Things I See Around Town (2)

I stopped to take a picture of a camellia “hedge” along a road that I travel frequently in Weddington, NC. I have noticed these camellias in bloom in November for several years and have always wanted to see them close up and learn more about them. So I finally stopped, with camera in hand. It happened that the owner, Roy Smith, was in the yard and warmly chatted with me about what I consider to be is a most remarkable grouping of camellias.


Roy told me that he and his late wife moved to this property “out in the country” in 1953, when the currently much traveled street in front of their home was then only a dirt road. He and his wife planted some 300 sasanqua camelias along the western edge of the property covering about 1000 feet.



Now these 300 camellias have grown into a formidable hedge which in places reaches well over fifteen feet tall. He told me he could no longer remember the name of the camellias.


I, as well,  have no idea what camellias these are, but they most certainly are an heirloom sasanqua variety. Perhaps a reader can suggest an identification.DSCN2073

Creating a hedge of beautiful, flowering and evergreen camellias would indeed be a worthy gardening project. The problem, for most of us at least, is that we move from place to place, and garden to garden in our transient lives. Not many gardeners will have over sixty years in one place to see a creation like this one age into a remarkable monument.

I am glad I stopped to see this one.

About johnvic8

John Viccellio retired after 24 years in the U. S. Navy and began to dig into gardening when he could finally land in one place. He completed the Master Gardener course in 1992 and has since designed and constructed two of his own gardens. He wrote a monthly garden column for ten years and was a regular contributor to Carolina Gardener magazine. John published his first book, Guess What's in My Garden!, in 2014. He lives in a retirement community in Matthews, NC.
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12 Responses to Things I See Around Town (2)

  1. Not many people stay put these days. Roy must have been a young man when the hedge was planted. Did they propagate the shrubs themselves?


  2. johnvic8 says:

    Thanks, Marian. I didn’t think to ask him about the source of the camellias


  3. This wonderful experience falls in the category of stopping to smell the roses during the course of our days. In this case it was camellias. Why don’t you turn this story into a Novella. The story of this man and these hedges. There must be a metaphor in them somewhere. Thanks for sharing. These blooms should be a part of the village C of C reasons to move Eddington, NC.


  4. I’ve moved a few times in my life and I sometimes regret not being able to stay put – particularly at the house before last which had bountiful sun, front and back. So much I could have done with that! We’ve been in our current place going on 12 years and hope never to move again.


  5. johnvic8 says:

    As a Naval person we moved 17 times in 24 years. Is it any wonder I didn’t get into gardening until that time passed? Even then, this is my third garden since in almost 35 years. Each one seems to get more precious, but more damaging to the lower back. Maybe my next garden should be at stand up level.


  6. Interesting story and a beautiful hedge. The camelias don’t grow too well in our climate, so I can’t help you with ID.


  7. Annette says:

    Oh wow, I have just one sasanqua and think it’s adorable but to have a whole hedge that’s really fantastic. Where is Weddington?


  8. Pauline says:

    What a stunning hedge, everyone who lives near it must enjoy it at this time of year.


  9. johnvic8 says:

    Yes, Pauline. It is clearly visible from a very busy street for passers-by to enjoy.


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