Camellias are a stalwart in Southern US gardens, and every old house has at least one.
We have four, one in front and three on the side.
I thought that this would be a wash-out camellia year because of the hard winter, but it hasn't turned out that way.
Apparently, the exceptionally cold temperatures delayed bud maturation, and many camellias are in full flower now, quite late compared to normal years, at least in my memory.
The camellia in the front is the only one that I know by name: Professor Sargent. A wonderful deep red, its frilly flowers resemble carnations, not individually attractive to me, but in masses, they're lovely against the gray granite of our 70+ year old house.
The corner camellia is white, with a faint pink striping. It usually gets zapped by winter freezes, but this year's buds, delayed by cold weather, are flowering now.
The camellias by the kitchen door are pink, and quite hardy. They're flowering now, too, and have many lovely flowers emerging between the frost-bitten buds.
Alas, camellias don't exactly 'work for a living' - one of my screens for a plant worthy of wildlife-friendly gardens, but they're tough, hardy, and long-lived, and illuminate winter landscapes and cheer the heart of the gardener. That works for me.