Showing posts from February, 2013


 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.

Idylling in Maine

  Idyllunion 6 took place in 2008 , in southern coastal Maine. This was an exciting prospect to me; though I had traveled to Atlantic places a number of times, it was usually on business and featured mostly the inside of convention centers , meeting rooms and taxis. My childhood obsession with Rogers and Hammersteins'  'Carousel' bubbled to the surface as I envisioned lobsters, clambakes and sail boats.  Our gathering began with a kick-off party in my friend Deannes garden , strategically located in New Hampshire to provide a good jumping off point for a journey to Maine.Viewing  photos of Deannes' driveway garden posted on Gardenweb was what led me to the Idylls in the first place, so an 'in person' visit was especially  meaningful . Readers in New England might wish to keep an eye on the Garden Conservancy web site, as this garden will be open this summer ; it is well worth a visit. Our next stop was the Fuller Garden on the NH coast, which