Sunday, October 23, 2011

Camellias Planted!

Last Sunday I attempted to plant the new 3 gallon camellias, but my back went out on me. I was hurting real bad for several days. Yet I pushed on and took it very easy and by Thursday I was much better. I still have minor twinges but they are manageable.

Our three year old Camellia sinensis is blooming, it is a tea camellia. It has just been hanging on ever since we planted it, so seeing flowers on it was really nice. This plant has a long way to go before we can pick tea leaves off it it.

Three years ago we bought Camellia Sasanqua 'Tsumaorigasa' Our plant died this summer... But it produced seeds last year and we harvested some of them, but don't know if the seeds I planted germinated. Yesterday I found what looks to be a seedling next to the dead tree trunk, it could be a sprout, I'm not sure. Still excited to see our first natural camellia seedling in the garden. Camellias can be different than the parent plants, so we'll have to wait and see.

Camellia Sasanqua 'Moon Festival' our first bloom about 4 inches wide.
Not the best photo, it is pinker than it looks here.

Anyway yesterday I planted a 3 gallon Camellia Sasanqua 'Leslie Ann' and today I planted a 3 gallon Camellia Sasanqua 'Moon Festival' in the front side garden by the wooden fence. Meg and I cut down 3 Eastern Red Buds hanging over the garden, blocking sunlight. We also cut down a 6 inch Black Jack Oak, hated to take it down but that garden needs more sunlight.

I also managed to plant the 3 double hellebores I purchased weeks ago and 4 camellia seedlings sprouted last winter. I'm worried what I thought were camellia seedlings we dug up in Wilmington at Sharna's might not even be camellias, the leaves seem very thin when compared to the camellias I grew from seed. I have a new batch of seeds from her garden to sprout this winter too.
 I read somewhere about camellia apples, maybe NeilJean's blog. Never seen one before. Here is one from Sharna's garden in Wilmington, NC. Below is a freshly opened up seed pod. Now is the time to look for seeds on camellias. It might take 3-5 years before you know what the flowers will look like, so your garden would be full of mysteries for years... Sprouting camellia seeds, I wrap them in a wet paper towel and seal them up in a ziploc bag and wait 4- 8 weeks for them to sprout. I change the paper towel after 4 weeks.

The cold frames are all planted now, boxed but not covered yet. We'll have arugula, rainbow, carnival and nantes carrots, mesclun and gourmet lettuce, curly and lacinato kale, spinach, watermelon radish,  scarlet radish, Swiss chard and purple top turnips. We now have 2- 6 ft x 8 ft and one 6 ft x 10 ft cold frames. Two of the frames have lots of acorns falling on them, so we'll cover them before the oak leaves fall.

Meg planted a new kitchen window herb garden, with my help from the rototiller. She planted Saint John's Wort, Rue, Sorrel, Suchon and Yarrow. She brought these plants home from the Chestnut Herb Nursery at the Southeastern Women's Herbal Conference last weekend. She also planted seeds including chamomile, California poppies and echinacea. We had some Elephant garlic left over from some I bought this summer so she planted 3 cloves and some onion sets too.

I know I posted a photos of this fall crocus in a recent post, today they were open to about 5 inches wide, very cool.
Lastly this night blooming cereus had two blooms mid week during a cold and windy night. I have never seen one of these still open in the morning, but then again they usually bloom during the heat of summer. The cold air must have kept it open. We had acorns falling 40-50 at a time, it sounded like we were in a war zone! The acorns hit the roof, roll down and hit the deck and sometimes hit the metal railings.

Huge news, Meg agreed to cut Bubba down to 6-7 foot tall today. Bubba was a 14 foot tall avocado tree she planted from seed. Bubba for the past 2 years has been too big for our living room during the winter, leaning over more each year, it was nearly 90 degrees so we cut it off. Growing side ways, this year it grew several new limbs straight up and nearly 4 foot tall so we felt the new growth would take over.

The bees have been active and friendly, still bringing in pollen packets. I witnessed a small orientation flight today. I also noted lots of new bees just learning to fly clinging to the side of the hive, it was chilly so I think they are OK. Last thing this afternoon I saw a Worm Snake under the Leslie Ann camellia, doubt we'll be seeing any more smakes this year. Worm Snakes are less than a foot long and they eat slugs!


Birds, Bees, Berries, and Blooms said...

I sure wish I could grow camillas here. They are beautiful. I hope your back is better. I've never heard of a self planted avocado. Wow. Hope your bees winter well. Mine did not go far from the hive today.

Randy Emmitt said...

I should have stated Meg's Avocada tree was started by a seed, stuck with a toothpick and set half into in a glass of water to sprout.

Andrea said...

Those white camellias are so beautiful with their orange stamens. And i think I saw the post about the avocado seed, so it is resistant to cold than bananas. Hey Randy can you please look at my moths in the previous post? I am not sure if all of them are moths. I thought moths have comblike antennae, but my moths have only pointed antennae like butterflies. But their shapes are like moths, and they are active and visit me at night. thanks.

Bridget said...

Never heard of is gorgeous though!

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

I used to grow Camellias in our first garden, and always looked forward to their winter blooms, but I never, ever, saw one set seed! How fun! It never would have dawned on me to try growing one from seed. I hope your little sproutling takes off and does well.

Skeeter said...

Sorry about your back. Get well soon! So much to do in the garden this time of year ya know....

Our Camellias are full of buds and this after such a horrible rain free summer...

As a child we would root Avocados with a toothpick in a glass of water as well. Fun to watch them grown… I had one shoot up in the compost pile. LOL….

Karen said...

I hear you about the back thing; mine is finally deciding to let me breathe again a full three weeks after my tripping and falling dance with the big rock. Nothing like a sore back to remind you how many times you have to bend down to pick something up in a garden.

Camellias would not be happy here in the Rust Belt, but they are gorgeous, along with the Cereus. You have all the best stuff blooming there.

The only thing that looks good year round here is rocks.

Nell Jean said...

Camellias from seeds are such fun. He-who-mows' aunt grew one that was so pretty her daughter had it registered with the American Camellia Society, named the Annie Jones Camellia.

If you cut a night-blooming cereus/Epiphyllum bloom off the plant as soon as it is fully open when the weather's hot, you can put in the refrigerator to show everybody the next day. They do stay open longer on the plant in cooler weather. Mine are done for the season.

Kimberly said...

Your Camelias are beautiful! Your night blooming Cereus is GORGEOUS! what a treat!

tina said...

I've never seen a night blooming cereus in bloom-and I've had mine for about six years now. I hope one day I see it. I love camellia apples. I've had lots of them on my big camellia and now I've been gifted with about two dozen seedlings. I don't think they'll come true but we shall see. I'll be interested in seeing hows yours fair. So far I've just dug about half of mine and put them in the greenhouse. The other half are still in the garden. Hopefully they'll all survive the winter. It is always tough to cut a plant down. It sounds like Meg's avocado was most happy. Get well soon on the back. Mine went out in the spring and I thought I was going to die it was so painful for so long. Lots of rest helps for sure. Good luck with the hellebores.

Phillip said...

Sorry to hear about your back. I just purchased a "Leslie Ann" camellia in Florida last year on vacation. I couldn't remember what it looked like but recognized the name as one that I had seen in a book. I also got a "Pink Perfection" to replace the one that died.