So much of Magic Garden's beauty pre-dates me entirely; each season I feel like I am reacquainting myself with each element and this process of rediscovery thrills me. The collection above represents just some of the camellia varieties that Mrs Batty was so enchanted with. I would love to set myself the challenge of learning the name of each but really, looking through the pages of my trusty, doorstop-sized Gardening Australia Flora's Trees and Shrubs, there really are just so many different cultivars that it's quite overwhelming and I can't make any assertions with any confidence. Plus, the light in my study isn't the greatest!
the white varieties are a bright spot on a misty mountains
morning...but must they brown up so badly?
Suffice to say, the majority of my camellias flowering at the moment are japonica with a few reticulata, the difference being that the latter's leaves are darker and narrower in comparison to the japonica and their rose pink flowers have a larger and open form. According to my Gardening Australia doorstop, there are over 2000 cultivars of japonica which makes me feel better about not becoming an instant identification guru. One of these, 'Anita,' is especially sweet, narrow pale pink petals, streaked with maroon. She's a more magnolia type of bloom and kind of reminds me of painting on silk, whereas other deviations from block colour seems to be more of tint that bleeds to the edges. Does that make any sense to anyone but me? God knows, I'm hardly an expert in the field of painting on silk either...
A big thank-you to lovely Mimi, who kindly put all these images together in these very professional looking grids. Have I told you lately that YOU are AWESOME?