I’ve just finished gallery page L. Nearly half way through the alphabet, probably well past halfway on varieties.
One letter, so many issues. There’s ‘Lady Clare’, correctly known as ‘Akashigata’. She’s followed by ‘Lady de Saumerez’, a solid deep pink derived from the bicolor, ‘Tricolor’. Variation due to genetic instability is built in. There is a plant in a nearby garden with pink blooms open now and masses of slowly opening fimbriated buds still to come. They are ‘Fred Sander’. There are also pure white flowers on the bush. I wonder what it was thought to be when planted.
‘Lady Loch’, Lady McCulloch’ and the Lady Vansittart’ group are all bicolors and similarly unstable. You can plant one thing and end up with another.
‘Lady St Clair’ is prone to “balling”, whereby the flower doesn’t open properly and the flower remains bowl shaped. The outer petals are often damaged and perhaps this is what stops development.
‘Lady Vere de Vere’ is perhaps the most striking virus variegated camellia I have seen. The white on the petals is blurry, rather than the shrp edged stripes and splashes of genetically variegated flowers. It seems to me that this year the white on this and other virus variegated blooms is much less prominent than usual. One bush of ‘Grand Slam’ which was heavily variegated last year is showing none at all this.
‘La Genola’, ‘Leonara’ and ‘Lily Morel’ appear not to have been registered. All three are growing in gardens where I am inclined to trust the labelling, but only ‘Leonara’ is mentioned in the register, to say that no valid listing has been found.
I have been out and about taking many many photos of Camellias in the last few weeks, often of varieties I have photographed many times before. It is interesting to see the variation from year to year when comaparing photos. I am also always looking for a better picture of every variety. Some I have not seen again since taking their pictures years ago. I will have been using a less good camera and I cannot claim to have an accurate recollection of the colour of a flower when I took the picture. Thus when it comes to tweaking pictures prior to putting them on the website, innaccuracies will inevitably creep in.
Reds and vivid pinks are particularly challenging for a digital camera, with the histogram often showing reds overexposed and green and blue way behind. Shooting in RAW is well and good but when I can take a thousand pictures in a day, involve a massive amount of processing.
Bright sun is good for depth of field, vibrant color and minimal movement blur, bad for harsh shadows. Overcast means lower speeds and/or less depth of field, flatter colour. Perfect conditions are rare and fleeting.
So now I must get on with the letter M. From ‘Mabel Blackwell’ to ‘Mystique’, there are many more stories to tell.