My brother Jonathan gave me this lovely camellia for my 50th birthday. I kept it potted for a few years as I’m rather nervous around acid loving plants and their need for extra care in gardens with a clay soil. However, after spending a couple of years in a pot, it was looking really sad and sickly and so I decided to plant it out in the garden. This lovely plant has since held its own, but this year it’s surpassed expectation and realised star quality, with a covering of these gorgeous pearl coloured flowers.
Camellias are best grown in partial shade in an acid soil, but will survive if tended carefully in other soils. When planting in alkaline or neutral soils, an ericaceous compost must be used and topped up regularly once in the ground, feeding with an ericaceous fertiliser each spring. To ensure the plant flowers well, it should be watered regularly during the summer before to promote bud growth. My plant has some yellowing of the leaves at the moment so needs feeding – with the abundant flower production, it’s probably exhausted!