Sunday Garden Chat: Pink Perfection

Inspiration for those of us still waiting on our daffodils to bloom! From “a longtime lurker”, Anne K:

Some pics of camellias-

I am in the Ca Sierra foothills about an hour east of Trollhattan–

(The snow shows up one last time for the camellias almost every year)

Speaking of one last snow, the mailorder lingonberry and strawberry plants that showed up two weeks ago seem to be hanging on… for the moment… but the poor little blueberry bushes that weren’t already bare sticks have lost all their leaves. Oh, well, we’ll see how things look by Memorial Day, and then test Burpee’s supposed one-year return policy.

What’s going on in your garden(s) (planning), this week?

98 replies
  1. 1
    NotMax says:

    Back when used to make candles the most requested scent was Atlantic High Bush Blueberry. Yumminess for the nostrils. At one time, when prices were amenable, half-seriously considered ordering a tank car load.

  2. 2

    I took a nice picture in a bamboo grove. Very default desktop background.

  3. 3
    Quinerly says:

    Beautiful pictures!

  4. 4
    NotMax says:

    @Major Major Major Major

    Panda food porn.


  5. 5
    opiejeanne says:

    Beautiful camellias, and I like your pink flamingo.
    Growing up I lived in a little town that had an annual camellia parade, not far from Pasadena. Kids made floats and decorated them with camellia leaves and flowers. Every year the Girl Scouts and various other groups would scour neighborhoods asking for them, but nearly every house had at least one camellia. Where we live now it’s hard to find a camellia plant for less than $100 and I’m not sure if that’s because of where we live or if they are that expensive everywhere now. I’ve seen exactly one in a garden since we moved to the PNW and it’s a small tree. My husband admires it every spring so we may have to break down and buy one for our yard.

  6. 6
    Mary G says:

    Camellias are one of my favorite flowers. Everything I have is succulents except I kept one row of hydrangeas and camellias. I had no idea they could tolerate snow. These are beautiful.

  7. 7
    Debbie(aussie) says:

    Beautiful flowers and lovely pictures. I have never seen snow (in the flesh,so to speak). Hope to remedy that this year, as my daughter now lives not too far from winter snow area. So come July August; white, cold, wet stuff 😀 As some of you have been experiencing the late arrival of spring, summer refuses to leave us, down-under. Still having days in the mid thirties, too hot for April.

  8. 8
    Elliott says:

    Spring starts out yellow

  9. 9

    Not a garden picture but a lot of spring going on outside our hotel window in Hakone.

  10. 10
    satby says:

    Good morning, afternoon, or evening all (depending on time zone)!

    My garden is currently covered by sheets, light blankets, and upturned flower pots or boxes to protect from the freezes for the next two days. Raining right now but probably mixed with snow because it’s 33° out, too dark to tell. My new trees were in tubes at their based anyway, the ones that were pretty leafed out now are wearing pillowcases. The 3 days of really nice weather had everything sprouting, now I hope it all makes it through the next three nights.

  11. 11
    WereBear says:

    @Elliott: Nature’s first green is gold.

    Love the camellias!

  12. 12
    opiejeanne says:

    We’re getting buckets of rain here in the PNW, and the ground is nearly saturated. Two holes waiting for us to transplant two climbing roses are nearly full of water and the lawn has water almost to the top of the blades in lots of places, and we’re at the top of a big hill. It’s not soaking in and it’s not running off fast enough.

    What is this new virus that’s destroying roses? I haven’t heard a word about this. Does someone here have a little more information?

    OT: We watched the baseball game in KC last night and it was snowing like mad. I read later that three other games in places like Detroit and Chicago and Cleveland were postponed today, probably because of even worse snow. It wasn’t sticking but it was big flakes and lots of them. Had to be distracting. At start time today it’s supposed to be 29 degrees, albeit sunny and clear.

  13. 13
    Jeff says:

    Gardeners’s World did a segment on propagating camellias this past Friday.

    This is the whole show.

  14. 14
    rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone😄😄😄

  15. 15
    bemused says:

    AL, where did you order ligonberry plants from?

  16. 16


    We’re getting buckets of rain here in the PNW, and the ground is nearly saturated.

    Please send rain.

    Southern California

  17. 17
    rikyrah says:

    Article about the Girl Scout troop in NYC that is comprised of homeless girls and their first cookie drive

  18. 18
    opiejeanne says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: I surely would if I could.

  19. 19
    opiejeanne says:

    @rikyrah: This is wonderful. I’m so glad for those girls. They said the troop started out with a few girls and now there are more than 300? Wow.

  20. 20
    swiftfox says:

    I ‘d suggest monitoring the soil temperature in your area. I use the National Water and Climate Center data from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (Powder Mill MD station). I don’t put anything into the ground until 4-5 days in a row of more than 50 degree soil temp at the 2-inch level.

  21. 21
    satby says:

    @swiftfox: Good resource, but we’ve had that. The soil is thawed and seeds are sprouting, the problem is the frigid air that will be in the area for the next three nights. These late freezes might normally kill the blossoms on fruit trees, fortunately this year the blossoms are late too.

  22. 22
    Anne Laurie says:


    AL, where did you order ligonberry plants from?

    Burpee. It was an impulse purchase, because they were on sale, and right now I wouldn’t recommend their customer service, since they mailed the poor things six weeks before they should’ve.

  23. 23
    JPL says:

    Beautiful pictures to enjoy for a gloomy rainy day.

  24. 24
    Schlemazel says:

    Here is is starting as white out!

    @Major Major Major Major:
    Ohayou Gozaimasu

  25. 25
    Schlemazel says:

    Add MN to games canceled. Our gardens are covered with a blanket also, it is nearly a foot thick from last night & it snowed and is still snowing at this moment.

  26. 26
    Baud says:

    @rikyrah: Good morning.

  27. 27
    Baud says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Your Milky Way shot was fantastic.

  28. 28
    Central Planning says:

    The hysteria over the ice storm here in Rochester was (surprise!) overblown. Yesterday, forecasts called for 3/4″ of ice by lunch today. Now it’s down to 1/4″. Sure, it’s a little slippery out and morons were driving too fast, but it’s not that bad.

    Off to Philly this week for training. Driving with a cow orker. Should be a good time.

  29. 29
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Beautiful camellias.

  30. 30
    satby says:

    By the way, gorgeous photos of your camellias Anne K! I wish I could grow them here. Well ok, I could in pots, but I already have so many tropical plants in pots inside I’m not sure where I could put another one.
    Thanks for letting us enjoy them vicariously!

  31. 31
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Central Planning:

    Driving with a cow orker.

    I wonder if they know this is what you think of them?

  32. 32
    satby says:

    @Schlemazel: at least snow offers a little insulation from lower temps for plants. It’s light now and we’ve only had rain, but now the prediction is for about two inches of snow tonight into tomorrow night. Honestly, if that happens I’ll feel less worried about the plants.

  33. 33
    Schlemazel says:

    The daffs near the house were up & trying to bud but the previous snow storm really kicked their butts, I will be amazed if we get any blooms after this. Hopefully your precautions will save your garden

  34. 34
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Kathleen Turner’s epithet (when she finally needs one, FSM may it be a long while yet)-

    “More woman than you’ll ever get and more man than you’ll ever be.”

    I love it.

  35. 35
    satby says:

    @Schlemazel: just an awful spring for Northern regions, that’s for sure.

  36. 36
    Central Planning says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: ALL of them

  37. 37
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Central Planning: My mind first registered it as “cow porker” and I thought it was a strange way to call someone a “fat cow.”

  38. 38
    Amir Khalid says:

    I think you mean her epitaph.

  39. 39

    @Baud: Thanks, there’ll be alot more soon😎.

    ETA: I’m doing a dry run with the star tracker tonight outside the cave. The results are really good, 140 second exposure and no star trails and no noise.

  40. 40
    MomSense says:

    Camellias 😍😍😍😍

  41. 41
    debbie says:

    I got a walk in yesterday just to see the trees and flowers before the predicted several days of cold rains screwed everything up. There were daffodils and tulips under blossoming magnolias and all kinds of flowering trees, and even the earlier azaleas had opened. It was like all of spring at once.

  42. 42
    Jeffro says:

    Mini-me and I are out at Udvar-Hazy today for the great British fly-in, with lots of vintage RAF aircraft out on the runways . So cool!

  43. 43
    debbie says:


    Especially when I imagine it in her very smoky voice.

  44. 44
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Amir Khalid: HA! Works as epithet too! Good catch.

  45. 45
    Sab says:

    @Schlemazel: Spring always snows on daffs. No snow on daffs yet, then its not Spring yet.

  46. 46
    debbie says:


    Yes, I didn’t get back to tell you how much I liked the composition of that shot. Still say you should send stuff in to the Astronomy Picture of the Day site.

  47. 47
    Schlemazel says:

    This is the third time significant snow has buried them this year. They turned brown & droopy after the second storm.

    I am conflicted about those gorgeous photos, lovely to see but depressing when I look out my window

  48. 48
    Nelle says:

    Someone told me a new season, called Sprinter, has been added.

  49. 49

    @debbie: Thanks, maybe if I retake it with the star tracker.

  50. 50
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: @Central Planning: The “cow orker” phrasing was popular on the old Urban Legends newsgroup, which kind of evolved into (a lot of the same names). Allegedly it was a common typo in actual urban legend emails.

  51. 51
    MomSense says:

    More snow on the way.

  52. 52
    Sab says:

    @Sab: Sorry. I am in NE Ohio. You’re in MN, home of real weather? Didn’t mean to be so casual about your “spring.” Ours is old fashioned this year. Everyone is complaining, but we could never put annuals out before Mothers day.

    Your Spring seems to be very wintery even by our standards.

    Responding to Schlemazel, not myself (sa

  53. 53
    bemused says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    A few years ago, I ordered lingonberry plants from One Green World, iirc, but didn’t have much success. They didn’t die, just remained stagnant. Further research later suggest they need more acidic soil, more acidic than for blueberry plants. We pick wild blueberries when it’s a good year and noticed wild lignonberries when picking in a swamp. I had the temptation to dig up some and plant in garden at home but odds are it wouldn’t survive outside it’s element. I love to garden but if basic care, watering, mulching, deadheading, etc. isn’t enough for perennial plants to thrive year after after year, that plant is off my list.

    I have the same attitude with houseplants. Christmas cactus grows well in our south and west windows with right light and cool temps in winter. I started with the traditional pink Christmas cactus my grandmother grew. My mother inherited those plants and would carefully hibernate them for awhile in the coolest, darkest part of the basement, then put them back in the windows so they would bloom in time for Christmas. Too much fuss for me. My Christmas type cacti can bloom when they feel like it. I now have several other colors of cacti, 3 different pinks, white and red.

    It’s really annoying when companies deliver plants too early, particularly when they seem to promise to deliver at right time for the zone.

  54. 54
    Schlemazel says:

    No problem. It just strikes me that this spring is not anything like normal, not close to the range. I have also noticed that the weather bureau is having a hard time predicting. My theory is that they use computer models that incorporate past conditions to predict future ones (they do that) but that the climate change is now severe enough that those old models do not reflect the rapidly changing reality.

  55. 55
    Central Planning says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym: I think I picked it up from alt.sysadmin.recovery years and years ago. Now it’s intentional.

    From the ASR FAQ:

    Cow-Orker – Those people who live at the same office as you do. (Warning: Orking Cows is dangerous, and illegal in the state of Utah)

  56. 56
    Immanentize says:

    Today is very sucky North of beantown — high of 36, but low of 34. Odd. But then it warms throughout the week. I pruned and transplanted two rose bushes that showed up at my new fence line last summer. They must have been very old and just covered by the fence because the root stem is as thick as my arm. I moved them to a sunny spot with sweet soil (they were near a big pine tree I had cut down). I wonder what they will prove to be….

  57. 57
    Chacal Charles Calthrop says:

    @satby: speaking of vicarious enjoyment, any kitten pics?

  58. 58
    debbie says:


    I love surprises like that!

  59. 59
    Currants says:

    @AnneLaurie Maybe too late, but this FedCo info might be useful since you can’t plant yet? I’m slightly south and mostly west of Boston (just off the marathon route), and my daffs are setting up buds just in time for the ice today. I don’t have anything I’m planting this year, though I moved a few things last weekend.

  60. 60
    Elmo says:


  61. 61
    Immanentize says:

    @debbie: Me too!
    It’s going to be cool and rainy on marathon day. Cool is good for the runners (high of 49) and light rain could be OK but it looks like we might get up to 2 inches. Shivering wet skinny exhausted folks at the finish line, I expect. At least less dehydration.
    Sadly, I have to go to a funeral tomorrow of an older colleague who died Thursday night. Good miserable day for a miserable event.

  62. 62
    Immanentize says:

    @Currants: @Anne Laurie:
    I am trying to find a black currant plant. It ends up they are banned in a lot of Massachusetts towns — but not in good old half-Italian Medford! Any ideas? I mean, your nym is currants. 😀

  63. 63
    mad citizen says:

    I’ve only been here since after the election. There are a lot of acronymns floating around here where I have no idea what the meaning is. Usually I can get something from the context, but mostly I don’t bother trying to look them up. Anyway, I’ve been seeing FSM a lot recently, and just tried looking it up, which confuses me even more:
    Acronym Definition
    FSM Finite State Machine
    FSM Flying Spaghetti Monster
    FSM Federated States of Micronesia (ISO Country code)
    FSM Fórum Social Mundial (World Social Forum)

  64. 64
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    In the new flower beds along the walkway etc, I planted a bunch of bulbs and roots, most of which I can’t remember what they were in places I am now unsure of. I am now seeing little green shoots poking up thru the compost/soil and wondering what gift of the gardening gods I am received of. I have some Lilies of the Valley poking up and also a Bleeding Heart, those I remember. There are 3 Astilbe in the beds but I’m not sure where, and everything else Dog only knows.

    Fortunately, even though my brain no longer hangs onto a fact once it becomes superfluous, it holds tight the important ones: I may not remember what I planted where, but I know damn well where I haven’t planted anything at all. The past couple weeks have seen me transplanting more than a few of my plentiful Daffodils, Irises, and Hostas into the blank spots. Also bought a few fern roots and stuck them in, I hope, aesthetically pleasing locales. Refound the Blazing Star bulbs at Lowes after they hid them from me and 50 of them to fill in a few more blank spots. Won’t see them until May sometime I suspect.

    I sowed last years Flutterby project with wildflower seed back in February, but so far the only thing to show is wild onion. I have not had much luck with wildflowers except for when I ignore them.

    Outside our kitchen window, I am transforming my first herb garden into another Flutterby/Hummingbird garden. Too late to sow any wildflowers in it but it will have plenty of Zinnias, Cosmos, and other annuals this year. I put some of the Blazing Stars into it already.

  65. 65
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym: @Central Planning: The things I learn here.

  66. 66
    MomSense says:

    @mad citizen:

    Hint: we are often hoping his noodley appendages will hear our exhortations.

  67. 67
    WereBear says:

    @debbie: Seconded!

    I love that site :)

  68. 68
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @mad citizen:

    FSM Flying Spaghetti Monster

    DING DING DING! We have a winner. I have the same problem and I’ve been coming here for years.

  69. 69
    tybee says:

    @Jeffro: take pics!!!!!

  70. 70
    Elizabelle says:

    Camellias, flamingo, and the snow. Beautiful pics. Thank you, Anne K.

    Good morning, jackals. In the FSM and Mr. Mueller we trust.

  71. 71
    Amir Khalid says:

    @mad citizen:
    The FSM you see mentioned here is almost always the Flying Spaghetti Monster, a popular deity in these parts. The FSM is worshipped, if that’s what you want to call it, by Pastafarians: adherents, if that’s what you want to call them, of the Church of The Flying Spaghetti Monster.

  72. 72
  73. 73
    debbie says:


    That’s my first on-line stop every morning. Keeps me in my place. ;)

  74. 74
    Elizabelle says:

    @mad citizen: re the Flying Spaghetti Monster, FSM to jackals: excerpts from the famous Open Letter To Kansas School Board [FSM website is]

    I am writing you with much concern after having read of your hearing to decide whether the alternative theory of Intelligent Design should be taught along with the theory of Evolution. I think we can all agree that it is important for students to hear multiple viewpoints so they can choose for themselves the theory that makes the most sense to them. I am concerned, however, that students will only hear one theory of Intelligent Design.

    Let us remember that there are multiple theories of Intelligent Design. I and many others around the world are of the strong belief that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster. It was He who created all that we see and all that we feel. We feel strongly that the overwhelming scientific evidence pointing towards evolutionary processes is nothing but a coincidence, put in place by Him.
    It is for this reason that I’m writing you today, to formally request that this alternative theory be taught in your schools, along with the other two theories. In fact, I will go so far as to say, if you do not agree to do this, we will be forced to proceed with legal action. I’m sure you see where we are coming from. If the Intelligent Design theory is not based on faith, but instead another scientific theory, as is claimed, then you must also allow our theory to be taught, as it is also based on science, not on faith.

    Some find that hard to believe, so it may be helpful to tell you a little more about our beliefs. We have evidence that a Flying Spaghetti Monster created the universe. None of us, of course, were around to see it, but we have written accounts of it. We have several lengthy volumes explaining all details of His power. Also, you may be surprised to hear that there are over 10 million of us, and growing. We tend to be very secretive, as many people claim our beliefs are not substantiated by observable evidence.

    … I’m sure you now realize how important it is that your students are taught this alternate theory. It is absolutely imperative that they realize that observable evidence is at the discretion of a Flying Spaghetti Monster. Furthermore, it is disrespectful to teach our beliefs without wearing His chosen outfit, which of course is full pirate regalia. I cannot stress the importance of this enough, and unfortunately cannot describe in detail why this must be done as I fear this letter is already becoming too long. The concise explanation is that He becomes angry if we don’t.

    You may be interested to know that global warming, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters are a direct effect of the shrinking numbers of Pirates since the 1800s. For your interest, I have included a graph of the approximate number of pirates versus the average global temperature over the last 200 years. As you can see, there is a statistically significant inverse relationship between pirates and global temperature. …

    From September 2005, The Telegraph (UK): In the beginning there was the Flying Spaghetti Monster
    In recent weeks, a satirical attack on the teaching of Creationism in American schools has become the world’s fastest growing ‘religion’. The Noodly Saviour looked at the furore He had created and pronounced it good, writes James Langton

  75. 75
    Svensker says:


    In Seattle, my mom had at least 4 camellias, a single white, single pink, single red and double pink. My favorite flower. Someone once said that the only reason camellias don’t have a scent is that God did not want absolute perfection on earth.

  76. 76
    Elizabelle says:

    @Amir Khalid: And, blessed be rigatoni, the FSM apparently has some sacred hymns (learn up, Amir):

    To the tune of Jerusalem:

    “Bring me my bowl of pasta gold!
    Bring me my meatballs of desire!
    Bring me my sauce with herbs untold!
    Bring me my bolognese of fire!”

    Jerusalem gets sung at royal weddings. Let’s hear it, Meghan and Harry. Quite a beautiful song; poem by William Blake set to music.

  77. 77
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Amir Khalid: We Karstians (of the Church of Janus Karst) are fond of the FSM too, and I have it on good authority that the worshipers in the Church of God the Almighty and Utterly Indifferent (that he created the world in 7 days and said, “It’s your problem now) also look kindly upon the FSM.

  78. 78
  79. 79
    oldgold says:

    My dilatory and much maligned gardening habits have been rewarded. Unlike all of the “early bird gets the worm” ground scratchers in the area, I suffered no damage this weekend.

    “Snow, possibly mixed with sleet, becoming all snow after 8am. The snow could be heavy at times. Some thunder is also possible. Widespread blowing snow, mainly after 10am. Temperature falling to around 27 by 5pm. Very windy, with a northeast wind 35 to 45 mph, with gusts as high as 55 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. Total daytime snow and sleet accumulation of around 5 inches.”

    I like to put my garden just on the Fourth of July. The plants are very inexpensive then and there is very little chance the vegetables will ever mature to the point you would ever have to eat them.

  80. 80
    debbie says:


    I’d never read the letter, but I will be adopting that term “Noodly Savior”!

  81. 81
    Elizabelle says:

    @debbie: With His Noodly Appendage.

  82. 82
    WaterGirl says:

    How is it that I have never heard of camellias? They are gorgeous.

    I love the second photo and the 4th. Anyone know what particular varieties those are? The 4th one almost looks like a cosmos, but I know it isn’t.

    Edit: any chance they could winter over in central illinois, which is now zoned 5.5 ? I seem to have some kind of microclimate in my back yard that seems to stretch the zone a bit extra.

  83. 83
    wkwv says:

    Many camellias suffer in subfreezing weather, blossoms will brown and drop with frost. In a sheltered area (a south facing brick wall), with the right cultivar you might be able to find a cold hardy camellia. Apparently they will tolerate zone 6- near St. Louis.

  84. 84
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @WaterGirl: According to this web site, the Japonica will go in zones 6-10 but the Sasanqua only zones 7-9.

  85. 85
    yam says:

    Well, we just got 14″ inches of snow yesterday with more on the way, so the plants I’ve started are still on the table. They’re blissfully ignorant of what’s going on outside…

  86. 86
    Kathleen says:

    @Immanentize: Unfortunately, cold and wind can exacerbate dehydration every bit as much as heat. I hate running in cold rain especially when it’s windy. But some runners will thrive.

  87. 87
    WaterGirl says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Thank you for that. Of course the ones I like are rated zone 7!

    I was about to say that if I wait a few years, we will probably be rated for zone 7, but that’s too sad to complicate on account of our fucking up the earth.

  88. 88
    MoCA Ace says:

    Northeast Wisconsin Garden Update:


    If I could post pictures you would see the vague outlines of undulating white behind a cloud of swirling snow. nearly two feet and counting with drifts four to five feet deep!! Last year at this time I had my spring crops in the ground already.

    I waded out to my workshop yesterday through four-foot drifts to feed the chickens and the shop cat, turned on the radio, and they were playing “winter wonderland”. If I could get out of my driveway I’d hunt that fucking DJ down and kill him.

  89. 89
    satby says:

    @oldgold: 💞 😂😂😂

  90. 90
  91. 91
    Dan B says:

    #opiejean Camellias (japonica) suffer from petal blight, a soil borne fungus, that is exacerbated by moisture on the buds and opening blossoms. Camellia japonica hold their blossoms for days after they have turned brown, and often mushy. As a eesult they’re not popular west of the Cascades. One hybrid does well here, C. ‘Donation’. The blossoms drop often before turning brown. Winter blooming Camellias thrive here snd have a wonderful sweet clover fragrance. They do best out of wind. Greer Gardens in Oregon has them mail order as do local nurseries (Wells Medina, Molbak’s, Flower World, etc.) in season.

  92. 92
    Gvg says:

    @WaterGirl: there is at least one breeder trying to create more cold hardy ones. Can’t recall the name as I wasn’t interested. I live in Florida. There are also several trying to breed for scent which I am slightly interested in. Camillias are easy here though. They live decades too and there are huge ones in the older areas of town.

  93. 93
    mad citizen says:

    @Elizabelle: Thanks to you and the other jackals for the FSM education!

  94. 94
    opiejeanne says:

    @Dan B: Thanks for that info.I didn’t understand why I wasn’t seeing more of them here. Molbaks is in Woodinville and we’re just outside the city limits in King County. I prefer Flower World in Maltby, and not just because of their prices.
    We have our own little microclimate here which I have been experimenting with for the past 8 springs. I have artichokes that I’ve gotten to over-winter three years now, but I can’t grow peppers to maturity and forget about eggplant.
    When we bought this place there was not a single rhododendron on the property, an error which we have rectified.
    I defer (usually) to the Sunset Garden Guide, a great reference for pretty accurate information about which plant will do well where you live. They use zones, I think they have 32, and maps of the zones for California, Oregon, and Washington. I don’t remember, they may have some of Arizona too. If you get hold of older copies you can see Global Warming in action by comparing zones. I think we used to be in 4 but now we’re 5. Those numbers have nothing to do with the usual 1-9 zones most nurseries use.

  95. 95
    opiejeanne says:

    This is probably a dead thread but there’s an interesting story that I heard about how camellias first came to English gardens. In China, the Western tea buyers were not allowed near the plantations, to protect their monopoly. Some sharp traders decided they’d rather not have to sail boats all the way to China for tea so they arranged to buy a number of tea plants, figuring they’d plant them in England. But when they got home to England and planted these nice shrubs, they realized they’d gotten something other than the tree plants. Camellias are related and I’m told look somewhat similar. Losses were recouped when the plants bloomed and created a demand for the plants. This may be a load of hooey, but I heard it at Descanso Gardens, where they have a camellia forest among the tall oak trees.

  96. 96
    Elizabelle says:

    @mad citizen: In Pasta we trust.

    @opiejeanne: Descanso Gardens. Love that place.

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    Currants says:

    @Immanentize: Yes! I hope you check back—yesterday was unexpectedly busy. Here’s a link to see if your town is on the list. You can also order from Nourse Farms (in MA)—you have to enter your zip code, and if your town is on the list, they kick the prohibited items out of your cart before you can buy them. You can also order from Twisted Tree Farm (nursery in Tioga County NY). A few years ago when my town came off the list, I tried to order from Nourse but was too late—they had none in stock. So I looked around and found TTF, ordered from them. They didn’t have plants, but had…I forget the technical name, but basically twigs with buds on them. You bury the twig, all but the top bud, in regular garden soil. It grows. And, because they sent me more than I ordered, I had to find homes for all but the two I had room for. I’ve got them in an area where I also have some elderberry plants. This was in 2016, and this year, they’re 4 ft tall, and I’ll have fruit.

  98. 98
    Currants says:

    @mad citizen: There used to be a highly useful glossary in the sidebar…maybe there still is?

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