellias. Something about the acid soil, or is alkaline? No matter, they just like it here. They are a wonderful treat in the middle of winter, blooming their little hearts out in February and March when we all need the lift.

Our last house had a great camellia bush. The owners told us we could do anything we wanted with the yard, but don't mess with the camellia. It was very sentimental to them. Large and leafy, it put out tons of compact pretty pink flowers. I liked to pick the blossoms and float them in a large crystal bowl of water on our table. A nice perk-me-up when not much else was going on in the yard.

Fast forward to the Yard of My Discontent. What shall I say about the front? Let's see, any trees? Nope, not one. Bushes? Zero, zip, zilch. There is The Stump of Sadness, I will give it that. And some really bedraggled agapanthas that are trying desperately to prove their worth. A few daffodils are coming up by The Stump. But like the proverbial nose ring on a pig, they are fighting a whole lot of ugliness. The "grass" or "lawn" is not long for this earth. We plan on putting it out of its misery as soon as we muster up the energy.

The backyard is the opposite of the front. Chock full of bushes and trees and plants and more bushes and more trees. Sort of like there was a giant explosion at the nursery and our backyard is where it all landed. Up against the fence. In the wrong order. Willy nilly. The gigantic pecan tree is missing a partner so it puts out dried up shells with no nuts. There is an ill-placed palm tree (aren't they all?) that must go. A tulip tree is blooming between the pecan tree and the fence. That would be like wearing your diamond necklace under your turtleneck sweater. Placement, a garden is all about placement. Plus water and trimming and maintaining and fertilizing. But placement is the key here. The original owner who put all these plants in the wrong places is long dead, so I'm barking up the wrong tree.

I was hoping for a minor miracle with the saddest little camellia bush I've even seen. We thought this fall it was just having the plant version of a bad hair day. Now in the height of camellia season, with no leaves to speak of, it still managed to put out blossoms. Sad, dry pathetic little blossoms. Is is lacking acid, or did it drop some acid? Let's just say I won't be floating these in a crystal bowl of water on my table. Time to put it out of its misery? Any takers?

An E for Effort