My Favourite Plants
Camellia, Azalea, Rhododendron
I love all the late Winter/Spring woodland plants, Camellia, Azalea, Rhododendron in particular, they are exotic looking and the vivid magenta, red and purple are show stoppers. Sadly my garden soil is too limey for them. But I plant Camellia in big tubs in Ericaceous compost and place them in a west facing position because early morning sun in winter damages the blooms. They give you gorgeous flowers at a time little else is flowering, and their handsome shiny leaves look good throughout the year. Best to move them somewhere shady for the summer and don’t let them dry out completely. They appreciate rain water, but this isn’t essential, tap water will do.
I buy Azalea for indoors all through the winter. Keep them well watered and they will bloom for weeks. But afterwards, pick of the spent flowers and repot them in bigger pots in ericaceous compost and put them outside in a shady place. The following year you can bring them in again, or keep them outside in the garden in nice tubs. They are a gift that keeps on giving.
Both Camellia and Azalea appreciate some fertilizer after they have flowered. I have found the kind advertised for Lime hating plants is also good as a pick-me-up for Hydrangea in Spring and ensures more flowers.