Tuesday, 8 April 2008

A Nice Green Leaf: Plant of the Week


I don't even have a crap old pun for this posting: I just have Camellia japonica, top performer. This one was flowering at Kew, with that strange combination of separate white and pink flowers you sometimes get on single plants of this species. Down a side path, it was glossily perfect, showing off in that wonderfully understated way. 

Camellias have an odd way of growing on the bush, sprouting off at odd angles - which means that sometimes you don't necessarily get to see the flowers at their best. You can't appreciate the blooms on mass - you just have to find a good one and then gawp at it, delighted.

If you really want to study them, you might be better off cutting the flowers and putting a couple in a vase. Though not at Kew Gardens, please.

According to one website I found, red camellias symbolise inherent worth, whereas white ones
stand for loveliness. So I've gone for surface over substance, sadly. If I was going to buy one, I would google Burncoose, a nursery in Cornwall who always win prizes at the RHS and who have a great selection.

If you live anywhere West, North-West or Scots, you may be totally sick of Camellias by now, but for us in the East they are a grand treat.

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