By Phran Novelli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – There are tons of blooms on my winter camellia. A member of the tea family, Camellia sasanqua, or ‘Christmas camellia’ as it’s called, is a lovely shrub with evergreen leaves and flowers that bloom in winter. For a few years it had lots of buds that all browned and died, and during that time, I became much more aware of how important it is to plant things that are native to our area, and since these camellias come from Japan, I started to wonder if I should keep it in my garden at all.

Then last winter, one flower on it bloomed. It was beautiful. So, I said to the plant sternly, ‘Look, if you want to stay, you’d better keep blooming because I’m not going to start fussing over your browned buds, either put on a show or you can go.’ I may have been holding a shovel in a threatening manner at the time.

I don’t know whether talking to plants works, but this year, it’s had a constant display of many flowers at once. Maybe thanks to the weather, or the lecture, but since it’s perked up, this camellia gets to stay – for now.

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