Yesterday turned out to be one of surprises... it was the last day of the local Camellia Show, but, because of it, we had a number of visitors here. Graça, Manuela and a couple from Louçada. Graça did us proud by purchasing three of our camellias. With exhibitors from far and wide and so much to choose from, her act was a great vote of confidence for the local grower. You see, conditions here are hard and every plant requires much love attention and the best organic 'food' possible – supplied by our horses. Thank you, Graça.
What we need is more people who specialize in the impossible - Theodore Roethke. I couldn't agree more, for, otherwise, how on earth will we be here tomorrow! So you are wondering, how do you recognize the impossible? Well, you have to understand that by creating a certain set of circumstances, the seemingly impossible becomes possible. For example, take our 'screen house'. Screen house? Most people will see a shade house. However, on closer inspection, you will find that it is far from shady inside but rather quite bright. What it does is filter out damaging rays of light so that plants can reach a stage of maturity to tolerate full sun light. The secret is in the type of netting.
In a previous post on 24/1/2010, I mentioned that camellias are a form of super rose in the north of Portugal. However, they have other surprising characteristics as well. Because they originate from China and Japan, the time they flower was determined by the seasons in that part of the globe. Hence, they flower in our winter and spring from November through to April - namely, in our darkest months, and so they lighten that darkness more powerfully than any native flower! You see, Theodore Roethke revealed a fundamental truth, "Deep in their roots, all flowers keep the light." Come 'see' for yourself!
Do you remember that line in a romantic song? Either way, we understand that, even though the wish was there, its realization was never possible. And much is the case concerning roses in our climate in Portugal. The heat reduces the flowers to fallen petals in a moment. Yet we have a need to express our passions just the same. Today, it is often forgotten how the incredibly courageous Portuguese set sail in their little wooden ships to discover routes to the unknown parts of the globe and answers to their everyday existence. Well, you have probably guessed by now that one of the plants they brought home from China and Japan were Japanese roses or camellias.
But camellias are no shadows of roses; they are much hardier and grow into wonderful flowering trees lasting a hundred years or more. And, in this way, I CAN promise you the rose garden of your dreams - subtle, varying, colourful flowers with evergreen foliage and NO thorns!