I've got six in the garden and, successively, they give me colour from November to April. The season starts with a Camellia sasanqua variety (I've lost the label but I think it's Shishi Gashira). It's trained against a west facing wall and is now in semi shade so doesn't flower as freely as it should. Even so, the relatively small, deep pink, semi double flowers are a welcome sight in November and December. This one usually manages to avoid the flower damage a period of frost can bring. But others are not so lucky.
|Camellia sasanqua variety|
|Camellia 'Cornish Snow'|
'St Ewe' was the first in flower, just after Christmas. It has perfect single flowers and a long season from January to April with me. Like all the C. x williamsii hybrids it has the invaluable ability to shed dead and frosted flowers of it's own accord. The buds are frost resistant. The flowers are not. We get short periods of freezing weather so, inevitably, some flowers get frosted. With the x williamsii varieties these will soon drop to be replaced by the next set of buds. With other camellias - notably C.japonica - the dead flowers hang on and on - the bush becomes very unsightly.
|Camellia 'St Ewe'|
|Camellia x williamsii 'Donation'|
|Camellia x williamsii 'Anticipation'|
But the season doesn't stop here. In a month the fat buds of my single Camellia japonica variety will be open to produce absolutely formal semi double pink flowers. It was sold to me as a variety it's definitely not. I think it may be 'Magnoliaeflora' but I can't be certain. Whatever it is, its small flowers are a definite adornment although a single night's frost can cover the bush with blossoms gone to brown decay.
|Camellia japonica - a white semi double, possibly Magnoliaeflora'|