I have to confess, there are times when I don't really like Camellias very much. Or maybe it's a matter of indifference. Could it be plant elitism ? I know myself well enough to suspect the latter. Snobbery is so unbecoming ! Stroll around my neighborhood and you would be hard pressed to find a house that didn't have at least one -understandable since they possess many fine qualities. They are evergreen, they grow in shade, they bloom in winter and very early spring, some are fragrant, and an added bonus, they are in fact drought tolerant-mine receive zero irrigation in summer.I've never seen a pest of any kind bother them. They are the Sansiveria of the shrub world. When I started my first Northern California garden in the mid- 80's I planted several, all of them pink with poofy peony-like flower forms.The rainy winters here soon taught me about Camellia petal blight;the ground beneath my plants was often festooned with slimy brown blobs that once were flowers. In bad years the brown blobs hang on the plant for awhile before they drop to become a pathway slip hazzard.
Aforementioned brown blobs. This Camellia was here when we moved to this house -it is small tree-size now , though I do a fair amount of chopping back after bloom. It booms for a very long time, but I dislike the color. This falls under the category of plants I tolerate because I would have to pay someone to dig it out.
A couple of pretty pink numbers at the garden center last week.
Here is one that I actually like. In fact the last three I planted were white-I think I've decided it is my favorite Camellia color. I'm also partial to flowers with prominent yellow stamens.