Thanks to those folk who came to visit for our first ‘open day’ of the camellia season yesterday. It has been a rush to get plants prepared after being away for 5 weeks for the International Camellia Society Congress in Nantes, France. But we have many hundreds of camellias ready across a couple of hundred varieties, so their is plenty of choice …. and possibly the most comprehensive range of camellias around. We were kept busy all day with some folk coming with a wish list and others just wanting a few nice camellias for the garden.
We have most of the sasanquas in flower now so many took a walk around the garden. In coming weeks, the sasanquas will continue to flower and the japonicas will start. This is certainly a great time of the year in a Camellia garden.
There are more open days coming up …. see the previous blog for full details. We are also available by appointment …. just call first to arrange a time ….. 54450333.
A Little Bit of Culture
At this time of the year …. for us ….. the camellias are in flower mode. There is very little to no growth going on as the plants put all their energy into flowering. So there is little maintenance for established plants other than ensuring that plants and soil are sufficiently moist. Your fertilizing should have been done in spring …. some folk like giving a light fertilise with high phosphorus and potassium (and low N) now to maintain the health and vigor of their plants and to assist with flowering. We don’t, and have not seen a need to, for in ground plants, if they have been looked after in spring and summer.
Planting out new purchases ….. of course you should have already selected your spot and prepared the planting area. Keep in mind that all sasanquas will take full sun but also perform well in a part shaded position, and japonicas and hybrids prefer a part shade or filtered light position. Our winter sun here in SE Queensland will burn new japonica flower buds and flowers, particularly in the morning. All camellias need a well drained and slightly acidic soil to perform at their best. Dig the hole at least twice the depth and width of the root ball, add composted organic material and/or manures (cow, horse, alpaca, sheep) to the back fill soil (avoid chook poo and mushroom compost as these can be alkaline and we want to maintain an acid environment), knock the plant from the pot, carefully, rake the roots gently so they are no longer in the ‘pot’ shape ….. this helps the plants roots get out and about and into the new soil …. plant no deeper than the top of the root ball, and we suggest planting raised from the surrounding soil level so that the plant does not ‘sink’ as the new soil settles. Back fill and press in firmly, water well and mulch. Mulching adds nutrient (if you use an organic mulch … and we don’t recommend using anything other than organic ….. helps insulate the soil and roots, suppresses weeds, and it looks good. Give plants a good amount of water every few days as a start then at regular intervals. Check the soil.
The Camellia list on our web site is not an availability list and we do not have every variety every year. Here are some of the varieties that we have available.
Sasanquas ….. Albert Raymond, Alison Spragg, Autumn Gold, Beatrice Emily, Barry’s Chance, Bonanza, Bonsai Baby, Chansonette, Chojiguruma, Dawn (Ginryu), Dazzler, Early Pearly, Edna Butler, Enid Alice, Egao, Exquisite, Fuji No Mine, Gay, Hiryu, Jane Morgan, Jennifer Susan, Mignonne, Paradise Blush, Paradise Glow, Red Willow, Roseann, Setsugekka, Shibori Egao, Yuletide.
Japonicas, hybrids and species ……. Alba Plena, Black Tie, Buttons ‘n Bows, Cherries Jubilee, Cinnamon Cindy, Curramore Jacqueline, Dixie Knight, Drama Girl, Ecclefield, Ed Combatalade, Elegans Champagne, Fairy Blush, Grace Albritton, Grape Soda, Great Eastern, Great Western, Kamo Hon Ami, Lipstick, Lutchuensis, Minato no Akebano, Mrs Nellie Eastman, Nuccios Pearl, Pink Gold, Pink Sinensis, Shirley Norup, Scentuous, Sweet Emily Kate, Tama no Ura, Tinsie (Bokuhan), Tomorrow Park Hill, Walter Hazlewood, Wilamina ……. and so many more.
Come and visit, wander our garden, buy some camellias for yours.