Sunday, January 8, 2012

You Win Some, You Lose Some

Looming in the back of my mind for at least a week has been the quandary,  what am I going to write about? I didn't want you, my faithful friends, to think I had buried myself in the compost or some such erroneous undertaking. But for the life of me, nothing, and I repeat, nothing was coming. No newsy garden-related-events merited my, or your attention. 

But wouldn't you know it? The muse can be an elusive thing but when it finally comes a callin' you've got your ah ha moment.   


I was with daughter number 1. After finishing up our errands we decided to stop in at a thrift store, just to have a look around. Those of you who are thrift store addicts know what I'm talking about. Just a look around, right? Anyway, right there by the front door was this beautiful Camellia (C. sasanqua 'Yuletide') in bloom. I'll write about this sweet little camellia! I told myself.   


Well, typical me. I was going to take photos on the way out but about half way home I realized I had forgotten. Thankfully I had a few I took last year that I could use on my blog. 

This camellia baffles me. It grows as a foundation planting in front of a cement building, in blazing, south-facing summer sun. I don't understand why it does so well. I thought camellias liked dappled shade and cool roots. 


This photo of pink-flowered Camellia 'Mrs. Tinkley' was taken several years ago before she passed away. She's a later-blooming Japonica species. Guess what. I've tried growing and killed both 'Yuletide' and the Mrs. Sometimes you have to enjoy plants from afar, conceding that they just don't like your garden, for whatever reason. 


The final photo is of my Winter Sweet in bloom (Chimonanthus praecox), so named for the delicious scent of the rather diminutive flowers. It thrives in my garden, so I'm happy. You win some. You lose some, right? 

I kind of like visiting the thrift store and seeing that sweet camellia defying the odds. 

Have a wonderful week. 
As always, 

17 comments:

MrsLittleJeans said...

I love Camelias and like you I am amazed at them. We usually get gorgeous ones here in Southern CA but I have managed to kill one sadly. I was told that they did not need much sun, and I did not realize that the outside corner that I had in mind was really so dark.

Hope you have a great new week Grace...xx

FlowerLady said...

I WISH I could grow Camelias this far south. I just enjoy them through all the wonderful posts here in blogland.

Enjoy ~ FlowerLady

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

Down at the Ballard Locks I remember seeing (and taking pictures of) these huge roses that had been planted in a little tiny opening in a cement walkway. I was amazed at how they could grow, they were huge and covered in flowers.
Funny how some plants will grow in the strangest conditions and yet when you try them in the "optimal" conditions they don't make it.

HolleyGarden said...

Sometimes I think that's the hardest part about gardening - getting rid of the plants that just don't seem to like where they're planted! Or realizing that a particular plant just doesn't like your particular garden!

scottweberpdx said...

It's always interesting to me how we all seem to have problems with certain plants...even if someone else grows them with east...it can be frustrating. I think you are wise to just enjoy those you see in passing :-)

Heather @ what's blooming this week said...

My win some/lose some plant is the lupine - I used to have a beautiful selection of them in a previous garden but have never had any luck in subsequent venues. But my best gardening pal has an amazing selection, so I make sure I visit her when they are in bloom.

Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

I am growing Camellias for the first time. I have a little Yuletide. I am not an expert on where or what kind of conditions make them happy.
I have one spot in my garden that seems to be a loser spot. Unfortunately it is right by the front door. Thinking about digging up the soil and replacing it with good soil....and new plants.

Lona said...

Beautiful pictures Grace. I love Camellias. I am going to try one this spring for zone 6 and pray we do not fall back to a zone 5 next winter. LOL! I do not know now where to plant it since you saw this one in the hot sun. Oh, heck maybe I will split the difference and plant it in between with afternoon shade. LOL!

MulchMaid said...

Both camellias are beautiful! I love that perfect petal arrangement of 'Mrs. Tinkley'. I've been lucky enough to grown 'Yuletide' with happy results: morning sun and a slight slope were the conditions, and my three Yuletide flourished there. But I've killed more than my share of plants and shrubs to compensate. I admire your wisdom in realizing you may not have the right garden for a given plant and letting go of it...wish I felt better about my losses - or at least a bit more philosophical.

ChrisC said...

After our giant oak tree went down this past summer,my two camellias(both Florida natives)lost their partial shade and are now growing in full sun.And they are blooming like crazy!Who knows what Mother Nature likes?

Sissy said...

The camelia is such a wonderful plant! As groundskeeper for a church in Memphis, TN, I had 4 camelia shrubs that towered at almost 20 feet! The camelia society would come look at them every year. After I left, they chopped them down.
More folks should appreciate the understated beauty of the camelia, like you do, Grace!

linniew said...

Camellias, it seems to me, have rebellious natures. You have to move them around a lot, like a deck chair. xo L

Corner Gardener Sue said...

Hi Grace,
You sound like me. I plan on taking pictures of things, and then forget. I get sidetracked easily. I enjoyed doing some thrifting over the holidays. I mostly got clothes.

I enjoyed your photos. Yes, it is interesting to see what plants do well where.

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

Shame on me, I don't have camellias in my garden. I enjoy my neighbors' plants. I bought camellias twice, and they didn't like me... I will try again.

Sallyanne said...

I don't know anything about Winter Sweet but I do know I would love it in my garden--especially if it has a good fragrance--and blooms in the dead of winter!

bakingbarb said...

I love camellias - at the mall they have some in pots that are getting ready to bloom - I never can understand how those plants do so well.
Winter blooms aren't something I have enough of and I'd like to replant but I do tend to kill some plants. I'm willing to try again.

Wendy said...

ooooh, I looove that wintersweet.