Camellia 'Donation': large, soft pink, late-winter blooms
Evergreen shrubs with large glossy, bright green leaves, Camellias provide wonderful colour and interest from late winter to mid-spring. They are a great addition to any garden simply because they come into flower earlier than most other popular garden shrubs.
There are lots of wonderful cultivars to choose from, but Camellia ‘Donation’ is an extremely popular variety. With its large soft-pink blooms it has become a firm favourite of so many gardeners, and it never fails to add a touch of glamour. Although quite a large and fast-growing plant, it has a naturally compact and upright growth habit. This makes it a suitable candidate for a large container as a 'focal point' plant, or directly in the ground as part of a mixed planting scheme.
Like all Camellias, C. 'Donation' prefer an acidic soil. It is perfectly possible to grow it in more neutral soils, but to keep it performing I’d recommend a generous annual mulch of ericaceous (acidic) compost or a regular acidic liquid feed. C. ‘Donation’ is winter hardy, so can cope with cold English winters providing the soil is fairly free-draining.
Although usually happy in full or partial shade, all Camellia’s are best kept away from east-facing locations. This is because the new flower buds are easily damaged if they are exposed to very strong cold winds or rapid temperature changes caused by direct early morning sun after frosty nights. Other than that, C. ‘Donation’ is an easy plant to grow and enjoy.
Pruning is also simple, and is really just a case of removing any damaged or diseased material, or to keep to a preferred size. For best results, wait until the flowers have finished but before the plant is growing vigorously again.
C. 'Donation' is also a not-so-distant relation to Camellia sinensis which, as many of you may know, is the plant from which tea is produced. What better excuse could we possible need to find a few minutes to sit outside with a mug of tea and enjoy our gardens?
Tythorne Garden Design provides professional fixed-fee garden design solutions for customers in Grantham, Stamford, Newark and surrounding areas. Let's see how we can help you to enjoy your garden more. Call us on 07900 224 239 or 01529 455 355.