I’m going to be up at RHS Rosemoor today for a meeting of the Rhododendron, Camellia and Magnolia Group, a rare chance for me to talk Camellias all day with some of the select few who share my obsession. It was a Camellia that set off the train of thought that led to this six.
Camellia sasanqua ‘Navajo’ to be specific. I planted it in full sun at the front of the house some years ago and it is now flowering freely. The autumn flowering varieties want much warmer and sunnier conditions than the spring flowering japonicas and williamsii’s, so I thought this would be the ideal place for it, and so it has proved. As it turns out, it’s also ideally sited for enjoying its display without venturing outside, which made me realise that winter flowering plants should ideally be easily visible from indoors. I sit in my armchair and only have to look up for a grand view of one of my favourite plants.
Inside, looking out; all I need is another five viewpoints and we’re done.
The room upstairs above the last view is a bedroom. You’d have to lean out a bit to see the front garden, this is not the view you’d get from sitting up in bed. There’s ‘Navajo’ again; Yucca gloriosa ‘Variegata’ is flowering again just above the Chamaerops palm. The roof to the left is our neighbour’s, as is all the garden between it and the hedge, which is his too. I say “his”, but he died a few weeks back and the house is empty. At bottom right is the porch outwith our front door.
Still at the front of the house, in the porch. We had this put on last year and with the sun shining on it and the front door open, it warms the house up lovely. To the right, at the top of the drive, is our seasonal flower display. We’re at the top end of a cul de sac so it’s better known in Mudgee and North Carolina than locally. On the left, under the ‘Navajo’ window, we group some of our succulent collection for the summer. The postman mostly goes the long way round now, it wasn’t always so. Agave montana is not to be trifled with. The original idea was to keep the porch itself clear of plants; that lasted about a week.
Should you ever visit us, you will be welcomed in that porch and would come into the house and through to the kitchen for the cup of tea you’ve just said yes to. Waiting for the kettle to boil, you might sidle over to the door and look out. Many years ago we replaced a cheap and nasty lean-to glasshouse on the back of the house with a Hartley lean-to. Basically it’s half a span of one of their commercial glasshouses, expensive for a glasshouse but a fraction of the cost of a proper conservatoire. It’s a glasshouse with vinyl on the floor. We can water with a watering can and not worry about the odd spill. In the afternoon the sun gets round the back of the house and it’s a pleasant place to have that cup of tea, surrounded by plants and looking out to the garden beyond its walls.
We had an extension built and that also has a door out to the garden, the one through which we usually go, the one with the wellies parked beside it. There’s the lean-to glasshouse to the right again. The other glasshouse is my propagation, cucumber, chilli, fuchsia overwintering, vegetable raising house. Be careful on the decking, it’s very slippery. It’s the biggest clear space we have because the washing pole goes in that hole in the middle.
Our bedroom runs the length of the extension upstairs and at the back we had glass doors fitted, with a metal railing outside. There are two chairs facing out which we don’t seem to use so much these days. It’s a great place to sit and look out over the garden, most of which can be seen from here. I subscribed to an End of Month View meme for a while, and this was a shot I took every month for two or three years. I just dug out one from the end of October 2015. You get to play spot the difference. Magnolia, gone; Oak tree, gone; Hazel, gone; bamboo, gone. At this time of year the house throws a long shadow over the garden which the camera struggles with more than my eyes. When it’s cloudy, the view just looks flat by comparison.
And that is the view from the inside. I’m not usually such a wuss but the cold and wet arrived rather suddenly and I haven’t adjusted yet. I haven’t put very much under cover either, which could be a problem if I’m back late today and it’s seriously cold overnight. All the while the wind keeps blowing we should be OK but Cornwall can catch you out; from most directions the wind is off the sea, which keeps the temperature up, from the northeast it isn’t, so a small shift in wind direction, or no wind, can mean trouble. It’ll be fine though. . . . .
Gotta go, should be gone in fact. Loadsa links on The Propagators post as ever.