Here's that perfect camellia...
Camellias are a special feature of life at Lago Maggiore. The especially acid soil makes it a perfect place for them. They were first imported into the region from their native China and Japan in the early 19th century, and Verbania became a centre for cultivating them.
Today the flowering season along the lake can be really spectacular, with almost every garden displaying a variety of hybrids. When he moved here permanently in 2002, one of the first things M did was to plant five camellias in the patch of land we hoped to one day call a garden (we're still hoping).
If you cant get enough camellias, there are always several exhibitions and camellia-related events in the Lago Maggiore area. These include an exhibition in a specially-created camellia garden in Locarno, on the Swiss side of the border, in March.