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.

THE CAMELLIA WALK

When I was planning my southern garden, I knew I had to have a Camellia Walk.

                                                                    

 Many years ago, when I lived in Massachusetts, I would regularly  visit the Lyman Estates. It was there that I saw my first Camellias. A visit to Mr Lyman’s greenhouses in February was an incredible sight. There were greenhouses where  grapes were ripening during winter, fragrant Jasmines & Daphne. One greenhouse was devoted to Camellias and they formed a spectacular avenue.   It was a southern garden in a series of greenhouses.

I know that this was where the seed for our move south was sown. I wanted to garden & live where it was possible to have Camellias bloom in the winter. I am by the way Canadian, a native Montrealer, so I am no stranger to long, grey, dreary winters. Below, my antidote…

                                                                       

  the entrance to The Camellia Walk …AKA …The Winter Garden.

                                                                       

 Truly Southern with its  swept dirt, curved path; it leads from the back of the house to the compost & (former) chicken house.

Underplanted  primarily with evergreen ferns & Lenten Roses  (Helleborus orientalis), it never looks bare even in the dead of winter. In fact, that is when it comes to life!

                                                                  

Stay tuned for more!

© All photos & text 2010