Hey y’all! I’m so excited to show you some beautiful pictures I took this week at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens. Here in the south, we enjoy our camellias several months out of the year, but they are at the height of their blooming season right now! Every southern gardener has at least one camellia in their garden. Southern Camellias are wonderful evergreen shrubs that come in so many varieties. Depending on the type you plant, you could have blooms from October through May!
Southern camellias love acidic, well drained soil, and prefer a setting of half shade and half sun. I have a few in full blaring sun, and they do just fine as long as they are thoroughly watered in extreme heat. You will find thriving camellias under tall pines (pine needles contribute acid to soil). Camellias are a rather low maintenance plants that can reward you with blooms for months!
At Christmastime we can be guaranteed to see Alice in Wonderland-like painted bushes of “Yuletide” or as the locals call them, Christmas Camellias. They are probably the only blooming plant you’ll see in December besides the tropical (indoor) poinsettia.
Christmas Camellia via Alex Zorach
Southern camellias are slow growing bushes and can mature at heights ranging from a few feet to 25 feet tall. They have shallow roots and are easily transplantable. When transplanting be sure to not bury the plant to deep. The top of the root ball should be just above level with the ground and covered with mulch.
“Dr. Frank Cato” Camellia
The Norfolk Botanical Gardens has a gorgeous collection of over 40 mature camellias in two impressive rows, entitled “Mrs. Lyman Clarke”. They were planted as seedlings in 1936. Mrs. Clarke’s daughter is one of my mom’s closest friends and she did all the flowers for my wedding. I’d say flowers are in her genes!
“Mrs. Lyman Clarke” Camellia
We came across several impressive camellias like this deep and dark burgundy camellia with leathery petals. The flowers almost looked artificial. I’d never seen anything quite like it before!
“Black Magic” Camellia
This lovely, ruffled pink beauty is named after me…”Wilson”. I’m kidding! Wouldn’t that be nice to have a flower named after you?
“C.M. Wilson” Camellia
Let’s walk together through the pine straw paths and enjoy the camellia eye candy!
“Charlie Mason” Camellia
“Chow’s Han-Ling” Camellia
“Dixie Knight Supreme” Camellia
“Masterpiece Pink” Camellia
Our mild winter this year has accelerated the blooming season not only for the camellias but for bulbs also. It’s been an odd year for sure. Can you believe the azaleas were beginning to bloom?
My little man had fun throwing fallen blooms into the water and whining, “Mom! You and grandma take too many pictures!” Ahhh, the life of a blogger’s son.
Taking time to stroll through the gardens with my mom and son was exactly what I needed to recharge my mental batteries! It also provided a huge list of camellias I now want to plant!
Thanks for following also and visiting all the beautiful southern camellias with me! If you enjoy gardening or would like to, then check out my Gardening Tab at the top!
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