It flourished for years in a large concrete pot, which was refreshed with a new coat of white paint whenever it looked dowdy. The pot rested on a couple of bricks to help with drainage.
There were actually two of these pots, placed either side of a short path that led to the clothesline. In one pot, there was an azalea but the plant I always admired was in the other. It was a camellia but we didn’t know its name.
My father had planted this many years ago and we looked forward to flowering time each year. We would pick the blooms and float them in a bowl, to bring their beauty inside.
The memory of that plant has stayed with me and, over the years, I have looked at the label of every pale-flowered camellia in nurseries, trying to identify it. This week, I had success. It is a Camellia japonica ‘Brushfield’s Yellow’, with its creamy outer petals and pale lemon centre ones.
I purchased one at a garden centre earlier this week and planted it in my garden yesterday. Although I’ll probably need to wait until next year for flowers, knowing that I have it nearby already provides comfort and a sense of continuity.