For several months now we have had a bare patch of garden space right in front of our house. Our landlords had talked of putting in oleander, but we decided we wanted to do something a little more elaborate. We talked about what it should be off and on all winter but finally, yesterday, we actually took action.
At first, my plan was to plant a variety of rose bushes. However, after thinking about it a bit I realized that the front side of our house gets almost no sun - just a little in the morning and nothing after that. So it seemed like roses wouldn't be a very good option.
At the nursery last week we started investigating plants that do well in the shade. We finally decided upon camellias because they do particularly well in this climate and will flower longer than rhododendrons or azaleas. Interestingly, it turns out that the land we live on used to be a commercial camellia farm. I hope that bodes well for our new camellias. :)
We got 3 camellia plants, 2 bags of high acid camellia/azalea potting soil, a box of camellia/azalea organic fertilizer, and some other shade loving plants to fill in the space between the camellias.
We started by digging a hole as close to 3 times the diameter of the pot the camellias came is as we could get. The soil had lots of clay and rocks so we were really glad we had the potting soil to mix in as well as the fertilizer. We put some of the mixture in the hole before transplanting each camellia.
Then we filled in the hole with more soil/potting soil/fertilizer mix and made a little wall of soil a little ways away from the base of the plant. We filled in the little "moat" with water and let it drain 3 times (following the directions we got at the nursery).
It took us a couple of hours to get all 3 planted and we haven't yet planted the other shade-loving plants we got to go with them. Maybe we'll get to that later this week.
Here's a picture of the other type of camellia we got. I'll look up the names later this week. We got 2 of the one below and put them on either side of the type whose picture appears above.
We also got 2 of these forget-me-not type flowers to go in-between the camellias as well as 6 small creeping plants with white flowers. We hope they will form a sort of ground cover around the front of the bed.