Friday, February 18, 2011

Camellias herald spring

It was a pretty cold winter for New Orleans, but it may be over now. I brought my potted plants inside and out several times to save them from freezing temperatures.

But there are buds opening up now everywhere I look. Tulip trees and camellia bushes are loaded with pink and coral flowers.

Creoles believed that the scent of flowering plants warded off sickness - and there was plenty of that in the 18th century, including malaria and yellow fever.

So, every courtyard in the Quarter and Uptown yard has fragrant bushes and trees. Even the air smells sweet.

Magnolias bloom a little later, so we'll have to wait for them, but camellias, not groundhogs, are our sure sign of spring.

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