Sun Camellias – flowering now

Last year, the Southern California Camellia Society released a book called ‘Sun Camellias’ and it provides much information about these beautiful and versatile plants. Geared primarily for their local market, it does have information for other parts of the worlds including Australia – which is primarily our market. The publication used quite a number of our photos.

What is interesting is that many of the varieties named are the same as we grow here – California sharing a similar general climate to us. Even then, there are also different varieties mentioned.

This is true also within Australia, with many of the varieties grown in the cooler southern states  not necessarily performing well in the heat and humidity in South East and coastal Queensland where we are.

Some places – like Melbourne, have warm to hot dry summers, and cool and wetter winters. We here, have the opposite – hot wet summers and cool dry winters. Hot – it is high 20’s today and sunny – and very humid. Wet – well this year we have had 527mm in January, 269mm in February and 421mm in March – that’s 1.27 metres. The ground is wet. We have been fortunate in that we have a very well draining sandy loam which drains freely, and we have only one garden that kills camellias because of the wet. We don’t plant there now, and have lost no plants, and all are looking very healthy and full of bud.

Care must be taken to see that plants are kept healthy, and a general application of a copper based fungicide helps here. Also, as the rain and surface water will take away a lot of the top mulch, it will take fertilisers away also, as well as this mulch. Consider re-fertilising – at the appropriate time – and re-mulch to keep that moisture in and to insulate the roots and soil from temperature fluctuations.

But this is a great time in the garden – the early sasanqua camellias have been flowering since February and some of the early japonicas – Arejishi, Takanini and Alba Plena – are flowering.

We will be having a series on open days again this season – the first on Saturday 14 April – 10.00 am to 3.00 pm. More information soon. Watch this blog.

We have many hundreds of camellias – something to suit every garden. Come and visit. We continue to be asked if we are doing mail order this season and, yes, we are. Please contact us with your requests along with a post code so that we can get back to you with availability and costings.

If you are looking for photos on our web site, please use the varieties list and check the photo from there. We are re-making the photo gallery.

Happy gardening!

April 3, 2012


Camellia Season 2012 starts.

We now hope that the problems that some have encountered with the photo gallery are gone.

By mid February, our earliest sasanquas started flowering – Mikuni Ko, Sparkling Burgundy, Bonanza among them. This is really too early for us as we are still having 30 plus degree heat, and so the flowers wilt a little in the heat. But it still brings that colour and fragrance to the garden.

All the bushes are budding up really well and this promises to be another great season. We have had rain – 527mm in January, 269mm in February and just 120mm this last week – that’s almost a metre or just over 36 inches. We are fortunate to have a sloping property and a well draining sandy loam soil. We do have one garden which is too wet for some camellia, and the japonicas that we planted there some 12 or so years ago showed their displeasure within two seasons. The row of sasanquas that we planted a metre up the garden are thriving. This reinforces that raising the bed in wetter areas is important.

The vireya rhododendons in the garden are looking great, so much flower at the moment brings those stunning yellows, oranges, reds and everything in between into their own. These also insist on a well drained position in very freely draining soil. We find staking young plants ensure that they stay upright. We also plant a couple of the same variety quite close together so that they support each other – it also doubles the flowers.

We have a fine variety available this season, and we look forward to seeing some of you on our open days. These will start April. We also have a few local garden shows that we will be attending.

We continue to do mail order – east coast Australia mainland only at the moment – so if there is something you want, drop us an email.

Happy gardening – and remember – ‘Improve your Plant Life Balance’ – plant ‘More Trees Please’.


Apology – web and email and more

Hello folks, our .com web site and our emails have been out of action for the past week or two which has caused an inconvenience for some of you. Please be assured that we are attending to these issues and our web site and emails should now be working again.

Just a few words on whats happening at the moment. Here in SE Queensland, it is summer and we have had some good rain after an extended dry spell. We have had some really good growth on the camellias which means good cutting material for propagating over the coming weeks.

The Vireya Rhododendrons have flowered well with dozens of varieties in flower over spring and continuing into summer. The rain and warm weather has also produced good growth. Some of our heavy pruning has produced new growth within just a few weeks and we will have better plants as a result. Some of our potted Vireya rhododendron plants we cut back to bare trunks of 20cm (8 inches) and these put on new shoots in just a couple of weeks. I am a lot more comfortable about heavy pruning now to give a better plant.

The Magnolias have put on vigorous growth in spring after their flowering season and now we have several varieties flowering again. Unseasonal, but a wonderful addition to to the colour in the garden.

We have fertilised the garden plants this year, a few weeks ago, just before the rain, and have mulched heavily to keep the soil cool and the moisture in.

A fun time for gardening.


Open Day October 8 and 9 – Vireyas and Camellias

We are open again Saturday and Sunday, 8 and 9 October 2011, 8.00 am to 3.00 pm. We have had a few requests that we open again, so this will give folk another chance to visit.

We have many hundreds of Camellias, shared over about 200 varieties, all putting in new spring growth – all in 140mm pots.

Vireya rhododendron, also in 140mm pots, will be available. Spring is one of the major flowering times for many of the Vireyas and many of our stock and garden plants are in flower. We have over 50 varieties available for this weekend including:

Aura Magic, Barbara Alan, Beejay Bay, Brilliantine, Bold Janus, Butterfly Blush, Charming Valentino, Cristo Rey, Easter Bonnet, Fantasia, Frances, Golden Bower, Golden Charm, Goldilocks, Haloed Gold, Ivory Coast, Jean Baptiste, Jenzelle, Kisses, Laetum, Loranthiflorum x Laetum, Mango Mousse, Mellow Magic, Neesa, Orange Cascade, Orange Flambe, Pink Swan, Pink Dream, Pink Delight, Powerhouse, Richie, Robert Bates, Robert Withers, Sunburst, Sunset Fantasy, Sunset Gold 50, Sweet Rosalie, Toff, Troppo, Tropic Glow, Tequila Sunrise, Tiramisu, Valencia, Very Vermillion.

Numbers are limited for many varieties.

This is the first time we have opened specifically for Vireyas, so we hope we can satisfy the needs of some of you at least.

Haloed Gold


Open to the public – again

Our nursery will be open to the public again this weekend, Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st August – 8.00 am to 3.00 pm – cash only please.

We have had a number of people enquiring when we would be open again – so – here we go. The stock we have is in 140mm pots – same as before – and we are out of some varieties. We do have a couple of thousand plants spread across about 140 varieties in stock, so we should be able to satisfy most needs.

Many of the reticulatas are still in flower and many japonicas are still spot flowering. The cool weather appears to have extended the season somewhat. Species like Tsaii have just started flowering and most of the japonicas are putting on nice fat growth buds just waiting for September when the weather will be warm enough for the new growth to start.

To prepare for the new growth, now is a good time for us – South East Queensland – to do some pruning, if you want to shape your plants or just prune them down to size. You can also fertilise to help new growth on the way and mulch to keep moisture in the soil.

Those of you in cooler parts probably need to leave these exercises for another month or so.

The magnolias are flowering beautifully and we have been very pleased with how well they are doing for us. Felix and Vulcan have flowers, Brozzonii, Merrill, Galaxy, Royal Crown, Soulangeana x Rustica Rubra and Iolanthe have been flowering for weeks. Denudata, or what we purchased as denudata from a local nursery, has disappointingly flowered yellow – nice – but not denudata. The girls, Susan, Jane and Ricki are all in flower and have been a real pleasure for the past weeks.

What a great time of the year to be a gardener!


Queensland Garden Expo – Nambour Showgrounds 8 + 9 + 10 July

Camellia Glen Nursery will again this year have a very extensive range of camellias available at the Qld Garden Expo. This Garden Expo is acknowledged as the best event of its kind and well worth a visit for every garden enthusiast, or anyone who just enjoys a great day out in the garden. See the website at www.qldgardenexpo.com.au

Although we will probably not have every variety that we grow at the show, we will have about 120 varieties of camellia sasanqua, japonica, hybrids and species. We will also have a range of Vireya rhododendron. Come and see us there.

We will be open to the public again for three weekends following the Expo:
Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 July
Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 July
Saturday 30 and Sunday 31 July

Each day 8.00 am to 3.00 pm. No EFTPOS.


Nursery Open to the Public 2 & 3 July 2011

Just a quick reminder – the nursery will be open to the public this weekend – 2 & 3 July from 8am-3pm. After a little bit of rain recently the garden is refreshed and the blooms are beautiful – worth a wander.

We have arguably the most extensive range of camellia varieties in South East Queensland and we have hundreds of plants in stock. Check the variety list on the website – not all varieties are available at this stage in the season.

As well as that we have a plant stall at ‘Camellia House’ – part of the Australian Open Garden Scheme – at 116 Palmwoods/Woombye Road, Palmwoods, open 10am-4.30pm Saturday and Sunday, 2 & 3 July 2011.

Don’t forget next weekend – 8, 9 and 10 July 2011 – Queensland Garden Expo in Nambour – Queensland’s premier garden event. Check out their website on www.qldgardenexpo.com.au

Misty morning


Wow – Nitidissima has flowered!

Nitidissima in Flower - June 2011

On wandering the garden this morning to pick blooms for our Open Days this weekend, guess what we found! A flower on C. Nitidissima!

This is the first of about a dozen buds to open. Beautiful colour and form – about 5cm across with recurved petals and a big boss of bright gold stamen. Both the buds and the flower colour are a lot stronger than the last time we photographed it six years ago as a very young plant.

Sadly our attempts to propagate it have been largely unsuccessful. We had five cuttings strike two years ago and they grew for almost a year, but then they all gradually died. We will try again!

Beautiful day today, check your flower buds for bud grubs – we found two today – they eat the centre out of the buds and spoil the flower. Now is the time to dis-bud if you wish to get better quality blooms. Just twist off every second bud.

Have a great time in the garden – don’t forget you can see us at Maleny ‘Gardening on the Edge’ next weekend – 11/12 June.  We are having lots of people visit us here on our open days – we are open all this weekend and next weekend, 8.00am-3.00pm Saturday and Sunday.


Nitidissima – the story continues

In previous posts, I have talked about our c.nitidissima – one of the yellow species camellias. We have had a seed develop from last season’s flowers which we found while searching for this season’s flowers. And, yes, we do  have a number of flowers continuing to develop. But the seed pod has split open and so I have taken it off the shrub this evening. The pod is still quite green, and the  material surrounding the seed is quite soft and pithy – like the inside of the skin of a navel orange.

This is the first seed we have seen on nitidissima so this is of significant interest to us. One photo shows the seed intact but split, the other shows the two hard seeds and the pithy material surrounding them. I will treat these seeds the same as other species that we grow from seed eg sinensis and crapnelliana, and hope that nitidissima liked the same treatment.

We will keep the little seeds inside until they shoot for two reasons, one to keep a close eye on them, and second, the possums and bandicoots love magnolia and michelia seeds and have a habit of digging up seeds and eating them – I don’t want them any where near these just in case.

Nitidissima seed pod starting to split open

Nitidissima seed pod and seeds


Our Open Days June 2011

We will be ‘Open to the Public’ each weekend in June and most of July as follows. We are open 8.00 am to 3.00 pm.

  • Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 June
  • Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 June – see us also at the Maleny Garden Club ‘Gardening on the Edge” – Maleny High School hall
  • Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 June
  • Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 June
  • Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 July – see us also at Australia Open Garden Scheme, Camellia House, 116 Woombye-Palmwoods Road, Palmwoods, 10.00 am to 4.30 pm www.opengarden.org.au
  • CLOSED 8,9 and 10 July – Queensland Garden Expo
  • Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 July
  • Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 July

This is a camellia Flower Girl seedling that we have grown – it is a fantastic looking flower and we hope to propagate it in the future.

Flower Girl seedling