Camellia japonica Dr King flowers from now until spring.
Camellia japonica Dr King flowers from now until spring. CONTRIBUTED

Create a hedge, plant a bed or put them in tubs

MANY people would enjoy having some camellias growing in the garden because the plant makes an attractive addition with evergreen, glossy-green foliage all-year round.

But for a variety of reasons, gardeners may not have gone any further with the idea.

Well, we're suggesting that this is an excellent time to be deciding where you'd like to plant these colourful shrubs, what colours you prefer, the best height, even right down to whether you want early flowering, forms that flower late in the season or a mix of both.

It may interest you to know that there are hundreds of types of camellias, but the three most popularly grown in Australia are C. sasanqua, C. japonica and C. reticulatas.

C. sasanqua is an early flowerer that is the best for a hot climate, so is certainly ideal for the Sunshine Coast.

These can be grown in a sunny situation, preferably with afternoon shade during summer.

 

The outstanding single white C. sasanqua.
The outstanding single white C. sasanqua. CONTRIBUTED

C. japonica is probably the most well-known of the camellias, which thrive in the light shade of a southerly aspect, while the deeper-coloured red and deep-pink varieties will tolerate an easterly position.

C. reticulatas probably produce the most outstanding flowers that will grow well up on the ranges where it's a bit cooler, but will grow in well-chosen areas on the plains.

This is an excellent time to decide whether you'd like to plant a hedge, create a camellia and azalea bed near an outdoor living area, grow one or more in tubs that can be moved seasonally to suit the plants, or perhaps use them at the entrance to the property, down the drive or flanking a staircase to the veranda.

Our best advice is to have your soil tested, have a good look at the various plants flowering now, and ask the advice of the nurseryman/woman and or follow the instructions on the labels: they're on there to help you grow plants that they've worked hard to produce just for you and me.

If you choose to grow them in tubs, buy a good-quality mix, preferably stating it is suitable for camellias.

As a point of interest, this week we enjoyed an outing to Camellia Glen: the Sunshine Coast nursery that specialises in growing camellias suitable for our part of the world.

We enjoyed seeing the enormous range the business has growing, and suggest if you like to wait a few short weeks, it will be featured at the Queensland Garden Expo at Nambour Showground from July 8-10 between 8am and 5pm (4pm on the Sunday).

 

Terry Sheahan by the lovely pond at the rear of the property.
Terry Sheahan by the lovely pond at the rear of the property. CONTRIBUTED

Queensland Garden Expo

THIS popular event brings people by the busload from areas far and wide as it features growers and nurseries handling every kind of plant you could wish to see and/or buy, including camellias.

The event also will see the Nambour Floral Art Group with its annual design competition and the exhibits on display, and the plant clinic manned by all the gardening experts you've come to know from their media programs.

Another very popular area at the expo is the Giant Organic Kitchen garden, that provides a huge range of talks and ideas for viewers to enjoy and adopt, the free kids' activities include a playground and animal farm and even gardening-based activities to suit them.

Open garden for charity

IT'S only six days to wait now for the Give Me 5 for Kids event being held at Jatlen Park, the property of Terry and Glen Sheahan.

The Sheahans in conjunction with Radio 92.7 will open their garden at 72 Winston Road South, Palmwoods, on Saturday as a fundraiser for that worthy cause, and they have plenty to see in their extensive garden, the Noosa Classic Car Club display, heaps of places to park for everyone, refreshments and plants for sale.

So see you there!


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