Camellias in Your Landscape
Camellias in Your Landscape
by Ann Walton
Mingle your camellias and other shrubs for a stunning effect all year longBarbara Tuffli’s garden in Atherton, California is a work of art. This camellia grower is skillful in displaying her camellia trees as well as her camellia blooms. She uses the glossy foliage of her camellias as a backdrop during the non-blooming months for other shrubs and flowers. This presents a continuously changing image for her all during the year. As each new season approaches, Barbara moves in other blooms such as masses of brilliant pink tulips in a pale blue cloud of forget-me-nots for a fresh, new eye-pleasing display. Barbara has created “walk-ins” in her garden. These sometimes miniature paths wind in amongst the camellias and shrubs to take the stroller to specially selected areas of beauty.
You never know what you will find at the end of the trail. Sometimes it is an area in full bloom, or it maybe an intriguing piece of statuary. Warm, strong stone surfaces contrast delightfully with the vibrant colors of the flowers and the lacy delicacy of the camellias branches laden with pink blooms. The deep hues of the camellias are echoed in the rivers of tulips that splash their color onto the garden’s palette. Barbara blends the shades of each for maximum effect.
When she moved here into her family home a few years back she began to search for large camellias to add to the property. And she did find really large camellias. All were tree spaded and placed where she had planned for them to be. When you look at the pictures of her camellia trees, remember that those huge camellias were not there three years ago. The whole garden has the feel of having always looked as it is now. Barbara has a deep and abiding interest in horticulture and botanical names are second nature with her. She is always growing something “different”, sometimes bizarre, just to see if it will grow for her. The different sections of her garden hold many different plants. It is like moving from one room to another, each with a display of totally different flora.
For a garden club event she grew the strange looking Buddha’s Hand, and it did look like a hand even if it was golden brown and wrinkled! Barbara is constantly active, both in community work and in the Peninsula Camellia Society, her local camellia organization. She has been hard at work for increasing membership and the club is growing. She made a presentation on increasing membership in your local society at the ACS and Central California fall board meeting in Fresno in November. Her Power-Point presentation was extremely well received. Then in complete contrast, that night she and her husband Rick, appeared as “Around the World” in the Fresno Gala.