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The Simple Guide to Growing Camellias

James Young
Published by 4C Publishers
Distributed by Southern Publishers Group
$NZ19.95
Reviewed by Mike Gowing

THE recent article on Northland plantsman Jim Finlay (Weekend Gardener, Issue 175) would have won the approval of Aussie camellia lover James Young. Certainly Jim Finlay's 1981 hybrid 'Scentuous' gets his thumbs up, for Young grows it - along with another of Jim's fragrant hybrids, 'High Fragrance' - in his own garden across the Tasman.

A sounder, more reasonably priced primer on camellias would be hard to find - particularly one tailored to southern hemisphere conditions.

It covers all bases from the well-trodden origins of the genus that now has more than 25,000 garden varieties.

There's to-the-point background on species camellia, as well as Japonicas, Sasanquas, Reticulatas, Williamsis and hybrids.

Their likes and dislikes are thoroughly covered - cultivation, pests and diseases and so on. And there's an instructive section on espalier training - Sasanquas are favoured on north-facing walls.

The bulk of the book is taken up with a gallery and pen portraits of 275 forms of camellia arranged by class.

Given Kiwi gardeners' love affair with this beautiful plant, The Simple Guide to Growing Camellias will find an eager readership.

Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH

Weekend Gardener


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