Saturday, March 3, 2012

On Visiting Camellia Forest Nursery

A couple weeks ago, I had the privilege of visiting the Camellia Forest Nursery over in Chapel Hill, NC.  As I talked about in my last post, I was there to buy some red blooming camellias. There were so many other wonderful plants to browse through, though, while I was there.

One of the greenhouses at Camellia Forest Nursery
There were quite a few greenhouses at the nursery, all standing there invitingly, filled to the brim with new and interesting plants.  It was a treasure trove that one could happily spend a whole day getting lost in.

Camellia 'Thieves Delight'
I, on the other hand, had a two-year-old and four-year-old with me, and they had every intention of making sure I did not get lost in such a fashion.

Helleborus hybrid
When we first arrived at the nursery, my four-year-old actually thanked me for taking her to such a place full of flowers.  Then the girls promptly headed to the closest flowers that caught their fancy - some blooming daffodils on a nearby bank.  

Primula vulgaris hybrid  (Primroses)
Umm, yes kids, those are beautiful flowers... Now Mommy wants to go in that greenhouse over there.  I'm sure there will be just as pretty flowers in there as well!

     Camellia x 'Egao Corkscrew' - has interesting contorted stems
About 20 minutes later, after two trips to the car for snacks and water and one trip to the restroom (what trip with a preschooler would be complete without a hurried search for a restroom?), my kids were ready to call it a day and head home.

We were only partway through our second greenhouse.

Just a little while longer, kids.. We want to see more pretty flowers, right?  Look at the cool flowers on a stick!
(aka Edgeworthia chrysantha)
From there it's a contest of perseverance:
 how much whining can the Mommy take?

     Camellia japonica 'October Affair'
Okay, kids, I know you're ready to go home, so let's go pick up the plants we wanted and go pay for them.  Oh, did we end up on the wrong end of this greenhouse?  We might have to through this other greenhouse nearby to get back to where we want... And maybe we should go through this other greenhouse because it might be a shortcut... Yes it is funny how sometimes shortcuts seem to take longer...

unmarked Camellia
Well anyway, I did thoroughly enjoy the few greenhouses I got to peruse through.  And I certainly did not go home empty handed - with three Camellia x 'Mieko Tanaka' shrubs, two helleborus plants, one primula, and two kids, it was amazing we all fit in the car for the journey back home!

Camellia x 'Ashton's Pink'
Besides, after seeing all beautiful plants they have, I certainly will be back - though maybe next time I will pick a day that Mr. Red House can watch the kids...

24 comments:

  1. Indie,
    It has been at least a year since we visited there. Camellia x 'Egao Corkscrew' is huge on my list of wants. October Affair used to be on my list, it is beautiful but not bee friendly, there can not access. That primrose is one the prettiest I have ever seen.

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    1. I wish I was able to see a larger bush with the contorted stems - it is such an interesting form! That is too bad that some of the prettiest Camellias don't have as much value for the wildlife. I really liked that unmarked white Camellia, but it doesn't have access to the pollen either.

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  2. Very proud of you, scooping those great purchases while keeping the children happy. I so identified with your wandering among the greenhouses to relocate plants--a large nursery can be like a maze and it's best to look at everything before deciding. (I should make maps.) The camellia photos are beautiful. I love the single flowers best, like Ashton's pink in your image, spectacular.

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    1. Thanks! Ashton's pink was one of my favorites. I wish I had more spots to put camellias in my not-so-big yard!

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  3. You should be proud, mission accomplished and you all fit on the way home! Our camellia is just starting to bloom and they sure are lovely, the problem is that there are some many nice ones and only so much room in the yard (or clay in your case). I still like taking our kids when we shop, it usually saves me money.

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    1. I have the same problem - so many plants, so little yard! I actually have another camellia that someone gave me sitting in a pot while I try to find room for it.

      That is a great point about kids saving us money. That's very true - no telling how much I would have come home with had I been allowed to wander through all of the greenhouses!

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  4. I have been looking at some of their offerings on their website so I am glad to see this posting Indie. I was wondering about the size of the trees that were shipped and your pictures helped so much. I am in love with the "October Affair" Just gorgeous!

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    1. Glad the pictures helped! Let me know if you have any other questions about the nursery I might be able to answer. The family who owns the nursery is really helpful and on hand to answering questions about the plants as well. I called them a couple times with some questions, and they were the ones working in the nursery when I was there. The plants that I saw all looked really healthy, except for maybe some black spot on some of the camellia leaves. Hope you end up with something you love!

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  5. Camellias are so beautiful. I would have no trouble getting lost looking around. It would be hard with children though, but being both girls, a little easier right?

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    1. That is true - I can't really imagine taking two little rambunctious boys!

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  6. Sounds like you were pretty creative with your little ones--keeping them interested and finding ways to see some of greenhouses, anyway. I grinned while reading this post because I remember those days. ;)

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    1. At least now I can sort of take them! Hoping it keeps getting easier, though :)

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  7. Well done managing to bring the kids home too ... very impressive :o)

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    1. Haha, I guess if I had left them at the greenhouse I would have had room for a couple more plants... ;)

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  8. Wow, I can't believe you managed to take photos with your two toddlers. I had never heard of hellebores until I started blogging. Maybe because I don't have much shade, but they're so stunning I might have to splurge and get a few.

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    1. They are gorgeous, and they've come out with so many new different varieties lately as well. Such a welcome plant when not much else is flowering!

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  9. This post brought smiles and memories to me! I admire your fortitude to go forth with two young children in tow. When I had little ones, I often did the same and would tell my children we were on an 'adventure'. You managed to get a lot accomplished, and I am sure your children had fun, too. A good day for all!

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    1. I remember having those 'adventures' as a kid as well. Nowadays kids have it so much easier, too - they get to watch videos during long car trips! What I wouldn't have given for that as a kid..

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  10. Camellia Forest is a fun nursery to visit. An amusing post. It reminded me of when I took my 3-year-old niece to the botanical garden and she wanted to pick all the flowers...

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    1. Very funny! Thankfully I've pretty much got my kids trained to ask before they pick. Though sometimes my two-year-old just can't help herself!

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  11. Oh, I remember those trips with my little ones in tow. I used to wonder if they thought it was torture...until a few weeks ago when my college age daughter told me she has her own plot at the community garden near her school! Yay, it does rub off ;)

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    1. So great to hear that it does rub off! My youngest is always pointing out flowers and birds to me - I have high hopes for her!

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  12. It seems as thought your daughter is already enjoying flowers and plants. She gets it from you, for sure. I am hoping to visit a public garden in April and see all the bulb displays...

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    1. Sounds wonderful! Hopefully I'll get to some gardens this spring - though maybe I can get my husband to watch the kids for those!

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