1. When I was a little girl, my grandmother had a gorgeous, big camellia tree near her back door. Each year it was laden with bright, layered flowers – so many that at full flourish there was more pink than green to be seen.
2. I vividly remember how Grandma would pick a handful of blooms and float them in a bowl as a centerpiece for the dining table at family mealtimes.
3. Once I was grown up and had my own garden, camellias were a must have item. Over the years my small camellia trees have survived extreme heat and bracing cold as Melbourne’s radical seasons pass.
4. The fact that one bush has just bloomed is a welcome sign that this long, cold winter is about to break. Warmth is well overdue.
5. The irresistible colour and life of the flowers have tempted me out to eat my lunch in the sunshine for the first time in months.
6. My daughter shares my love of camellias.
7. On the weekend, as we were preparing for guests, we carefully cleaned the delicate fish bowl vase – a wedding gift that after a dozen years is still intact and put to regular use.
8. She skipped out to choose and pick the blooms. She treated them with such love as she gently dropped them into the water.
9. Now, she sits at the bench and possessively and protectively wraps her little arms around the globe and stares at the rosy treasures enclosed. She’s left lots of little fingerprints on the glass.
10. So now my daughter will have lovely and lasting childhood memories about camellias too.
What about you? Do you have childhood memories of flowers?