Camellias are considered by many as hard to grow. They prefer well-drained soil, in some shade, where it is moist, acidic, and high in organic content. Mulch well to maintain even moisture and temperature. Place in a spot protected from winter wind. Take care not to plant too deep. Fertilize with a formula made especially for Camellias or acid-loving plants, following directions on the package. Supplemental fertilizing with Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) helps increase bloom size and number.

In colder climates, they can be grown indoors in containers, with a temperature of 500 to 600 required during the flowering seasons. Watch for chlorosis, or yellowing of leaves, which results from iron deficiency, and treat with a fertilizer supplemented with iron derived from pyrite and iron sulfate. All of this attention is commensurate with the physical and mental rewards of horticultural therapy.

What are you paying for when you purchase a flower garden? If you don’t physically place yourself in proximity of the beautiful flowers to enjoy the mentally calming and soothing effect they create, then you are not getting your money’s worth. If you don’t pull the weeds, deadhead and prune, or spend time watering, then you are not getting your money’s worth. This mental and physical horticultural therapy are the true rewards of a successful flower garden, and a healthier you.

Where should you put your flower garden? A LintonsLine that is not a foundation planting, does not follow a path or drive, or border a parking lot can just meander in and out of shade in large sweeping curves across your property. Place a garden hose in the curves you like, lime over it with white lime (sulfur in the shade because Camellia, Hydrangea, and Azalea love acidic soil) and your garden shape is clearly revealed when you remove the hose.

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