When I was growing up, my dad had lots of camellia friends that frequently stopped by to visit him. Cecil Lynn was one of those amazing people that I got to know back then. Daddy was a disabled veteran with a very small pension, so money was always in short supply. Many times, my dad would build his greenhouses out of olf used lumber to save money. I remember a very special visit from Cecil Lynn when Daddy was working on one of his greenhouses. It was a very hot day, and Daddy was working as hard as he could to saw some boards with his hand saw when Mr. Lynn arrived. He told my dad that it would be a lot easier on him if he had an electric saw to cut the lumber. Daddy told him that he knew that an electric saw would make his work easier, but he just could not afford one at that time. The next day, Cecil Lynn returned again to visit Daddy, but this time he brought my dad a brand new electric saw. I will never forget how humbled Daddy was to have someone do such a wonderful act of kindness for him. The electric saw was a great tool that helped Daddy build his greenhouses much easier than by using his old hand saw, but it taught me just how nice it is to help someone when you can. I have never forgot that lesson learned so many years ago. Although Cecil Lynn was a great camellia grower in Savannah, I will always remember him as very good man!
Gene Phillips is one of the owners of Gene’s Nursery in Savannah, Ga. He is a 2nd generation grower and attributes his love of Camellias to his father, who inspired him to breath in the beauty that they bring to him but more importantly to others. In his ‘free’ time, you’ll find him wandering through old gardens, trying to identify flowers or taking countless number of photos to share with others! He also enjoys meeting people and comparing ‘garden’ stories.