Milder weather leads to early availability of camellias

Spring-flowering camellias are becoming available early because of the unusually mild weather, a grower has said.

Trehane Nursery owner David Trehane said that while the change in growing patterns was posing challenges for commercial growers, it could be a bonus for buyers with plants flowering at Christmas that would not normally be available until next year.

He added: "Normally at this time of year we are marketing the autumnand winter-flowering varieties of camellias. But this year we are seeing spring-flowering camellias come into bud at the same time.

"It's a great bonus for anyone looking for a more unusual Christmas present but it means that we have to be really on our toes to cope with spring 2012 starting in 2011."

Among those flowering is Camellia 'Transnokoensis', a "cluster flower" variety producing many small white flowers from each bud.

Trehane will be contributing displays to Chiswick House & Gardens Trust's second annual Camellia Festival, being held from 18 February to 18 March 2012.

The newly restored Italian Garden has been replanted with an early display of spring flowers to complement the festival, which will have experts on hand to advise on camellias and varieties for sale.

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