Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Forgotten Camellia

Just beyond the top of the dead oak tree, there's a clump of shrubs that used to be part of the gardens here. They were likely planted years ago by Mrs. Russell, before the trees reclaimed the area. There's a stand of quince that bloomed even in heavy shade. I moved some of these to the yard two years ago, although mine haven't bloomed yet and seem unlikely to do so this year.

Surrounded by orange ditch lilies, crocus foliage, and mahonia, there's a single camellia. The blooms are the same as those on the shrub in the yard. I wonder if she took cuttings and propagated this one herself. I wandered out back yesterday to get a closeup. This spring, once there's new growth, I plan to take cuttings from this shrub myself. I'm thinking of planting a few along the back yard. Azaleas, abelia, and other blooming shrubs will be added when the time is right. I've already started propagating the spireas.

It's St. Patrick's Day. Wear something green. It's 36 degrees this morning. No frost. The forecast calls for 65 today.

9:33am - Spent the last hour "propagating" things. I've pruned some hardwood sticks and shoved them in the ground where I want them to grow. If it works, I'll have a backyard full of spring and summer blooms. If not, I've lost only an hour of time, outside, with a cup of coffee. I stuck Sweet Shrub, camellias, mock orange, forsythia, spireas, vitex, Korean lilac, weigela, althea, pussywillow, and crape myrtles. I think that's all.

New growth, new blooms, new foliage:

My fragrant, unknown spirea is starting to bloom.

The Korean lilac is leafing out.


My "dead" loropetalum isn't quite dead yet. Nell Jean was right.

Stuck cuttings of forsythia and mock orange. I may be too late for these to root, but the very wet soil should help.

Peach blossoms will be here by the weekend. The plums are smart, they're waiting.

New growth on the Oakleaf Hydrangea that I've tortured since finding it in the backyard in the summer of 2007.

Red Pussywillow is blooming.

And lookie here, my tulips are going to actually bloom this year. A testament to the cold winter we had. Only two out of the 40 bulbs I planted in the fall of 2007, but hey, that's two more than I had last year.

It's been a good morning already. I'm off to shower and work in a few.


Kris said...

That camellia is lovely. I hope you have success cloning it. You have so much blooming already. Here, not so much. Got down to 25 last night and ice on both of the birdbaths. Brrr.

Tim said...

It's always fun to wonder what the previous gardener from a property had in mind.. Clearly Mrs. Russell planted some great old fashioned things in your garden; you're lucky to have them!

Tom - 7th Street Cottage said...

Kris, it's spring in NC already. Tomorrow it's supposed to be in the 70s. By the weekend, I'll be mowing the grass again. Everything is greening up. Trees are starting to leaf out. We've gone from being a month behind to two weeks ahead of schedule. I'm expecting a major snowstorm on Easter Sunday. LOL.

Tim, she gardened here for over 40 years. I've been amazed at what's in the gully and in the yard. I've got roses, daffs, crocuses, hyacinths, camellias, mahonia, and lots of other things I haven't identified yet. Unfortunately, many of the renter years took its toll on some plants. And this town is the Camellia capital of the state. Every house on Pee Dee Avenue has at least one. I've spotted some great ones over the past couple of weeks. If all goes to plan, I'll be showing them soon. I want to remember where they are so I can take cuttings in May.

The Gaudy Garden said...

Tom, I love that camellia. And it is blooming mid season too. Want to trade for an 'old timey' sasanqua?

We have old daffs coming up that I have no idea where they came from. A lot of Pheasant eye daffs.

Tom - 7th Street Cottage said...

Jim, I'd love to trade. Let me know when and how. I've been reading the American Camellia Society's website about propagation. They recommend taking cuttings in May. I've never had success with these, but I haven't done them at that time of the year. If you know how, I'm all ears.

FlowerLady said...

I love that Camellia too. What a beauty!

It is around 60 here, overcast skies as rain is in the forecast.

It will most likely be an indoor day for me. I've got plans to make candied ginger this morning. Bought ginger and sugar yesterday.

Have a good day Tom ~ FlowerLady

Tom - 7th Street Cottage said...

FlowerLady, we're going to get rain again on Sunday. Before that, it'll be in the 70s for a couple of days. I can't wait. I'm off tomorrow, so I plan to spend the entire day outside if I can manage. I'm hoping to have lots of things to plant out in my containers, lots more weeding to do, shredding more leaves for the beds, and spraying the English Ivy that needs to die in places too close to azaleas and later, hosta. Candied ginger sounds delicious.

sweet bay said...

That's a lovely Camellia. I have been drooling over other people's Camellias when I drove around on errands.

Carla said...

Don't you love the forgotten plants that seem to say, "Thank you for asking, but I don't need your help."

David - Pinewood Cottage said...

Tom -
i tried starting a camellia from cuttings last year - every thing died. Then i tried air layering (easy!) 11 out of the 12 i tried are still going strong and blooming! i've been picking the blooms off them to send the energy back into the plant. air layering camellias - that's the way to go.

Tom - 7th Street Cottage said...

Thanks David. I'll have to check into that. Going to try the cloner too. And soil. And anything else I can to get some more of these.

Jill-O said...

Good luck with the quince. It's one of my favorite flowering shrubs. Sounds like spring is moving right along in your neck of the woods. Unfortunately, we've got snow predicted for this weekend.