Camellias are first-rate shrubs, with an enormous range of varieties available from specialist nurseries. Most are Camellia japonica, with large, very glossy, deep green leaves, or the hybrid C. x williamsii, with slightly smaller leaves, less glossy, but excellent flowers, and really hardy. The main problem is early morning sun after a hard frost, best avoided by ensuring that east-facing sites are not used. But the same frost will brown Rhododendron flowers, regardless of which way they face, and we rarely hear of that being held against them. Camellias are remarkably wind-resistant, and a hedge of them can make a useful and exceedingly beautiful wind-break.
Camellia forrestii is a rare Chinese form, with pink blushed buds opening as small bell flowers over small, glossy leaves.
||1 litre pot|
||Early to mid spring|
||acidic, humus rich soil|
||1.2 - 2 m|