Bursting onto the scene in their usual prolific manner are our winter camellias. Green glossy leaves and copious flowering heads, they brighten our chilly gardens and offer a bounty of cut specimens.
The trick is to outwit the rain. Sudden downpours bruise delicate petals, so cut before the clouds gather overhead. Should you miss the opportunity, do not despair, as camellias bud abundantly so new blooms unfold almost daily. The insect community loves them as we do, so before bringing them indoors, gently brush off to release any outdoor residents. Don’t be hesitant to harvest, as like all shrubs, camellias love a good cutting.
Once indoors, arrange them as you please in vases and jars alike. Way back in the 1930s and 1940s, homemakers loved to display their cut specimens by floating them in round shallow bowl/vases made for the purpose. This 2013 homemaker likes this method as well.
For your floating centrepiece of beauty, hunt out your widest bowl and fill with water. No wide bowls? I can tell you that thrift shops are bursting at the seams with them, your only dilemma will be whether to go with glass, porcelain or three of each. Trim the stems close to the bloom and save a few leaves to balance the display. If you have access to a number of varieties a mixed bowl looks lavish.
Collect them now, as before long the display season will have come and gone and your dense green leafy shrub will take its place in the general garden scene once again.
Postscript: and hopefully the comments you will receive from your fellow occupants will be less like “How come we always have flowers all over the house!”…..