Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Blooming during the depths of winter, the fragile beauty of camellias enhance the Middleton Place Gardens with thousands of blossoms, from pristine white to all shades of red and pink. Learn about this magnificent plant and thousands more on a Camellia Walk, held every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday beginning February 13 and continuing through March 22. The camellia-focused guided Garden tours will begin at 11 a.m. at the Garden Market & Nursery and last approximately an hour and a half.
Camellias, a southern landscape favorite, show off a blaze of color throughout the winter months. Middleton family history holds that in the year 1786, French botanist Andrè Michaux, gave the Middletons some of the first camellias to be planted in an American garden. Today, Middleton Place has over 3,500 camellias, many over 220 years old, including one of the four original Michaux plants, which is known at Middleton Place as the “Reine des Fleurs” or “Queen of Flowers.”
Middleton Place is home to dozens of varieties of camellias, some of which were propagated on site. Camellia Walks will focus on a few of these, including the Alba Plena, Alba Superba, Debutante, Donkelaari, Prince Eugene Napoleon, Prof. C.S Sargent, Dr. Tinsley, Lady Clare, Glen 40, and Pink Perfection.
Sidney Frazier, Vice-President of Horticulture at Middleton Place, says one of his favorite things about the camellias in the formal gardens is they provide a great burst of color that bridges the blooming gap between summer and spring. “Having color in the late fall and winter is wonderful,” he says. “That is what the camellia plants do for the Middleton Place Gardens. The Middletons planted camellias for the same reason—they would be in bloom while the family was living on the property during the winter months.”
Come see the flower that has captured the hearts of Southern gardeners for generations. Camellia Walks are free with paid admission to Middleton Place, but reservations are required. For reservations, call (843) 556-6020 or visit www.middletonplace.org.
The mission of the Middleton Place Foundation, a public non-profit educational trust, is to sustain the highest levels of preservation and interpretation for the Middleton Place National Historic Landmark, its Gardens, House, Plantation Stableyards and affiliated properties, such as the Edmondston-Alston House, and their collections and programs.