Nursery Open this Weekend 3 and 4 May – Camellia Glen

Despite the wet and the cooler weather forecast for the weekend, we will be open this Saturday and Sunday – 3rd and 4th May – 8.00am to 3.00 pm and already expecting a few people to visit.

Last weekend was a great one for the camellia lovers who visited us – they had the pick of the new season plants and many left with some hard to find treasures.

The sasanquas are still in full flower and making a great show. The japonicas and some hybrids are showing some colour with flowers on the early starters like the great red Beni Arejishi, the deep red Takanini, Grape Soda, Aspasia Macarthur and sports, Margaret Davis, Otahuhu Beauty and Lady Loch, Lipstick, Silver Tower, some absolutely perfect Desire flowers that are very happy with the overcast weather which is giving these temperamental blooms lots of sun protection, Dona Herzillia de Freitas Magalhaes, Tamzin Coull and more. Not peak flowering, but the more I think about, there were a lot of flowers out today when I was walking some camellia lovers around the garden.

Camellia Hybrid - Tamzin Coull

For those of you who might be looking for something in particular, drop in – apart from some 50 sasanqua varieties, we have over 200 different japonica and hybrid varieties, a few of the species.
See our previous blog for our open days schedule.
Look forward to seeing some of you this weekend.

Open to the Public; Camellias; Direct from us.

Camellia Glen Nursery is starting open days for the start of the camellia season – this weekend. See the schedule in our last blog. So we are open this Saturday and Sunday 12 and 13 April – 8.00 am to 3.00 pm.

The sasanquas are flowering well; if you would like to see these in flower, the time is now.

But where are the japonica flowers? At the Queensland Camellia Society meeting last Sunday, our VP David, from Toowoomba, was saying that they had flowers on 70 different varieties, and brought a lovely selection of flowers to prove it. One was Easter Morn – early even for that….

After some discussion, most other members in the greater Brisbane area agreed that the japonicas were late this season.

One of the contributing reasons will be the lack of rain during the flower developing stage. It seems our Toowoomba friends hand water regularly, and this is the difference. Since most of us in SE Queensland at least, have received some good rain, we can look forward to a good season, if a little late in starting.

With the big cyclone up north, there will be a lot more water and rain around – lets hope that these folk didn’t suffer too badly in the wind and the water heads out to those who are still in desperate drought conditions.

We look forward to seeing some of you up here for our open days. We are often asked if we have much stock on hand. We grow all our own stock so what we have is what we have. We are a small operation – but there will be some 6000 plants across about 210 different varieties. This is enough to satisfy most.

Get out in to the garden this weekend and get dirty…

Camellias – Open to the Public

It’s Camellia Season again. That is,  in South East Queensland.
Sasanquas have started flowering and the early japonicas are showing some colour. It has been very dry here and there is no doubt that camellias, like most plants, perform and flower better when they have had some good rain.
The earliest japonicas for us include Arejishi, Alba Plena, Fimbriata (A sport of Alba Plena) and Kamo Hon Ami. But the others are sure to follow.

We will start our Open Days – now. These are days when we invite members of the public to our garden and nursery – you can wander the garden – it is not a show garden but is does contain some 350 odd camellias which make a nice display when in flower, and you can purchase plants.

Open days:
We are open 8.00 am to 3.00 pm
Open April 7 to 17 (school holidays here)
Closed Easter – 18 to 21 April
Open Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 April
Open Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 May
Open Saturday 10 May
Closed Sunday 11 May – Mothers Day
Closed Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 May
Open Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 May

More Open Days to follow……

Upcoming Events

Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 June – Gardening on the Edge – Maleny Garden Club, Maleny show grounds. Plants available for sale.
Sunday 29 June – Queensland Camellia Society Display and Show – Randall Studio – Mt Coot-tha Botanical Gardens. Plants available for sale.
Friday 11, Sat 12, and Sunday 13 July – Queensland Garden Expo – Nambour Show Grounds, Nambour. Plants for sale. Best garden show around. A must see for gardeners of all persuasions.
Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 July – Toowoomba Camellia and Flower Show – TAFE College Toowoomba. More details later.
Saturday 16 August – Queensland Camellia Society Camellia Workshop – Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens Auditorium. Plants for sale, guest speakers on all things camellia, workshops on pot culture, potting, taking cuttings, grafting camellias, flower arrangements with camellias and so much more.

We attended the International Camellia Show in Vigo, Galicia, Spain, while at the ICS (International Camellia Society) congress in March. This is a pic of some of the camellias on display.

Camellia Display - Vigo, Galicia, Spain. March 2014

Xinzi - a newish hybrid of C. petalotti - purple blue

This hybrid of C. petalotti is this colour – I photographed it in a garden in Galicia, Spain last month.

To my knowledge it is not available for sale – certainly not in Australia.

It’s Almost Camellia Season

It’s camellia season again, almost. Some of the early sasanquas are flowering with Mikuni Ko again leading the pack followed by Sparkling Burgundy. Some japonicas are showing spot flowers as well. It is a pity that it has been, and still is, so dry, here in SE Queensland. There are other areas in Australia in deep drought and I read in the Camellias Victoria newsletter, that a lot of gardens are showing plants with heat scorching and burning.

A lot of plants in our garden that do not get water via irrigation or hose, have not put on their spring and summer growth, and now, with the few showers of rain we have had, that are shooting as well as budding.

Keep the water up and the flowers will come.

Open Days coming up in April.

Barry's Chance - a sasanqua

Camellias – What next!

Next weekend – well Thursday 28th August till Monday 2 September – we will be attending the National Congress for Camellias Australia in Melbourne, and as I understand, this is peak camellia flowering for them and we are looking forward to checking out the camellia shows being held. Interestingly, we have just walked our garden and commented that the camellias are past their best – our season is coming to an end.

Not that it’s over yet, we still have thousands of flowers out on a hundred or more shrubs. But, although our mornings and evenings are cool – well down to 4 and 6 degrees C – during the day we are having beautiful, warm to hot, dry days. It was about 23 degrees today and it has been some weeks since we have had rain. Great if you are on holidays in the best place on earth and with beaches to match, but not so good if you are a camellia. The dry air makes the flowers look sad after a few days and the plants are flat out trying to suck up enough moisture to keep them looking good.

I would love to be able to irrigate the entire gardens but we can’t.

Over the past few weeks, we have started to prune the sasanquas. These can be cut back hard at this time of the season – that’s the end of winter for us – the flowers are finished for the season and it is still a few weeks before they start to put on new growth. Cut back to shape and size. You can fertilise your plants now also, but be sure you can water them well – unless you are having or expecting rain. And by rain, I mean a good dose of rain – not a sprinkle. It is a good time to lay out new mulch. Rake over and around your bushes to mix the fertiliser into any remaining mulch – not too deep so as to disturb surface roots – but just to ensure the old mulch is not forming a barrier to any moisture getting down to the roots. Spread you new mulch over the top. Again, water it all in.

Leave the pruning of japonicas and hybrids until the flowering has finished over the coming weeks. Japonicas will start putting on new growth very quickly after finishing flowering – so long as we have had some nice rain.

Japs and hybrids will continue to flower for a while yet, and cultivars like Midnight Magic are still to hit full flower. Standouts in our garden are the NZ bred Nicky Crisp, Contemplation and Tamzin Coull, with the reticulatas in full flower and looking fantastic.

Tamzin Coull

This season, we have acquired a number of reticulatas to try in our garden. These have been purchased from a well established retail nursery who consistently sources plants from suppliers south of here. It is disappointing to find a couple of these plants flowering wrongly – well they are not really flowering wrongly – the plants are flowering just fine – they have just been incorrectly labeled. Last season, a Miss Tulare flowered a very nice formal double pink and is probably Simpatica, and this week, Sir Eric Pearce is flowering red and not the pink that Sir Eric is described as. We have other camellia fanatics who also purchased these named cultivars to have the same disappointment.

We can understand why the buying public get annoyed, confused and disillusioned when purchasing plants to find the flowers not what they expect. It was for this very reason that we started to do our own propagation for sasanquas, japonicas, hybrids and species – taking cuttings only from parent plants that are known to be correct and correctly named. We have now been very fortunate to have been given grafting material for a number of reticulatas which we know are correctly named. Thanks William…..see you in Melbourne.

Although these couple of plants have flowered not as expected, the flowers are still wonderous and beautiful and will still give us a great amount of pleasure in the years to come.

Reticulata Lady Pamela

Get out into the garden, relax and enjoy – it’s good for the soul, and the blood pressure.

Open – Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 July

Just a reminder that we will be open again this weekend – 8.00 am to 3.00 pm.

We still are surprised when people say that camellias are hard to find – we have about 200 varieties and still a few thousand plants – drop in, walk the garden, buy some for your place. There are many in full flower – in fact some of the late flowerers have been really late this year with varieties like Royal Velvet and Midnight Magic just starting. Of course, the reticulatas are starting now as well and are full of flower. As are the magnolias with Felix and Brozzonni and Vulcan and Picture and Butterflies – well – you just have to come and see them.

Retic Frank Houser

Magnolia Felix

What a great place to live!

Open to the public – 13/14 July and 20/21 July 2013

What a great weekend at the Queensland Garden Expo in Nambour last weekend – fine and sunny and thousands attended. We will be open to the public on the coming two weekends, 13/14 July and 20/21 July 2013 between 8.00 am and 3.00 pm – just because we can and because lots of folk want to visit after seeing our range of camellias.

We had a great weekend, very busy selling plants and meeting people from many far-flung places as busloads of people arrived at the Expo grounds looking for particular plants which can be hard to find in their local areas. Buses came from as far north as Cairns (1700 km north) and as far south as Orange (1000 km and a bit south) with enthusiastic gardeners looking for information and plants.

Camellia species, Nitidissima, flowered well this season

Our yellow flowers from our species C. nitidissima created a lot of interest and if we had had 1000 of these plants I’m sure we could have sold them all – unfortunately, we had none! It is a species which is notoriously difficult to propagate either from cuttings, grafts or seeds – we are learning and getting better at it – and we will keep trying. This flowered the best ever in our garden this year with a strong yellow colour – we are very pleased.

The public, in general, always surprise us. The varieties of camellia that we think will be popular, and therefore take more of, are sometimes passed by, and yet others which don’t seem extraordinary are snatched up like they are the last ones in existence. Not that we’re complaining – it just makes life interesting, trying to anticipate what people may want. As we said to a number of people over the course of the weekend, if we knew what people were going to want, then of course we would bring all those varieties. And that is why we have these open days where people can come and visit, and purchase what they like.

We had a lot of interest this year in the fragrant hybrids – Fragrant Pink, Scentuous, Sweet Emily Kate, High Fragrance and a number of others – these are always popular. We also sold out of all of our variegated varieties such as Emperor of Russia Variegated, Mark Allen Variegated, Mrs Nellie Eastman, Chandleri, Carters Sunburst Pink Variegated, Grand Slam Variegated, Glenwood, Kickoff, William Bartlett and others.

William Bartlett was popular again this year

The formal doubles were popular as always with Betty Ridley, Happy Holidays, Nuccios Gem, Alba Plena, Blushing Beauty, Black Tie, Ed Combatalade and others like William Bartlett and Tamzin Coull running out on the first day and had us bringing more in for the rest of the weekend.

Added to this, we attended the inaugural ‘Gardeners & Gourmets’ dinner at the Novotel Twin Waters on Saturday night – this was great fun. A number of our celebrity speakers also attended; Costa Georgiadis, Angus Stewart, Phil Dudman, Annette McFarlane, Clair Lavander as well as many of our local speakers and of course, me.. It was a fun night and there were a few who were a little slow to start on Sunday morning!

This was a great weekend, and are looking forward to seeing many of you over the next few weekends to get the ones we did not have at the Expo.

Tamzin Coull is a favourite

Check this out…

Open Days – Open to the Public

Today has got to be one of the most miserable days we have enjoyed for some time – cold (well for us anyway), wet and dreary. But the plants will love the rain and it is a day we don’t have to irrigate.

Notwithstanding the weather, we will be open to the public this weekend Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 June – 8.00 am to 3.00 pm.

Saturday 29 June we will be here as well, but Sunday 30 June, we will be at the Queensland Camellia Society display at the Brisbane Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens – and we will have plants for sale there.

And then, the weekend after – 5, 6, and 7 July – we will be at the Queensland Garden Expo in Nambour – Showgrounds – best garden show in Australia. Come and see us there.

Camellias – buy direct from grower – huge variety

What a fantastic weekend we had at the Maleny Garden Club Gardening on the Edge last weekend. Saturday was a beautiful day, Sunday not so much, but still a lot of people ventured out.

This Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 June, we will have the nursery open to the public. Come and visit, wander the gardens, check out the camellias, vireyas, the reticulata camellia buds are showing some colour and I saw some magnolias as I drove past this evening.

A few thousand camellias to choose from and over 200 varieties – japonicas for shaded/part shaded spots, sasanquas for full sun/part shade. Most in 140mm pots – nice little plants.

Camellia Culture – someone asked me the other day that if they fertilise their camellias now, will they flower more. The answer is no. Camellias are flowering now – for us – sasanquas for the past few months and the mid and late season varieties are still full of flowers, and the japonicas are flowering now and will continue for a couple of months yet. In our area, flowering is all over by late September and it is getting too warm for the flowers to cope with the heat.

The plants have been preparing for this flowering season for months – from January they start putting out flower buds waiting for the right time to flower. Once all these flowers have bloomed, that’s it for the season. They will start a new flush of growth in spring with another in summer, and then they will start budding up again in late summer ready for autumn flowering next year.

Fertilise in early spring so that you get good new growth – that gives you new branches for flower buds to form on for next year.

Get out into it, get your hands dirty and enjoy your garden.

Camellia Nursery open to the Public 1 and 2 June – camellias and vireyas for sale

8.00 am to 3.00 pm – Saturday and Sunday – we will be open again to the public. Thousands of camellias – spread over 200 different varieties – sasanquas for the sun; japonicas, hybrids, species for part shade spots. Come and visit, walk the garden – yes it is a bit wet and I haven’t been able to mow, but look at the flowers not the weeds. Then buy some beautiful camellias – and vireya rhododendrons…..

And now a little more camellia culture – pruning.
Camellias all take to being pruned and shaped. Sasanquas are used to make tall and short hedges or screens. In our garden, we have some camellias to 4 metres – but we also have some that we keep trimmed so that they stay about 1.5 to 2 metres, and others that we are keeping to less than 1 metre. So there are camellias for each different application. Talk to us about your camellia needs and we will offer you a solution.

Prune at the start of spring, after the plant has flowered but before it starts to put on new growth. It is hard to prune off new growth – psychologically at least. A trim once in spring and perhaps another later for shape – this will control your camellias. Don’t prune hard after January – mid-summer – you will cut off a lot of the flowers for next season.

Japonicas can be pruned too, just run the hedge shears over the top to keep plants to a manageable size – to the size you want.

Feed your plants in spring as well – a good camellia food will do the job. Underfeed rather than chuck on too much.

Have a good weekend – hope to see you here!