I don’t know about where you live, but here the weather has been dreary for the past week, and it’s honestly taking its toll on my sanity. We’ve had an unusually mild fall and winter so far, but gray skies, even when it’s warmer, can still be a bummer. The early winter season is when our camellia plants begin blooming, and it always begins with the white variety, at least in our yard. (You can see a few pink blooming in the back.)
They’re so beautiful and lush that it’s difficult not to admire them, but why keep all that beauty outside? I love to bring flowers in the house, even if I occasionally bring a creepy crawly in with them. The tiny grasshopper infestation of 2014 made me hesitant to bring in hydrangea blooms this year, but I thankfully overcame that pretty quickly. They also come in such a large variety of colors, that you can have a color burst in any room in your house. Our pink camellia bush is much smaller than the rest, but that soft pink color is perfect for Valentine’s Day.
And the bright pink/red variety seems to be very popular in our area. We have three of these bushes in our yard, and since they bloom a bit later than the white variety, we are able to have fresh blooms in the house for over a month.
Camellias are fairly low maintenance; they’d have to be to survive our three-kid and two-dog lifestyle. How do you bring them indoors? I simply find a bloom that’s not fully open (when the petals are starting to bend backwards), and cut 4 to 5 inches of stem below the flower with a good set of pruning shears (or kitchen shears if you’re desperate). While I’m outside, I go ahead and take off most of the leaves, leaving just a few around the flower. These leaves around the flower help them to prop against the jar or dish you place them in, and it gives a beautiful pop of green to your small arrangement.
The next steps are the hardest… just kidding. Simply fill a clear glass jar, or low bowl, part of the way with water and begin adding the blooms. If you realize your stems aren’t touching the water, just add more. There’s really no trick to arranging. I’ve found that four or five blooms perfectly fills the space in a pint mason jar. That’s scientific measurement right there. Once the flowers begin to wilt, simply replace them with fresh flowers (and water, of course).
This is a perfect touch of beauty for your end tables, dining tables, or a sweet gift for a neighbor. If your camellias (or your neighbors!) are blooming, bring some in and enjoy them. They should last for at least a week inside. You could even fancy up your jar by wrapping it in season ribbon or a wide wrap of burlap. The options are endless! Enjoy!