Last year, when we were digging up invasive weeds and planting shrubs, I planted a camellia in the center of the garden because I thought it would make a nice anchor and focal point. The variety is "April Blush" and I believe it came from the Gowanus Nursery, which has an excellent selection of hardy camellias.
True to its name, "April Blush" started to open its buds on the very first day of April! It handled the New York winter very well. A couple buds were lost to curious squirrels, but what else can you expect in Park Slope?
The garden is about to perk up fast! The daffodils are out, tulips will follow, and the the peonies and summer perennials will fill out. It's so rewarding to see a year's worth of hard work start to pay off.