A TASTE OF SPRING

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When I was out walking in the garden today I was admiring the camellias. They are the evergreen structure that forms the bones of the garden and they bloom to boot!

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daffodils in the Wordsworth meadow are up and some are already blooming   …… but

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the meadow was not cut last summer so there are plenty of weeds, and several trees and limbs are down. Victims of the  heavy saturating rains and strong winds of late.

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One of the first times I’ve seen the incredible flowers of the ‘evermottled’ ginger…….. blooming at ground level.  I have not often seen them as I’m hesitant to crawl around the garden on all fours when it is cold and damp. This one just jumped out at me.

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Spring is here again!

 

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SASANQUA SEASON

I can’t believe it’s already autumn. Time flies, as they say. So here’s what is happening in my garden.P1230952

While my Northern garden buddies are cutting back perennials and putting their gardens to sleep… I am enjoying an embarrassment of riches in the way of Camellia sasanqua blooms.

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Some so profuse they look like cascading roses from a distance.

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Last fall I finally found the Camellia sasanqua ‘Cotton Candy’ a favorite of my dear late friend Margaret Moseley. It was one she had recommended to me many years ago when I first started my garden, but I was never able to locate it. When it starts to bloom I will post a photo. I know Margaret would be pleased. Still on the lookout for  Camellia ‘Martha’s Dream’ yet another of her early blooming favorites.

P1230956Camellia ‘Daydream’ which I rescued from a compost heap at a nursery. I followed the fragrance and found it. I have never seen it in the trade before or since. Of course the first time I saw it was in Margaret’s garden.

Mine is a garden of memories.

POLAR VORTEX UPDATE

The Polar Vortex that crippled the south last week wreaked some havoc  in my garden.

I could tell from the window that the Michelia foliage was damaged and the Camellia blossoms were brown and mushy. Today I ventured out (74 degrees) to access the damage.

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Although there is some browning of foliage, it is not nearly as bad as I had anticipated.

The Michelia (now reclassified as a Magnolia) looks awful, but the buds seem to be viable in their protected furry coats.

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The camellias, on the other hand did not fare as well. The good news is  the plants survived, however, many tight buds came off in my hand when I touched them.

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The  few that are okay are on the underside of the foliage so I guess that was their protection . ( Like all gardeners, I wish plants could talk!)

Now for the bad news… I doubt there will be  Hydrangeas this year, most of the buds are frozen & dead. While the stems appear fine right now, only time will tell.

Bay Laurel

Above, my Bay Laurel (Laurus nobilis)… bit the proverbial dust.

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Hellebores (Helleborus orientalis) (above)  may be short in the stem but they are coming along.

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 Above, Winter Daphne ( Daphne odora aureomarginata)  unscathed & looking cheerful. Waiting for another few sunny days to unfurl and envelope the garden in its wonderful perfume.

And, as always, there is something cheerful waiting to brighten my day…

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Early species crocus.

What damage if any, did your garden experience?

WAY BEHIND!

Judging by my last post I am way behind. It is almost Christmas! To celebrate I just bought a camellia  sasanqua ‘Yuletide’. I can’t believe I waited so long before adding  this one to the garden. Actually it will be planted at the house  so I can see it from the living room window.

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The glossy dark green foliage and  bright red single flowers with their golden centers will look fabulous against the white house and are perfect for the season. I plan to cut some and combine them with some holly & berries for the mantle and add Paperwhites for both colour and fragrance.

I’ll post photos of my decorations when they are finally done.  Meanwhile I hope you are all doing well and ready for the Holidays.

What are your favorite flowers for the Holidays?

THIS ‘N’ THAT

I planned this post about Robert Mallet’s lecture but I got carried away with the early Clematis and the Southern Azaleas (Rhododendron indica) and… and…   So here goes…a bit of this and that. (Robert’s inspirational lecture next, promise)

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The walkway from the work /compost area.

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The drive doesn’t look so bad after all. Blooming plants are a great distraction. When the Azalea (Rhododendron indica G.G. Gerbing) is done, the Oak Leaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia) on the right will start.

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The first clematis to bloom for me is the Japanese cultivar ‘Asao’. followed by…

P1210528‘H.F. Young’ and…

P1210534‘Josephine’. This year she is not as double as most. Lyndy, can you shed some light on this please.

Then there is my favorite rose…

P1210539‘Madame Alfred Carrier’.

The garden is glorious and I have not yet mentioned the Styrax obasia, the white Lady Banks rose, the Viburnums (more about them in the next post)…Life is good!

CAMELLIAS

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Years ago, when we lived in the Boston area, I visited The Lyman Estates.  Here I first saw camellias. They were growing in a greenhouse devoted exclusively to them.

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It was on that cold February day my love of Camellias was born. This love has been nurtured and encouraged by my dear friend Margaret Moseley whom I met years later when I moved to Georgia.

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Most of the Camellias I planted were recommended by Margaret.  She never gave me a list, rather it was a running commentary on what was blooming in her garden …

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“If you ever come across ‘ White Empress’  buy every one they have”

“Cotton Candy’ is blooming, prettiest thing you ever saw”

“Oh my, ‘Professor Sargent’  must have a hundred blooms on it today!”

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I followed her advice. Below is a sample of the camellias blooming in my garden today.

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 How lucky I am to know Margaret.

As a garden designer I incorporate camellias as an evergreen where conditions allow.  They make a beautiful,  glossy, dark green, hedge with the added bonus of fall/winter flowers.

JUNE IN JANUARY

The temperature here in Georgia is an unseasonable 76° F. I should not complain about this (coming from Canada), however all the buds on the spring bloomers are swelling and the cold, that is sure to come, will inevitably kill them.
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In a ‘normal’ year the Japanese Flowering Apricot (Prunus mume) above, starts to bloom sporadically  mid to end of January. This year on the 15th, it is almost done, its petals adorning the ground.

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The Helleborus, commonly called Lenten Roses, should peak, you guessed it, at Lent. Not this year,(below)

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I’ll not whine any longer. The camellias are putting on a spectacular show…

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and Margaret Moseley’s favorite, ‘Fragrant Pink’ is perfuming the air with its rose-like fragrance.

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This is also the earliest I have ever seen  Edgeworthia crysantha open.

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All in all this is going to be a very interesting gardening year.

It is never too late to wish you all a wonderful healthy & joyous New Year.