Zipperer Land Management

Tips & Trends

Topic: The Garden

Southern Gardens

Those of us who love gardening or the beauty of gardens and landscape, become a bit restless this time of year.  Most everything in the garden is hibernating for winter, except of course, Camellia Japonicas.  The vibrant colors of the blooms from Camellia Japonicas give Southern gardeners a reason to enjoy the outdoors even in the coldest months of the winter.

The Camelia which has long been associated with Southern gardens is actually a native tree of Japan and China.  It was by chance that it was introduced to the west.  A cousin to it known as the Camellia Sinensis was used to make tea.  In the 18th century, The East India Company was eager to import the plants to London and propagate them in India and America, circumventing trade with the Chinese.  So as not to be outsmarted, the Chinese substituted japonicas which do not produce good tea.  We southerners can thank China for our favorite flower.

The most challenging aspect of planting the japonicas is narrowing down your choices.  Available in a variety of colors and sizes, all have glossy leaves and make handsome background shrubs when not in bloom.  My wife's favorites are Elegans and Louise Hairston Variegated.  She takes the blooms and floats them in a decorative bowl for an effortless arrangement.

Cleve Zipperer