I've grown accustomed to camellias in winter. Knowing I can count on these beautiful blossoms waiting on me when I arrive in Savannah motivates me through the first part of winter.
But cold happens. Unusual cold.
There are a few shrubs in bloom here and there as I navigate the lanes and squares, but very few with flowers untouched by the freezing temperatures that passed through here during the Polar Vortex. Some seemed singed by the frosty temps, others are simply brown, with the buds "frozen" in time, unlikely to bloom.
2013 Camellias in fine form
2014 finds them bitten by frost
And so I wonder how the famous camellia trail at the Coastal Georgia Gardens emerged. I will have to trek out there and take stock of the damage. Not as protected as these urban flowers, by something of a heat island with sheltering buildings and warm pavements, I fear they fared worse.
As I wander familiar paths through the historic district I see palms and ferns dead or dying, devoid of green leaves. Crispy and brittle they rattle in the chilly breeze that even now marks this extra cold winter throughout the country.
Crinums in container on street 2013
Crinums melted by the freezing temps 2014
I was especially sad to to see this pot of crinums on my street, normally a wonder every year to behold, burgeoning from an almost-invisible vessel underneath the massive foliage. I wonder if it will manage a comeback as the season warms? I'll be keeping tabs on it, looking for signs of life, until I leave in a month.
Hoping the crinums make a comeback!
Still, today was warm and I noticed a magnolia starting to bloom in the graveyard across the street, so all is hopefully not lost in these early days of a new year.