Last year my potted camellia was swathed in fleece to protect it from the winter frosts.‘Ne’er cast a clout till May be out’.
I erred on the side of caution and didn’t remove the fleece until May 1st. It may be May Day for you but it’s Camellia Day for me!
If you read Camellia Day update you’ll know what happened next!
A few days ago I tried to do a bit of tidying up around my containers. I haven’t been strong enough to do any gardening since I started chemotherapy but now I’m on a modified treatment my energy levels have increased. I’m gradually finding my new limits and have managed to resume gardening for twenty minutes or so. On checking out the camellia I was amazed to see it was laden with buds.
How could this be?
After a very cold winter with no fleece for protection I didn’t expect to see any buds at all. And some of the buds are slightly tinged with pink. Now I ‘m checking the plant every day, hugely impatient to see what happens next.
Watch this space!
The illustrations below are from Flore des serres et des jardins de l’Europe by Louis van Houtte (1810 – 1876).
Louis van Houtte was a Belgian horticulturist who was with the Jardin Botanique de Brussels between 1836 and 1838 and is best known for the journal Flore des Serres et des Jardins de l’Europe, an extensive work boasting more than 2,000 coloured plates in 23 volumes published between 1845 and 1883. Van Houtte is a fascinating character who after the death of his wife travelled extensively in South America collecting orchids. He established a very successful business growing orchids commercially in Belgium and introduced the Victoria lily into Europe. By the 1870s, van Houtte’s renowned nursery covered fourteen hectares and comprised over fifty greenhouses.
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