(OK, so it's March, but it's the first blog post of 2019, so I'm sending happy wishes regardless.)
As Spring peeks around the corner, I thought I'd send this encouraging photo of a Camellia japonica blossom.
You don't see too many camellias around here in Middle Tennessee. They're marginally hardy - susceptible to extreme damage if we have a winter with below-average temperatures. And in the case of C. japonica (which blooms late winter into spring), the flowers and buds can be damaged by late frosts and freezes.
But this one, growing right up against the porch steps, survives year to year. And as you can see, some buds escaped unscathed from a recent stretch of very cold nights (hard freezes in the 18-20 Fahrenheit range) to put on a beautiful show.