Seed Saved

“Seed Saved”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 


A few weeks ago, I wrote about finding a seed on the sasanqua camellia I bought last year.  I had been watching the little seed until the shrub started blooming.  When it started blooming several days ago, I turned the container it was in so that more flowers could be seen, and in doing so, I turned the seed pod to the back and forgot about it.  That is until yesterday.




Here is the seed pod on September 12th.  Yesterday, when I went out to check how the seed pod was coming along, I fully expected to see it on the shrub, just a little larger than before.  But, instead, I found the casing brown and burst open.  I couldn’t believe it.  I had lost my one seed.  I quickly looked around, and found it on the ground next to the container.  It must have opened only recently because it was sitting on top of the grass.


I quickly picked it up and checked to see that it fit in the seed casing.  It was a perfect fit, so I know I have the right sasanqua seed and not some other stray seed that just happened to be hanging around. 



The seed ended up being about the size of my thumbnail.  I planted it in a container and will see if it comes up.  I am glad I was able to save that little seed because if it had started to grow where I found it, I am sure I would have just pulled it up not realizing it was a little sasanqua. 


 I know if it germanates that it will be years before I see any flowers bloom, but I think it will be nice, if not a challenge, to see if I can grow a sasanqua from seed.


Not a Normal Day

“Not a Normal Day”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 


Today was supposed to be a normal day with just severe thunderstorms and winds.  When I woke up the weather didn’t seem too bad even though we were in a tropical storm watch area.  Hurricane Ike was about 200 miles off the Louisiana coast and headed to Texas.  I left for work early and since I live about thirty miles north of New Orleans, I have to cross Lake Pontchartrain using a bridge that spans twenty-four miles over water.  I must have gone only a mile or two on the bridge when a squall hit with blinding rain and unbelievable winds.  Instead of doing 60 miles an hour, the traffic was down to about 25 mph.  I really had to hold on to the steering wheel since there were wind gusts of 50 mph.  Just before I reached the half-way point, dear hubby called with the news that work was closed, so I turned around and came home.  I was so glad to be out of that storm.  Soon after returning home the squall had passed, but the winds were still strong and gusty.  The yard we had just finished cleaning up from Gustav now has debris again.  Not as bad as before, but it looks like yard cleanup is again on the agenda for this weekend.


In between rain showers, I did get to walk around the garden to see how things were doing.  I had not returned potted plants from their protected area since I was waiting to see where Ike would go, and now I am glad I waited.  So far, everything seems okay.  I noticed the bleeding heart vine is starting to bloom more profusely now.



One more thing caught my eye today.  A camellia I bought last year has a seed pod on it.



I noticed it when I was checking the buds.  I may just try and plant the seeds.  I found an interesting site about camellia seeds.  It looks like this pod is not ripe yet.


Please keep the people of Texas in your prayers.  It seems as if the storm surge from Ike is going to be bad, and many people have not evacuated the area.  I am really worried about those people after having seen what the water did to Mississippi and Louisiana during Katrina.


This post, “Camellias” was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 

One flower that is important in Southern gardens is the Camellia.  It is one of the first flowers that I can recall from my childhood.  I remember my mother had a large one that had dark red peony type blossoms around Christmas time.  I also remember when it was common for ladies to pin one on their coats.  The appeal of Camellias must be that they bloom in the winter when everything else is dormant. 


We are lucky to have several of these special plants.  I have planted Debutant, a pale pink, which I love to float in a shallow bowl.  It is a refreshing change after Christmas’s red and green.  This year I bought what was supposed to be Yuletide, a dark single red sasanqua, but when it bloomed it was a single white.  At first I was very disappointed, but then I started to like this one and will plant it where I have a white section in the side garden.  I still want a Yuletide though I have learned to buy only when in bloom to be assured it is the what the label says it is.  There is also a large camellia that came with the house.  It seems to bloom for months.  I also have my neighbor’s tree with red flowers as borrowed landscape.  These also are nice to bring indoors and float in bowls.

The only problem I have with these plants is that they can be such slow growers esp. the japonicas.  My Debutant has crept along to its present height.  Therefore it is wise to buy as large a plant as you can afford.  There can also be a problem with sooty mold, though it has been years since we have had any problem with that.  These plants also like to have some shade, esp. afternoon, this far south.  The leaves can sun scald.  They also prefer moist but well-drained acidic soil.  For me, that means planting high for drainage and a lot of mulch to keep the moisture in during the summer.  I think they do well for me because they are planted under pine trees which give them the shade they need.

I am thinking about planting some Shishi Gashira camellia sasanquas in front of some lorepetulums in my side garden.  I think the colors would look good together, and this would give some more color to that bed in the fall.  However, I will not buy any unless I can see them in bloom.  I do not want to be disappointed again.

There are many types of camellia.  The sasanquas and japonicas are two of the most commonly grown ornamental type.  Camellia sinensis is the plant that gives us tea.  We all know how Southerners feel about their iced tea, so maybe that is one more reason to love our camellias.

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