Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Camellias into Topiary Trees

I considered limbing up these ancient Camellias into trees for a long time.
Virginia Creeper and Catbrier was climbing them faster than I could crawl underneath and find the stems. Digging under there was just not possible.
Limbs began to hang over the edge of the driveway and cutting them back left the parts I couldn't reach without a ladder looking top-heavy.
I looked at limbed up Camellias on the internet, including those at Julie's Museum-next-door and Mr. Dirr's or was it Coach Dooley's? . My Ephiphany came yesterday morning over coffee when I saw Camellia topiary from Australia. I went right out and started.
The big surprise was when I found a layered limb that had rooted and what I think are seedlings. Some of them may be suckers off the roots but we'll see when I start digging.
Blood of China, always last to bloom but usually done in April still has blooms.
Notice the little plant to the left, either layered or seedling.
Ignore the Virginia creeper and all that litter to be raked.

New Plants: Layered, not seedlings.
Opened up the view in both directions.
I'm not nearly finished but could not wait to show a day's work.
I waited until after the fact to look at what the Camellia Society has to say about pruning. No permanent damage is done here.
Before they looked like Antebellum Ladies in long dresses to the ground. Now they look like dancers, free.



  1. Saw Camellias limbed into trees almost 30 years ago outside Charleston, SC.

    Deer did the pruning.

    I copied.

    Been doing it ever since.

    Keep 4-6 good trunks, leave everything bare up to 5'.

    Liberating in small gardens too.

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara


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