Camellia nitidissima/chrysantha

What a glorious day – in fact, a perfect weekend – and we are so glad that our change of plans meant that we were able to be open to the public this weekend.

On one of our garden walks with some visiting camellia lovers yesterday, I was showing off our beautiful Camellia chrysantha , (also called C. nitidissima), and lamenting that, apart from the first year we planted it out in the garden, for the past 8 years, we have not seen a flower. We have been somewhat disappointed with this, as the plant is beautifully healthy, putting on an abundance of new growth – like now – but alas, no flowers.

Then, one of our visitors exclaims ” Is that a flower bud there?”. Closer inspection revealed three of four branches with a dozen or more round yellow buds, about 12 or 13mm in diameter, tucked tightly in the leaf axils of the older growth. We are pleased!

We have asked ourselves, is it because of the weather? are the conditions just right? is it now getting the right amount of sun/shade? We don’t really know, we are just pleased. We took photos, just to prove the point!

Buds on c. Chrysantha

So this afternoon, we wandered the garden again, as we like to do after a day working the garden, interspersed with talking camellias and rhododendron, magnolias and michellias with visitors, (and selling a few) and we see about 8 little round, yellow buds, on the ground, under the chrysantha bush. Oh the horror!!

What we are now thinking is that, among the abundant bird life we ‘enjoy’ in our garden, one or more has taking a liking to little yellow buds. We know that, when the chooks free range in the garden, they are often seen pecking at new shoots and little flower buds. Maybe one of the many miners, or rosellas, or blue faces..

Maybe when the tree gets bigger, the number of buds will out strip the bird’s enthusiasm to pick them off. I don’t know how big it will have to get, it’s 3 metres tall now.

Meanwhile, we think we know the answer……

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