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My Ever Growing Camellia Collection

Full peony shaped camellia with alternating red and white stripes.

I thought it would be fun to do a post on my ever growing camellia collection for both myself as well as my readers. If you didn’t already know, my camellias are found throughout my various gardens in West Georgia (zone 8a). I realize that not everyone in the US has the privilege of living in a zone temperate enough to grow camellias. I hope that if you are in one of those inhospitable zones, you will be able to live vicariously through my love of these amazing plants.

Camellia Japonica "Pink Perfection"

Camellia Japonica “Pink Perfection

What’s not to love?

I have mentioned in a previous post about gardening with evergreens, about my love of camellias. They are evergreen in their growing zones, which provide year round interest in the garden. Even when they aren’t in bloom, their glossy green leaves add much needed structure. When they do bloom, they do so at a time when few other plants in the garden are awake. The range of bloom color and size is astounding as well. Camellia sizes range from single small forms to large peony shaped blooms. Colors range from solid, reds, pinks, whites, yellows, and purples, to a mix of said colors.

Small to medium blooming purple to purple red camellia that is a midseason to late bloomer.

Camellia Japonica “Grape Soda”

How I Have Built My Collection So Far

My very first camellias were the always classic camellia japonica “Pink Perfection” and camellia japonica “Kramer’s Supreme.” I entered them in my local American Camellia Society show one year and I caught the camellia bug. From that show I brought home two new varieties of camellia japonica “Mrs. Baldwin Wood” and “Happy Birthday.” About that same time, I also added a new hedge of camellia japonica “Seafoam” to the newly constructed stacked stone bordered area just outside The Shade Garden. A few months later I ordered a couple of camellia japonica “Moonlight Bay” and a “Tudor Baby.”

Medium to Large white formal camellia that is a late bloomer.

Camellia Japonica “Seafoam”

I only have one hedge of camellia sasanquas, but they are about two years old now and look amazing. They’re from the Southern Living Plant Collection and are found under the name “October Magic Ruby”.ย  I was also gifted a camellia vernalis “Christmas Carol” from the same collection. I will definitely be adding more from the Southern Living Plant Collection when I am able to rework the entrance gardens.

Image of two Southern Living Plant Collection Camellia Vernalis "Christmas Carol"

Camellia Vernalis “Christmas Carol” from The Southern Living Plant Collection

A couple of years ago I visited The Middle Georgia Camellia Association’s annual show and, of course, had to have some new varieties. I brought home camellia japonica “Deep Purple Dream”, “Grape Soda” and the coveted “Black Magic.” Some of these I have added to the gardens, while a couple I have growing in large containers.

Full, double blooms of ruby red that are small in size growing on a compact camellia.

Camellia Sasanqua “October Magic Ruby” from The Southern Living Plant Collection

I’m currently working on increasing my collection by air layering my more mature camellias. In the future, I plan on training some camellia into espalier forms. Wish me luck!

Incomplete semi double camellia mostly white with random red pink streaking.

Camellia Japonica “Mrs. Baldwin Wood”

Full peony shaped bloom camellia with turkey red color.

Camellia Japonica “Kramer’s Supreme”

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