Staff Photo: Sue Ann Kuhn-Smith

Thomas H. Johnson Sr. of Oxford looks for the fairest bloom of all in his garden of 100 camellia bushes Monday morning and appears to have found it. This perfect, brilliant pink bloom comes from the Punkin camellia, one of some 58 varieties Johnson oversees. He said the camellia season runs from early November until April. A retired United Methodist minister, Johnson enjoys gardening and in addition to his camellias has an impressive display of trees, grapes and other flowers.