Saturday, January 24, 2009

Peppermint Camellia Buds And Blooms on 1-24-09 and 1-28-08

About 150 miles downriver from Vicksburg is the famous Oak Alley Plantation in Vacherie, Louisiana. In its garden the mother plant of my Peppermint Camellia still lives. About 20 years ago after touring the mansion and its gardens I bought mine from a nearby nursery down there, and they explained that it was grown from a cutting taken from the original shrub at Oak Alley planted long before the Civil War. (I was curious but I didn't ask just how they obtained the cuttings.) Many antique camellias have fancy French, Chinese, or Japanese names, but my research at sites like the American Camellia Society has not yet revealed the correct name for this "Peppermint" one I have. Note: this post is an update with today's new photos of my previous post on 1-28-08.


Phillip said...

This is one camellia that I don't have. It is very pretty. I would love to visit that plantation one day.

racheld said...

I MISS camellias!!!

The ancestry of your plant is close in generations to the pink rosebush we left behind at our house in Mississippi.

It had been brought by my Great-Grandmother, Miss Roma, to her house from the "home-place" of her raising. Cuttings were years later taken from her plant to embellish the graves of several ancestors at the little hill cemetery where now, all those generations are buried.

My Mammaw clipped several pieces from a grave-bush after a funeral in the Forties and planted them beside her back porch, where they all grew and mingled into an enormous, pink-punctuated plant, all arms and blooms waving to the housetop, for most of the year.

And on the day before my second son was born, the early-Spring day just called me out to plant all the sprigs I'd cut at Mammaw's the day before. I didn't know about rooting things or magical powders to sprinkle, or anything but spoon and dirt, as I bent past my enormous belly to dig and tamp the earth.

Only one of the cuttings lived on, and a big piece of it went into the ground at the "new" homeplace we built just down the road.

Not as privileged a pedigree as yours, nor as many decades, but last time I was there, it was glorious.

Diane@A Picture is Worth.... said...

That is a beautiful Camellia. I don't have one here...need to see about changing that this year.

The plantation looks like a wonderful place to visit!

Philip Bewley said...

I love that your plant came from the cutting from a camellia at this vererable plantation.
What is funny as I was reading flower seed catalogs before I checked out your blog. I was thinking about how striking a border of red and white flowers would be...and here you show this lovely plant!
Best regards,

fran sorin said...

What magnificent camellias. I have never seen ones like this before and their history is fascinating.

Could you do me a favor also? I appreciate that you have listed as one of the blogs you read but it is in fact a blog started by me and is now a consortium of 5 gardening professionals throughout the country with a roster of Guest Contributors (I want to make sure all get the credit they deserve). Thanks so much. Best- Fran

jodi said...

I have camellia envy. They exist only as houseplants or as hothouse specimens here in Nova Scotia, so I salivate over them when I see them on blogs. Your photos are exquisite as always.

Jon said...

Thanks for your visit and comment. I have just corrected the link in my sidebar to give credit to all 5 of y'all in your team of "Gardening Gone Wild" which is one of my favorite blogs. Your team effort explains why y'all's blog is so diverse and comprehensive and interesting!
Good job for sure.

Jon at Mississippi Garden

Jean said...

That is so cool that you have a cutting from the mother plant! It's a lovely camellia. My lone camellia (remember, I'm new to them) is still not blooming although it looks like it's considering doing so. I wish it would hurry up - I need the pick-me-up!

Barbara said...

Wonderful to have a such a lovely camelia with a story behind. I love these plants too and have several ones ( but I didn't try to make cuttings yet) too. Hopefully they will start to bloom end of February, beginning of March.

ConsciousGardener said...

I don't have any camillia's but your photos made me want one! I love your colorful blog!

Anonymous said...

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ann said...

My daughter may be completing her Ph.d. in Mississippi and I came to your site seeking info to send her on its beauty. The camellias were a highlight of our visit to MS last year as we drove home. The beauty we share is the common ground on which we stand. Thank you for your fine photos and talent -- Ann in Saskatchewan, Canada