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Camellia bed update

I don’t really know why I call this ‘The Camellia Bed”, I have far more Camellias in the back garden than in this small corner, but that’s its name … the Camellia Bed. It started out as a very dark corner with overgrown trees casting deep shade onto the swimming pool – as a result we hardly used the pool). We slowly transformed the area as detailed in this post and then later I added the DIY trellis against the wall on which to train the Star Jasmine that thrives in this space.

I realised that it has been a year since I’ve photographed and talked about this corner on its own so today I took a few photos. Winter is not the best time of year for this bed, but three of the large Camellia shrubs are flowering and a ground cover shrub is also in bloom so it has a few pops of delicious pink and cerise blooms. The petals that fall off the spent blooms also create a pool of pink at the foot of the shrubs which just adds to the charm of the Camellias.

Here are a few photos I took today and then a few older ones to show how it used to look. Am I happy with it? Mostly I am … It’s a very shaded area so I am making the most of it.

The Camellia bed from afar
The cerise Camellia

The cerise Camellia

A few “before” photos …

[one_half]Camellia bed in March 2011Camellia bed in March 2011[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Camellia bed in March 2011Camellia bed in March 2011[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Camellia bed in June 2011Camellia bed in June 2011[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Camellia bed in June 2011Camellia bed in June 2011[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Camellia bed in January 2012Camellia bed in January 2012[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Camellia bed in February 2012Camellia bed in February 2012[/one_half_last]

It’s become lush and very green. I might need to start doing some cutting back and pruning. Happy days!

Happy Gardening

Christine's garden Do it yourself Gardening Home page features

My DIY trellises

My first winter as a gardener and I’m learning all the time. So what have I learnt about winter? I’ve learnt that its a time to take stock of hardscaping projects and getting these done. As many plants die back or hibernate it seems to me one now has the space, time and because it is not so hot one also has more enthusiasm for diy. So whilst this is not quite as strenuous or ambitious as building your own raised bed garden, here is my diy project which finally got off the ground this week.

And anotherI have a number of Trachelospermum jasminoides ‘Star Jasmine’ (known as Confederate Jasmine in the Northern Hemisphere) that were planted by the landscaper last year. I never quite understood the objective of this planting as it is against the wall (good) but the plants are tightly wound around a stake (not good). When I say tightly wound, I mean really tightly – the way they are sold at the nurseries (see photo on the left). The plants had “nowhere to go” and as a result they were going nowhere – no light getting into the plant and they have just been “sitting” there, not flowering, not growing much either – just these weird plantings of “a stick with stems and leaves wrapped around them”.

I realised that the solution would be a trellis so that I could unwind the plants from the stakes and “set them free” to do their thing. Actually, it was a blog post by Jess of the blog “Children of the Corm” that really inspired me to get my ‘a into g’ and get this done. (See her post here). Although her post is actually about her now famous statue, I just love her Star Jasmine that is the background to her lovely statue and I love how it grows there – perhaps when mine looks like that one day I might get a lovely statue for that area too.

So here are the photos of before and after.

Before and during …

[one_half]Tightly bound and going nowherePlants tightly bound and going nowhere[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Nails drilled into wallNails drilled into walls[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Fishing line wound around the nailsFishing line wound around the nails[/one_half]

[one_half_last]A close view of the “trellisClose up view of the lines[/one_half_last]

The line we used was fishing line chosen because it is transparent and very strong. From a distance (a few feet) you don’t notice the nails either. Once the plants have grown a bit I think we won’t see any nails.

And After …

I have now unwound the plants from their stakes and guided them onto the new “trellises”. It was a bit like unravelling balls of wool that had become all tangled up. I managed not to break any stems in the process but it took a lot of care – at one stage I thought it would be much easier to just cut them all but then I would have little to train onto the new supports so I persevered and did the untangling with lots of love and care.

[one_half]Unbound with somewhere to go (grow)Unbound with somewhere to go (grow)[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Same plants, different viewUnbound with somewhere to go (grow)[/one_half_last]

[one_half]From the side …Detail view[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Close up viewDetail view[/one_half_last]

You like? I do, I think it will look better given some time. How long do you think it will take for them to fill out? I do hope it will be soon.

Full view

Happy Gardening