Now that most of the leaves have fallen and the landscape turns to winter hues, it's always nice to see a little blooming color. The lovely camellia with their peony like flowers and ruffled edges, can add a welcomed pop of color to your winter garden.

Camellias were cultivated in the gardens of China and Japan for centuries before they were seen in Europe. Used for tea, new varieties began to be seen in England and imported by the British East India Company, as the tea trade expanded in the late 18th century. Today, camellias are a staple of the Pacific Northwest home landscape, as they afford as the bright color and large bloom that we crave this time of year. Here are a few of Al's favorites.

'Mrs. Charles Cobb' Camellia

Red

Camellia japonica 'Mrs. Charles Cobb'

Dark red, loose peony like flowers set against glossy green leaves, the 'Mrs. Charles Cobb' grows best in acidic, well drained soil, and prefers sun to part shade.

Camellia japonica 'Tom Knudsen'

Deep red double blooms contrast nicely against the lustrous dark green leaves, and prefers a slightly acidic soil.  Hardy to 10° F, this is lovely addition to any garden.

'Kanjiro' Camelia

Pink

Camellia heimalis "Shishi Gashira'

This compact plant produces stunning dark pink, semi double blooms.  This camellia prefers full sun and is hardy to 0° F.  Consider using camellias in your container gardens.

Camellia sasanqua "Kanjiro'

This camellia boasts large, single to semi double, rich cerise blooms edged in paler shades, and prefers sun to part sun.

'Setsugekka' Camellia

White

Camellia sasanqua 'Setsugekka'

Semi double white flowers with ruffled edges.  The camellia is dense, upright with a spreading habit.  The camellia is a slow grower and mid-season bloomer.

Camellia japonica 'Shiro Chan'

Large to very large pure white flowers.  Their loose open form compliments their upright to spreading habit.  This camellia blooms in early to mid season.

'Apple Blossom' Camellia

White with Pink Edges

Camellia sasanqua 'Apple Blossom'

Pink edged white blooms with yellow stamens, this camellia enjoys dense, glossy dark green foliage.  The 'Apple Blossom' is upright and blooms in mid season.