Monday, September 28, 2009

Camellias, seeds, and cutting back.

It's a beautiful day. At 81 degrees, there's a nice breeze that keeps it from being too hot. The humidity has dropped significantly too. This morning, it was 58 when I left for work at 5:45am. I was actually chilly for a brief moment.

In the garden, I chopped back some of the coreopsis Full Moon. I hope to divide them again next spring. I turned one plant into 12 this past year. I now know they need full sun to remain upright and not flop. Lots of new growth around the base.

When I bought the house, this camellia was over 20' tall. You can see the big mass of green in this photo on the left. Yes, that was the backyard when I first saw the house.

Last year I tried to kill it completely. This year, I've let it regrow. Here it is today. It has pink single blooms all winter. I should have been more kind in my pruning.

Another butchered camellia is beneath the oak tree near the perennial bed. I first noticed this variation on one stem a few weeks ago. It's grown a little since then, and now I'm sure it's a variegation and not just from lack of water or disease. I'm hoping it blooms this winter. I'll be setting my sights on propagating this sport sometime in the near future. Imagine, a variegated camellia. In my yard. Heaven.

One of the three clumps of orange cosmos I've collected so far. Every day for the past week I've been gathering seeds from the rose garden plants. I'll be using these in my "meadow" garden next spring.

Another meadow candidate, salvia subrotunda. There are lots of tiny seeds still inside their shells. If I knew the proper terminology, I still wouldn't remember it.

Mauney's, a feed mill across from the high school on 52N, sold me 5lbs of crimson clover seeds. They've been inoculated against something so they're bright pink. That pen sticking out of them is used for scale. It's a hefty bag. Once the tree is removed from the back yard, I'll break up what soil I can and toss these out. They should put down some nice roots this winter and give me some organic matter to sow my seeds on in the spring.

Time to spend a few more hours in the kitchen. I hope to get the sanding done and install some beadboard. I hate plaster.

5:51pm - I was wrong about the variegation. Thanks Nell.

The most common fungal disease of camellia is known as virus variegation. The leaves have yellow or light green streaks. There is no cure, and the plant can live with the virus.


Tim said...

It's always been my fantasy to find a "sport" of something! Don't care what.....I just think it's the coolest thing to find a sport of something! Let me know when the variegated camellia hits the markets!

Tom - 7th Street Cottage said...

I'll be sure to offer it to certain people Tim. You're on that list.

Nell Jean said...

Camellias are very forgiving of bad pruning. They'll grow back nicely.

I have a camellia that sometimes has yellow on the leaves. I always thought it is caused by a virus, or have I been misled by what I read? I also have an ancient climbing Peace rose that has yellow mottling, too. I KNOW that is a virus. I just prune off the offending rose limbs.

Tom - 7th Street Cottage said...

Oh Nell...Let me dream a little. LOL!

Jim-The Gaudy Garden said...

Isn't ALL variegation from virus?????

Tim said...

No! No! No! We are both counting on it being a "sport"!!!! Allow us both a little time to dream!

If I can have my own sport, I can at least know someone who does!!