Glory's Garden

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

L is for Longwood, Camillia time at Longwood

Camillias are the loveliest semi-evergreen shrub for the southern garden. Depending on cultivar, they start to bloom some time just before the new year starts up to around mid to late March. At Longwood gardens where at all times the temperature inside the conservatory is somewhat like it is down south, camillia time starts in December and goes through March.

The color and styles vary greatly. One thing is for certain though. You won't have just one favorite.

Longwood hybridizers are working on a Camillia hybrid which will bloom non-stop all year long.That would be a fantastic achievement.

Camillias like shady locations and acidic soil in the garden and are often found under large live oak trees. They are practically a southern tradition even though they do come from the Orient.

Tom is rather funny with these flowers. He goes to smell them every single time even though he knows they have nary a scent. He does, however, have a super-sniffer, so if there is any scent at all, and some of them do have a slight one, he will smell it. No, I smell nothing on these.

The glossy dark green leaves are beautiful too, so even when not in bloom Camillias still make a great background plant for other flowers in the garden. If you live in a zone 8-10, do yourself a favor and get a Camillia or two. You'll love them!

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