Sasanqua Camellia make my fall garden beautiful--

Of all the wonderful shrubs that grow and bloom in North Carolina gardens (and there are many) the Sasanqua Camellias have to be my favorite. 

They bloom in fall, bringing color to my Apex woods from September to the hard freezes of December. 

They are shade-loving, strong, and drought tolerant once established.

They are good blenders–open, lax and more at home in a woodland setting than their rather formal spring blooming cousins–Camellia japonica.

Sasanqua Camellia are evergreen–always a plus if you have neighbors or live in  a deciduous forest.

Finally, I love the way Sasanqua Camellias smell–woodsy and clean–kind of like kicking your feet through newly fallen leaves, only sweeter.

Five Sasanqua varieties are blooming in my garden this week.  All but one came from the fabulous Camellia Forest Nursery in Chapel Hill.  My two favorites are Camellia Forest introductions: (They are world-famous camellia breeders by the way)

Favorite Number 1) Midnight lover–the reddest of the sasanquas.  I can see the blooms clearly from my kitchen window  even though it’s planted deep in the woods–110 feet away from the house.

I love the bright blooms of Midnight Lover from Camellia Forest

Favorite number 2) William Lanier Hunt–a huge, trouble-free shrub that covers itself with hundreds of double rose-colored blooms around the time of my mother’s birthday in late Nov.   Like I told blog-partner Melissa at the Camellia Forest open house last spring–“Wm Lanier Hunt–You should grow that”.  

At home in the woods--Wm Lanier Hunt is a large, open, evergreen shurb that will soon be covered with 100s of blooms.

Sasanqua Camellias–give them a try.

Beautiful, fragrant, abundant--blooms of Sasanqua, Wm Lanier Hunt.

Bulb update:  My order from Tera Ceia Farms arrived this week.  Here’s how I’m storing my bulbs until planting time next month–

My bulb order stored in a cool, dry place until planting time

Find a cool, dry spot–this is my shady screen porch table.  Get the bulbs out of the bags and lay them out in a single layer.   Now, go ahead and stock up on some BULBTONE–organic plant food for bulbs.  Your grandma may have used bone meal but I’m told that the bones aren’t what they used to be.  Blubtone is a better option.  I’ve used it for years with good results.