What a difference a week makes. We are open to the public again this weekend – Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 May – 8.00 am to 3.00 pm.
Last weekend, we were open; the sasanquas were still flowering well and we had a nice bunch of japonicas – but today as I was mowing – wow – the japonicas have decided to party! Still lots of sasanquas in full flower – the early ones starting to finish but still lots of colour for a few weeks yet – and the early japonicas like Arejishi, Alba Plena which we have mentioned in earlier blogs and Takanini with its dark burgundy flowers have been joined by a hundred or more more.
Drama Girl, a favourite for many and Easter Morn, which rarely flowers for Easter, are among the many to have their first flowers for the season.
We have lots of plants to sell; sasanquas, japonicas, hybrids, miniatures, fragrant ones, a small number of small reticulatas – but about 200 different varieties and a few thousand plants. We also have a nice range of vireya rhododendron, not huge numbers but a few varieties that are a bit different and a few of the oldies but goodies.
Come for a drive, wander the garden – just ignore the weeds – I do – so much to do and so little time – and have a look at these beautiful flowers as they come into their flowering season.
Camellia culture – we assume sometimes that most folk know about camellias, which ones to choose for where etc. But of course, we all need to be reminded every now and then. So…
Sasanquas – the sun camellias – flower earliest starting in February (Australia) – late summer and then into autumn. All sasanquas take full sun and in our view, perform best in a full sun position. They will grow and flower in a part shade position, but their strong suit is their sun hardiness. They have smaller leaves than the japonicas, flower profusely with the flowers shattering leaving a carpet of petals around the bush. When flowering is finished – early winter – around June for us here on the Sunshine Coast – sasanquas can be trimmed, pruned, and shaped. They take to being pruned very well and make the best hedges and screens.
Treated like sasanquas, but really vernalis which is a bit of a sas/jap cross – Star Above Star, Egao, and one of my favourites, Shibori Egao, the variegated one, also handle full sun, have a flower that hangs on the bush (better that the sasanquas and a bit more like the japonicas) and flowers later than the sas and earlier than japs. Great garden plants and can also be used for screening – and great flowers.
Japonicas – bigger leaves, dark glossy green, flowers start – well now – from April and continue through to August – that’s all through winter – and have the most beautiful range of flower colours, forms, size and blooms can last for days in a float bowl or on the bush. By August/September, our weather has warmed up and the sun quite strong so later flowering japonicas just do not suit us. Of course, this is a different story in cooler areas where the season can be quite a bit longer. Japonicas need part shade – our sun in SE Queensland is still strong enough to burn blooms – particularly the early morning sun on the dew on the flowers – and particularly on formal double flowers. Arejishi seems to be one of the exceptions, and there are others, that are not so bothered by the sun. A rule of thumb is that most reds handle more sun with the whites needing more shade.
There are more notes in the web site under ‘Camellia Care and Culture Notes’.
Get your hands dirty this weekend – plant a plant – better, plant a camellia…. and enjoy.