I have created a gardening Blog I have a pic there of some Camellia in the yard from last fall. Please have a look!
Here is a link that might be useful: flower farm and gardens
congratulations for camellias in michigan. the flowers almost look like species peony buds unfolding. i do like white-flowered camellias.
i also like the chitalpa you picture and would consider that tree for myself but now thinking the humidity would lead to mildew problems in my zone, based on what i read about it. my catalpa looks pretty ragged by this time, most years of late, after a dry summer.
This is one of Dr. Ackerman's cold hardy Camellia selections. I can not locate the file with it's identity. Here are some pictures from early May this year of the flowers produced.