Whilst on my way in the pouring rain to a photography shoot in central London this week, I counted six camellia trees of varying sizes and planted in front gardens, guarding front gates, scrambling up and over walls, and all in full, glorious colour. I was tempted to stop and pick up one of the deep pink double flowers that had fallen to the ground, to take it home to enjoy before it completely shrivelled and died. I didn’t, but the sight of the huge flowers gleaming like pomegranate seeds from amid the deep green-leaved branches, cheered me and reminded me that spring is around the corner.
Starting with the scented Camellia sasanqua in autumn and climaxing with the spring-flowering Camellia japonica, the camellia provides the garden with a raiment of colour that can start in the autumn, grow through the darkest months of the year and all the way on into spring. With some 250 named varieties to choose from, the species offers a delectable variety of form and colours, from deep red and shocking pink to creams and bright whites.
(Pictured above, semi double Camellia reticulata ‘Captain Rawes’)TweetRead more →