I suppose it had to happen. I’ve included a camellia in quite a few sixes and on a couple of occasions have indulged myself and gone with two. I wouldn’t say it’s the best year I’ve ever had for them but I do have several particularly good ones flowering just now so I’m going to go the whole hog and just do camellias.
Camellia japonica ‘Royal Velvet’. Nuccio’s Nurseries of Pasadena, California have introduced many very fine Camellias and this is another. I’ve had this a while but moved it just at it was starting to flower about three years ago. This is the first year since that it’s bloomed. Over four inches wide, dark red, maybe darker than it would typically be. Been worth the wait.
We’ll come to the small one in a minute; the big one is Camellia x williamsii ‘Charles Colbert’, raised by E.G. Waterhouse in Australia. He’d imported C. saluenensis from England and planted it among C. japonica varieties in his garden. It flowered well but in 1946 died after flowering profusely. 22 seedlings came up around it, of which this was one. Several of them became well known and widely grown. I don’t want this to get much bigger but reaching the top to prune it is tricky.
Camellia japonica ‘Nuccio’s Pearl’ is a bush that was badly damaged when one of our Eucalyptus trees was felled. I pruned it back but didn’t thin out the regrowth which has grown very densely but with thin stems which flop under the weight of flowers. At its best it’s a good formal double but it often goes awry, like the three centred flower on the right.
Camellia ‘Adorable’ is another chance seedling, this time the open pollinated progeny of C. pitardii var. pitardii. It’s a reasonably compact grower but I’m still going to start to restrict it in a year or two. It’s the small one in front of ‘Charles Colbert’, a dead bloom of which went unnoticed when I took the picture. Pah!
Camellia reticulata ‘Mystique’. I consider myself fortunate to have this. It was raised and briefly sold by a New Zealand wholesale nursery with whom I had dealings but seems never to have been registered and it disappeared from their catalogue. The reticulata’s are hard to propagate and the young plants we had were very slow to get established. It had twice as many flowers last year and it’s going to get big and I’m going to let it.
No, I can’t have reached six already. I’ll do Camellia japonica ‘Bob Hope’ and use the two I had in pots as a frieze. ‘Bob Hope’ is yet another Nuccio variety and is as good a deep red as you’ll get. The great thing about deep reds is that unlike pale colours, they don’t look terrible the minute they get a small blemish. In fact you hardly notice.
There were lots of things flowering, I took pictures of Muscari, Primroses, Violas, Skimmia. All passed over; another time maybe. Off to Rosemoor again today, second Saturday running, for the Alpine Garden Society show. I bet I can’t find my membership card.
Back later to read everyone’s sixes posts, links over at Mr Prop. He’s got tulips, I doubt he’ll be the only one.
In case you’re wondering, ‘C. japonica ‘Laurie Bray’ below and C. japonica ‘Spring Sonnet’ at the top.