|Sasanqua off of the front porch in December.... lots of bloom almost no leaves!|
Sorry for crappy quality...apparently I couldn't be bothered to open screened door.
The camellia, unfortunately, is going to die from this, and I think this is the year I'm going to put it out of its misery. I already have 2 cuttings going so that I can keep the mystery cultivar though, because it is a very early bloomer (October) and blooms the same time the roses do in the fall, which is fantastic. I actually prefer sasanquas in form, truth be told.
|Even my scale has scale on the few remaining leaves|
Now, you might be wondering how it is that my one house can be surrounded by so many other houses, and you'd be right to wonder! In Charleston, because it was built when we used to cook over open flames, the kitchens were often housed in their own building, as were carriages, and even the in-laws, if at all fiscally possible. This means most of the properties have dependencies, and most have long since been split into separate residences for us hoi palloi. So anyhow, this explains it. Both my house, and the one next to me, with the massive garage on the shady side of my garden, each are part of old urbans 'estates' that have dependencies. Between me and my neighbors original properties there are six total houses, on very deep lots. The lots here, tend to be very narrow and have no front yards (zero lot lines), but are about 3 times as deep as you'd expect. One of these days, I'll have to draw it out for you, particularly as I start gardening on some of the 'shared' spaces. (i.e. they are getting all my pink knockout roses that I want to replace with something else). This also explains why there is such an abundance of fencing. Good fences, as they say....
Now, to the point, finally: camellias. As a rose lover you'd think I'd be all over these things, and I am, just they are expensive and I am slow to dig big holes. But I have been planning on lots of camellias eventually, once I get around to some good shady spots. Plus, they really are 25 to the block in every single color imaginable so I honestly can look out my living room windows and see some without having to plant anything. Who was it that said something about incorporating the 'borrowed' views?
I brought my first camellia home today though, and its a beaut! The local nursery's around here are chock a block with varieties because the bushes are so popular, so it was actually difficult to choose just one, but recently coming to peace with myself over the "buy large plant and wait 6 months to plant because dread digging the hole which takes hours" syndrome, I have decided that I can only buy one at a time. If I plant it, I can go and get another. Seeing as I'm not one of these people who wants another of the same kind, this really has no downside.
This is camellia "Pink Perfection", a japonica with nearly perfect flower form. The buds are huge and heavy, the leaves larger than average, and the hole digging is going to be a doozy (its in a 7 gallon pot). This is a relatively easy to get cultivar, supposedly a prolific bloomer, but very susceptible to root rot, so I hear, so not a good choice for clay soils. My sand for soil on the other hand... will still need sphagnum to keep the thing from frying, I'm sure.
Here's what I hope mine looks like in years to come.
But for today, it still looks pretty good. Though, its hole is not dug yet!