Plant of the month: March
Camellia cultivars to be found around the fountain and further into the gardens.
These magnificent evergreens provide colour when the garden is just waking up. In fact, Camellia sinensis is the brew of choice for many people first thing in the morning. C. sinensis is not hardy here but can be found growing in the sub – tropical House, along with other Camellias.
Around the fountain we have just planted camellias which reflect the many breeding programmes that have taken place around the world: resulting in flowers of all shapes and sizes. There are many more camellias planted throughout the Gardens.
Camellias thrive in slightly acid soil, with a good supply of water in late summer, when the flower buds are forming; otherwise many buds will drop off before flowering. Their flowers can also be scorched by early morning sun, especially if they have some frost on them, so a north or west facing position is more suitable unless shade can be supplied
It is recommended that newly planted camellias are cut back to remove all flowers to allow energy to go into producing new roots and shoots and forming a more compact bushy plant. But we were impatient and wanted to see the flowers, so, we will cut back as soon as the flowers have finished.