coming back to australia for holidays whilst living in japan, i was mesmerised by the brown yellow grey green eucalypt landscape outside the car window on the way back from tullamarine in melbourne and then on through the country highways to home. there was something so eternal in the silvery leaves and shades of yellow grasses. in japan, the seasons are so marked; the lush green of the mountains and the sound of water running everywhere the constant background to seasonal bursts of orange red in autumn, clouds of cherry pink and plum red in spring. and in late autumn and winter, the camellia come on show. camellia in japanese is tsubaki, and i absolutely fell for their flush of white, red and pink on glossy dark green leaves during my time in japan. they bloom, then the gentle heavy drop of petals once their time is done.
it is another thing i owe to japan; being more finely attuned to delicate, seasonal blooms. in melbourne now i stop and admire bursts of yellow and red wattle, and surreptitiously pick a little spray of colour from the nature strip for my glass jar vase on the kitchen table. and now it is almost time in melbourne for the old fashioned beauty of camellia. the camellia in my front garden struggled in the unending, ungodly heat of this past melbourne summer, and i have my fingers crossed that come late autumn and winter it will re-gather and return, because i have a little bamboo vase on my wall and an empty italian soda bottle on my table just waiting for those first blooms.
flickr (god bless) has groups devoted to camellia. most of these photos are from this group, and also from the very, very wonderful polaroid photographer jen gotch's flickr (see here for a lovely hello sandwich post on jen gotch) and photographer wai lin tse. and this japanese sweet is made to evoke camellia, very cute! and while in a floral mood, i would love a bathroom tiled in these floral mosaics by bisazza.