Pink Perfection

'Pink Perfection'
Rose-form Japanese Camellia


"What forgotten sadness is it, on a night like this,
Takes possession of my heart?
Why do I think of a camellia tree in a southern garden,
With pink blossoms among dark leaves,
Standing, surprised, in the snow?
Why do I think of spring?"

-Conrad Aiken
(1889-1973)

   

Camellia japonica 'Pink Perfection' grows right on our property line, at the foot of a little cliff, in our neighbor John's yard. It is about eight feet tall so doesn't peep over the top of the drop-off into our yard, but when standing beside our sunken garage it is in full view for our enjoyment as well as John's.

It is in full morning sun & is briefly very pretty in full pink flower in early April. A good hard rain beats the highly formal perfect flowers to bits, & as they fade, they cling to the branches as messy ruined blooms for quite some while. When they do finally drop to the ground, the remaining broadleaf evergreen is sturdy, upright, & compactly leafed for tree-like beauty the rest of the year.

'Pink Perfection' is an heirloom shrub dating to 1875 & very old fashioned, probably in the top two or three most popular Japanese camellias, hardly & long-lived. The individual flowers are two to three inch complete doubles, a smooth even bloom without ruffles or twists, called "rose form" or "formal double."

It wants moist well drained soil but can be surprisingly drought hardy when established, especially if it is grown as an understory shrub beneath large trees, or protected from western sun exposure so that it gets only morning sun.

   



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