Saturday, January 16, 2010

Great Book!

One of my favorite books this season is Landscape Lessons, by Patricia Godwin Dunleavy. She is someone who literally grew up in the nursery business, and operates Pine Bush Nursery.

Because the book is formatted for each brief chapter to correspond to a year in the gardening calendar, it’s a very easy read that can be picked up and read whenever I find a free half hour.
This book is filled with great information, presented in a very soft and subtle manner.

The chapter I was reading last night is about camellias. To give you an idea of a typical section, here are some points that Patricia makes about camellias:

  • Planting semi-doubles rather than the larger doubles will yield more flowers with less freeze damage, since the semi-doubles open more quickly;
  • To prevent browning on camellia flowers, plant them in a spot where they won’t get morning sun until after the frost has dried;
  • If flowers have brown on the edges, it is probably cold or wind damage. If the flowers are browning from the center out, it is a fungal blight. Remove those flowers from the bush and the surrounding ground and bury or burn them;

  • Look for Camellia sinensis for the earliest bloom, then C. sasanqua, then finally C. japonica to finish out the bloom season.

  • The most cold hardy are the tea-oil varieties, C. oleifera, which are sometimes hard to find in cultivation. This variety has been hybridized with some others, however, such as “Winter’s Star,” which is easier to find. (I can vouch for “Winter’s Star” and “Winter’s Snowman” as two spectacular hybrids, since both grow in the stepchild garden. They produce incredible shows every winter, with virtually no attention from me.

I got this book from Amazon. Just for a little plug, buy it from the dealer listed as "Bibliowrite"in Ila, Georgia, if you want the copy personalized and signed.
Happy reading!

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