Damson Cottage Garden

Oh camellia, your breaking my heart

Who knew camellias need acidic soil? Not me. James’ grandparents have a beautiful camellia in their tiny garden, which is covered in cream blooms for months. We wanted one, so online after not enough research we bought 2.

After consulting Monty (in the complete gardener) we realised too late they need acidic soil – not a good match for our alkaline earth. So I bought some huge 75L containers to fill with ericaceous┬ácompost and sink into the ground.

75L pot

We put them towards the back of our garden, in light shade to brighten up a bare corner. They are woodland plants so will be happy in this sheltered spot.


Like blueberries, they will need watering with rain water so we don’t neutralise the acidic compost with our lime-scaly water.

By doing this we get to have camellias, but I have broken one of my unwritten rules about plants for the garden: plant what will thrive in the conditions you have, rather than trying to coax a plant in the wrong position. I’ll keep you posted with how they get on! Jane

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