I know it sounds hard to believe, but yes, there are now winter-hardy camellias.
We went to the Master Gardener’s Association Gardenaganza (don’t ask me how to pronounce that) and plant sale at the historic Farmington Plantation in our neighborhood. There was a wide variety of plants and crafts for sale, but the camellias really caught our eye. Turns out that winter-hardy camellias were bred about ten years ago, and they’re starting to take off in these parts. CVH and I were both thrilled to have a chance for a bit of Baton Rouge in our own yard, and got a winter-blooming one for the front of the house. If this works, our neighbors are going to be so jealous!