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.

SO NOT READY!!!

 It’s really September and I am so not ready for the change of seasons. The Camellia  sasanqua  ‘Sparkling Burgundy’ is blooming….

and all the berries on the viburnums are full & beautiful…

Neglected area..or should I say areas I left to Mother Nature are actually lovely, nurturing many beneficial insects, Humming birds  and other wildlife

…including deer. I’ve stopped chasing them away.. they love these hydrangeas!

Once again, The Season of The Mourning Bench………….

CAN IT BE ….SPRING?

I can’t believe I went from this..Image

to this in one day!!Image

How wonderful to be back in Georgia, where it appears we are in full-blown spring….

The gardening to do list grows daily as the overwhelming season is upon us.  Trying to separate the list into A) what will make an impact in the garden visually, and B) plant requirements. e.g. weeding  and feeding.

                                                                                       

All the camellias, both in the Circle of Friends, and the Camellia Walk are in bloom along with the Hellebores.

                                                                                          

Permeating the air is the fragrance of Daphne odora…. The garden is truly magnificent. A celebration of all the senses.

                                                                                             

The daffodils… well, they deserve their own  post.

CAMELLIA MADNESS

The Camellia Walk  is in full flower.

                                                                                                                                                                                  

 The Helleborus are also at their peak, I love them together, makes for a lush planting…the only kind.

                                                                                   

Just about here, I turn around to see………

                                                                                                                                                                                            The daffodils in The Meadow.                                           

Up close & personal………                                                                                       

                                                                                              

                                                                                                      

                                                                                            

© All photos & text 2011

THE WINTER GARDEN

With all the holiday activities over I finally got into the garden. What a relief! It is so quiet and peaceful, in stark contrast to the last weeks. It truly is my sanctuary… just as I planned it.

                                                                                           

Gardening in Georgia, one can have a winter garden that BLOOMS.  From time to time a hard freeze will turn my magnificent camellia flowers to brown mush….

                                                                                             

 but in a day or two when it warms, the new buds open and the show begins again.

                                                                                           

 Even if they did not bloom, their evergreen presence create the ‘bones’.  I always start with the winter structure when I design landscapes. Without structure,  a collection of plants scattered about without any rhyme or reason, is just….. well, a collection of plants just scattered about!  Below,’ BEFORE’ at a client’s.

                                                                                             

While I love the warm spells, my hydrangeas (the macrophylla types) are all too anxious to welcome spring and start to break bud. Not a good thing!!

                                                                                          

The next frost will damage the flower buds that are already exposed. I’m going to try covering with ‘Remay’ a protective covering , or ‘floating row cover’ used in the nursery trade. Hopefully they will be spared. I’m keeping my fingers crossed!

© All photos & text 2011

THE GARDEN UNFOLDS

An overcast and rainy day. Great for the garden, good for photography. In the last post the photo of the entrance to both the Camellia Walk & Circle of Friends was not clear so here are some taken today.

                                                                  

This is where the Camellia Walk begins. a few yards over to the right  lies… (keep your eye on the pink flowering camellia)

                                                                     

the walkway that leads to the Circle of Friends. Note that the pink flowering camellia plays a role in both garden rooms.

                                                                  

 

The east side of  The Circle of Friends, punctuated by variegated boxwoods (Buxus sempervirens ‘variegata’). This space is actually oval in shape.  All the plants in this little garden were gifted to me or were cuttings from the gardens of friends, hence the name. It is encircled by camellias (as background structure) and hydrangeas.

                                                                     

On the west side, the structure of camellias is the back side of the Camellia Walk. Like most areas in the garden it is unfinished however, what I plan can be found here.

 Leaving this area and following the path we intersect with the Camellia Walk . (it curves round)

                                                                      This is marked by the interesting texture of four upright Japanese Plum Yews (Cephalotaxus harringtonia ‘Fastigiata’) and underplanted with variegated Japanese Sedge (Carex morrowii);  the idea being to tie in the variegation and create an ‘Elizabethan Collar” around the yews.

A few yards past this intersection lies the Mourning Bench. As I have said before; one can pass it without noticing. It sits between the two variegated boxwoods on the right. Below…

                                                                 

 

If this path is followed further,one gets to the Potager. We have been walking north. Below, the view from the north looking south back through to the meadow.

                                                                 

The repetition of  the Variegated Box & the Carex create  rhythm and serve to tie the sequential spaces together into a coherent whole.

To be continued…

© All photos & text

CAMELLIAS! CAMELLIAS!

Blooming now

                                                                          

Camellia sasanqua ‘Maiden’s Blush’  above

                                                                   

Camellia sasanqua ‘Jean May’ above & below

                                                                       

                                                                   

Camellia sasanqua “Daydream’

                                                                   

Below, one of the Ackerman Hybrids,  C. ‘Winter’s Charm’

                                                                    

                                                                      

Does this look familiar? I posted on this area in spring when the Azaleas were blooming. This is the walk to the compost.

Dr. William Ackerman  of the National Arboretum crossed Camellia oleifera & Camellia hiemalis or C. sasanqua  to produce a plant hardy to 10F. If you live in colder climes…the Ackerman Hybrids are for you.

It has been said that the trinity of Southern Gardens are azaleas, hydrangeas & camellias. The latter two giving the longest show. These Camellias will bloom a full 6 weeks.  THAT, is a show!

                                                                

The above beauty never had a nametag. AND speaking of a long show…

                                                                      

Some hydrangeas are still stunning.

On a personal note, the last weeks have been very difficult.  I will try to post more often in the future.

© All photos & text 2010