Camellias, a very British love affair

What makes you fall in love with a plant? Do you long for acid soil to grow these wonderful, elegant shrubs?
How about trying them in a pot! I fell in love with them whilst working in Kent and I’ve just added one to my garden, I think it won’t be the last…

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Camellias are of course not native to England but the plant has become so firmly embodied in British culture it might as well be our National flower. You probably have it every single day, a cup for breakfast at the very least. Camellia is of course the source of your very British cup of Tea!

We as a nation have been obsessed by tea since its arrival in the 17th century, oddly coffee up until then was more popular but coffee shops were seen as hotspots for political sedition! King Charles II became worried that the intellectuals at the time were becoming too ‘woke’ and banned the sale of coffee in 1675.

But back to camellias! Continue reading “Camellias, a very British love affair”

Snowdrop mania!

Given my disastrous failure this year you would think id be put off spending more money on these ephemeral beauties but not so, I have a cunning plan with fungi!Record breaking prices and galanthophiles abound!

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The interest in these tiny flowers seems to be gaining in popularity in the last 15 or so years, some of them reaching phenomenal prices! I myself have succumbed to their lure and can be found lurking around tables at snowdrop fairs looking wistfully at the ones far out of my budget, scanning for my must haves at a price I can justify to myself. It is not a hobby without heartbreak though, for myself it has been a disastrous spring. My small collection despite all my efforts took a severe beating, maybe due to the prolonged heatwave in the summer, maybe I had the dreaded fungal/viral infection which eats snowdrops alive? Whatever the cause I awaited patiently for them to emerge and when 3 varieties had I finally lost patience waiting on the others and tipped the pots out to investigate only to find either no evidence of them or sad soggy brown husks where once had flourished what I humorously termed my “pension fund”…. not so funny now eh! Continue reading “Snowdrop mania!”