On Our Shelves Now.
Today, most of Louisiana's camellia gardens feature plants of recent vintage that are sources from 20th and 21st century nurseries. Only a few scattered "ancients" such as 'Alba Plena' have been generally recognized. Marketed by European and northeastern American nurseries, camellias once enjoyed enormous popularity, though information about varieties bought to Louisiana between 1828 and 1860 has been scarce. Inspired by the recreation of their own historic gardens, the contributors to EARLY CAMELLIAS IN LOUISIANA have uncovered evidence in archival documents and in their landscapes' original plantings.
This research venture unexpectedly yielded thirty historic camellias growing in the field and nearly double that amount documented in letters, advertisements, and other catalogs. Some of the plants identified are lost treasures about which there has been minimal study. In this book, extensive photography provides the reader with detailed pictures. For some blossoms, multiple images show their stages of developments, illustrating a fascinating evolution of shapes and colors. List and charts are helpful for those seeking plants or guidance about their garden collections. Information is provided about antique cultivators that are presently available commercially and about the authors' efforts to propagate rare specimens.
Enjoyed far beyond the Gulf South, old varieties of camellias continue to captivate gardeners with their spellbinding beauty. The splendor and vitality of these flowers, as well as their extraordinary history, make the compelling case for their preservation and inclusion anew in contemporary gardens. EARLY CAMELLIAS OF LOUISIANA serves as a guide for the rediscovery and identification of these prized blooms.