Daily Archives: March 10, 2010

Camellias—Not Azaleas—Are the Bees’ Knees

Something seems to be missing on this azalea shrub!

Last weekend was the annual Azalea Trail in Houston’s trendy, pricey River Oaks area. I was so excited to photograph the stop at Bayou Bend’s gardens, because I love azaleas. But I wondered if there would be much beauty to look at due to our January freezes.

A few azalea shrubs are early bloomers.

Sadly, there were a lot of bare azalea shrubs that needed at least another week to blossom. But some azaleas were nice enough to make an appearance. Not a lot, but some. And they were pretty.

Fortunately, Bayou Bend isn’t just about azaleas.

Ornamental magnolias were plentiful.

The gardens, instead, were filled with plenty of ornamental magnolias.

Pink camellia

As well as tons of camellias.

A deep pink camellia

The camellia is the state flower of Alabama.

Pretty in pink camellia . . . with more waiting to bloom

The Texas state flower is the bluebonnet.

Camellias even can be two-toned!

But there are no bluebonnets at Bayou Bend (not that they’re in season yet, of course).

Yet another in a long line of pretty camellias

Just lots and lots and lots and lots of camellias.

Sidebar: Can you smellia camellias? I never got close enough to find out! Why? You’ll see in the last two photos.

Star magnolias

Plus a few star magnolias.


And some hydrangeas.

Even without their renown azaleas, the Bayou Bend gardens were alive with color. In fact, they reminded me of the beauty of a Shakespearean quote:

Two bees in (what else?) a camellia flower

“Two bees or not two bees, that is the question!”

Camellias are the bees’ knees!