Report 2015

In 2014, the Camellia Ark Project initiated by the E. G. Waterhouse National Camellia Gardens in conjunction with Camellias-R-Us Nursery at Glenorie came to a conclusion with the abolition of the E. G. Waterhouse National Camellia Gardens Management Committee. Camellia Ark thanks all the subscribers and supporters of this Project including affiliates and members of Camellias Australia.

Apart from the plants provided to subscribers and participating public gardens, Camellias-R-Us has successfully propagated approximately 200 rare cultivars and species of Camellia which could be used in future nursery propagation, and has (as a mammoth operation) salvaged the core of the advanced camellia nursery stock from the old Camellia Grove nursery site at St Ives in Sydney’s upper northern suburbs. Hopefully, a number of attendees at this Congress will have availed themselves of the opportunity to inspect the nursery stock operation at CamelliasRUs at Glenorie on Thursday 17 September, just prior to these Congress proceedings.

Two new public gardens have emerged at participants in conservation activities:

  • Harper’s Mansion (National Trust, Berrima, NSW) for the establishment of a garden bed of 19th century camellia cultivars; and
  • Fetherston Gardens Weston ACT, which has over 40 cultivars of camellias planted as part of a Canberra horticultural school collection established by the late Tony Fetherston MBE.

Harper’s Mansion has agreed to establish a nineteenth century camellia garden bed as part of its extensive grounds. The bed will developed in 2016, and I have already provided the Friends of Harper’s Mansion with Camellia japonica ‘Colleti’ and ‘Tricolor’(Seibold).

On 14 July, we completed a preliminary identification of some 40 cultivars at Vaucluse House in Sydney, operated by Sydney Living Museums. Note should be made there of a magnificent specimen of ‘Speciossima’ which must be almost 150 years old.

I will have given a guided tour of Lisgar Gardens at a Camellia Heritage Event on Sunday 26 July.

Dr Stephen Utick, July 2015