In the Garden > Flowering Plants & Shrubs
One of the greatest trends in Australian gardens in recent years has been towards a more formal style, with clipped hedges, standards and topiary becoming very popular. A problem with that sort of planting scheme is that throughout the entire year most hedging plants are always green. An excellent alternative is a hedge of sasanqua camellias, which can be clipped into a formal style or left to grow naturally. Most varieties have attractive glossy green foliage, with the added bonus of a beautiful autumn flower display when the rest of the garden looks bare. To give you an example of just how stunning camellia hedges can be, Don looked at 200 plants of Camellia sasanqua 'Pure Silk' lining a driveway. They were put in about five years ago, and are now around 4 metres (13') tall.
Common name: Sasanqua camellia
Botanic name: Camellia sasanqua
Description: Small evergreen tree or large shrub from Japan which grows to around 6 metres (20') tall and 4 metres (13') wide. Flowers are mostly singles or semi-doubles and they range in colour from white through to deep pinks and reds. The main flowering time is from autumn to early winter.
Best climate: Camellia sasanqua grows well in Brisbane, Perth, Sydney, and in warm sheltered microclimates in Adelaide, Melbourne, Hobart and the Mountains.
hedge screen informal espalier tubs
more sun tolerant and faster growing than Camellia japonica beautiful autumn flower display when the rest of the garden is looking drab scented flowers
Sasanqua camellias prefer a slightly acid, humus rich soil with good drainage. They will grow in either full sun or partial shade. Fertilise in spring with camellia and azalea food, and mulch with compost or milled cow manure. When putting in a hedge of sasanqua camellias, space plants about 1 metre (3') apart. If a uniform look is wanted, it's important that the plants are all the same variety, to avoid differences in foliage, colour and growth habits. Prune after flowering to maintain shape and bushiness.
Early Pearly: Large white formal double flowers with a pearly blush on outer petals. Good for a hedge or espalier.
Otome-Sazanka: Delicate pink, informal double flowers. Good for low hedge or tub.
Dwarf shishi: Very dark red flowers with a lighter coloured centre.
Rosette: Small well proportioned flowers which are rose pink with fluted petals.
Camellia sasanquas cost around $17 for 200mm (8") sized pots. They are available at specialist camellia nurseries around Australia, including:
New South Wales
Camellia Grove Nursery (where our segment was filmed)
8 Cattai Ridge Road,
Ph: 9652 1200
438 Old Cleveland Road East
Phone: (07) 3286 0333
North East Road
Tea Tree Gully, 5091
Phone: (08) 8264 2661
John Cole's Nursery
Lot 5, Beenyup Road
Phone: (08) 9417 6164
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