Best of the bunch

Kent Messenger Maidstone - West Kent Property - - OUTDOORS -

The blousy blooms on this flow­er­ing shrub are a sight for sore eyes in spring, pro­vid­ing bold splashes of colour amid lus­trous green leaves. The com­mon camel­lia, C. japon­ica, grows even­tu­ally to 9m and is best in par­tial shade in acid soil, so is best planted with er­i­ca­ceous com­post. Good va­ri­eties in­clude ‘El­e­gans’, which has dark rose-pink flow­ers and ‘Adolphe Audus­son’, which bears dark red flow­ers. Other good picks in­clude a smaller shrub, C x william­sii, which grows to around 5m, pro­duc­ing showy white to dark pink blooms. Don’t grow them where morn­ing sun af­ter frost will dam­age the blooms.

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