Sunday, December 6, 2009

Camellia "Debutante"




Catching a glimpse of the perfect bright pink blooms of camellia 'Debutante' among the frost-burnt foliage of most of the surrounding plants in the landscape is a soul-satisfying experience for me. We have a circular driveway behind our house and alongside this drive is what I call the "camellia walk" or it might better be referred to as the "woodland garden". It is a long narrow stretch situated under a row of the awful hackberry trees that were already there when we moved in. The soil here dries out during prolonged dry periods so I have a string of soaker hoses in place. Most of the plants that I've planted here are doing well. Camellias, roses, and a few azaleas dominate along with witch hazel, oakleaf hydrangea and climbing raspberry.



'Debutante' is one of my favorite camellias. I transplanted it here after it resided in the lower garden where the absence of leaves during the winter scorched the camellia leaves badly. It is about the same height as I am (5'9") but the transplant went well with no problems.

'Debutante' was originally registered as "Sarah C.Hastie" in 1930 and introduced in 1938 by the Gerbing Azalea Nursery in Florida. The flowers are peony-form, clear pink and appear early to mid-season. It grows tall, compact and narrow and would probably make a good hedge. This camellia is a parent of many popular camellias on the market today.

In case you are wondering about the black residue on the leaves - this is caused by aphids that attack the hackberry trees. The black sooty residue falls on the surrounding plants, cars, garage and everything in the vicinity. The substance doesn't seem to affect the health of the plants. The hackberry trees are great for shade but that is the only good thing I could ever say about them. I wouldn't plant one if you paid me.

20 comments:

  1. Phillip that is so lovely! I am going to have to drive down to Smith now to see some camellias in real life! I will look for your 'Debutante'. Your hackberry trees sound just horrid, but you have the good sense not to hack them (wonder how they got that name) for the shade they provide. Your camellia walk or woodland walk sounds lovely and maybe we have seen it? All is Bright... All is White here. Have a good Sunday. Carol

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  2. A beautiful romantic garden comes to mind when I read~~Camellia Walk~~Debutante is beautiful~~What a gift winter blooming plants are after a hard frost. Hackberry trees may be beneficial to wildlife, but they really seem problematic with the aphid mess and all those weed seedlings everywhere. We have them here...planted by the birds a long time ago. gail You do have a beautiful and romantic garden.

    gail

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  3. Who says you can't satisfy a rose craving in December? This camellia reminds me so much of the old fashioned roses we both love. I just love your blog...it gets me thru this cold albeit short winter we have in TN/AL.

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  4. Very lovely flower, it really reminds me of a peone.

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  5. Camillias remind me of those beautiful old fashioned roses. This is a gorgeous pink.

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  6. I don't know what is more stunning - the camellia or your photography! Wow!

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  7. Lovely, just lovely, Phillip! What a sweet sight amidst frosted foliage that must be. The color is wonderful, but that form really sounds perfect for a shady spot. We detest those hackberries also, they line the property line just on the other side, out of my reach, along with the black walnuts. What a dastardly pair of trees, although the birds and squirrels love them.

    Frances

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  8. The Camellia is perfectly beautiful! I didn't realize Hackberries were such a pain, thanks for the info.

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  9. Debutante is just stunning, and your photographs of it are far better than mine will ever be! The Camellia Walk sounds beautiful! We have been dealing with that same black aphid soot in ATL on Crape Myrtles this year, so hopefully it's gone now with the frost.

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  10. I've always wondered if I could grow a camellia. I'd love one. I think Camellia Walk sounds lovely, and I would keep the name. Lots of us have woodland gardens, but not everyone has a CW. :) Thank you for sharing this beautiful plant with us. Sorry about your hackberry trees.~~Dee

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  11. Wow what a flower on it! I'm glad it survived the transplant, that's a pretty good sized one to move. I would love to find a Camellia that blooms this time of year. I'm going to look for this one

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  12. This is one of my favorite camellias, too, Phillip. Mine has not started blooming yet, but I can see color starting to show. I hope I have some for Christmas. They look so good with chartreuse ribbons and a nice change from the ubiquitous red and green.


    Jan
    Always Growing

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  13. Phillip,
    I believe that is the dreamiest shade of pink that I have laid eyes on. It is lovely to see such color as my window provides a view to our first blanket of snow.

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  14. Thank you for the lovely walk among your flowers; it warmed my soul within this frigid day.

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  15. Breath takingly lovely. What I wouldn't give to look out my window and see camellias in bloom.
    Marnie

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  16. You describe your woodland area well.

    Camellia Debutante is a perfect pink and your photographs do her justice.

    Seems you're not the only one who doesn't like Hackberry trees. Is it the berries?

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  17. I know how you feel about seeing the flower. That one is a stunner! The saturation is perfect.

    We get the sooty mold on a lot of different species of plants up here. Sometimes it builds up too much and I have to do something about it.

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  18. Ha, I understand your feelings about hackberries very well! Fortunately my new garden doesn't have them (although it does have other trees I wouldn't plant, like willow oaks). That is a beautiful camellia and I was surprised to hear how tall it was when you transplanted it. That says a lot for the variety. I know I need more camellias in my yard but I need to know if they're finicky about water. Do they need to be well drained?

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  19. Wow, the bloom really looks like a rose... I'm assuming the shape of the shrub itself makes it obvious it's a cameciuropllia IRL? (Cams don't grow here, but they seem to have a different habit from roses...)

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