I am enjoying the clear bright pink of my new Camellia x williamsii 'Debbie'. The blooms make a change to the yellows and whites of early spring bulbs, welcome though they are. It replaces a white camellia that just didn't show up enough against the hellebores planted beneath.
Something I hadn't considered was how camellia blooms drop. They have a tendency to remain on the branches until they finally go brown and mushy before finally dropping off. Sometimes I can't wait that long and pick them off by hand! Debbie seems to lose her dying flowers attractively, strewing them beneath the shrub and looking rather pretty.
- A very free-flowering camellia that produces large, peony-form, rose-pink blooms for several weeks from April. Mature size 4m x 4m. This vigorous, evergreen shrub is particularly resistant to cold weather and is perfect for training against a north-facing wall or fence. The faded blooms drop cleanly when they are spent. This variety is highly recommended by the Royal Horticultural Society. White or cream Hellebores look lovely planted underneath, with the addition of snowdrops.
- Garden care: To prevent damage to the emerging buds and flowers protect from cold, dry winds and early morning sun. Water established plants in dry weather to prevent bud drop. Apply a balanced liquid fertiliser in mid-spring and again in June. Top-dress annually with shredded bark or well-rotted leaf mould. After flowering lightly trim or prune any branches that spoil the appearance of the plant.