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This is the time of the year for one of our favorite flowering shrubs: the Camelia.  These shrubs are from South East Asia where people often use the young leaves of these plants to prepare tea.  Lots of species and varieties can be widely found these days.  With many colors to choose from ranging from from red to white, you can even find a few rare species which turn purple or yellow ! There are even autumn flowering varieties.  But, be careful: when the flowers are out, they are vulnerable to late frost.  All camellias prefer a soil with a low pH, with a lot of peat or humus but once you have these conditions, the plants are maintenance free and bring a welcome sign of Spring to any garden.  In 2020 we will organize a tour to visit gardens along the Camelia Route.  Don’t forget to visit the Portugal page on our website for more information.