Its not every day that you discover a garden hidden from view for over 70 years.
A “new” OLD CAMELLIA GARDEN which was discovered last year, hidden in plain sight (almost) in Jungle Gardens. Today, January 10th, it has been revealed for all to see.
It was late in the blooming season of last year when we first noticed a few camellias inside a thick bamboo grove. At that time, a casual inspection of the plants nearest to the road suggested there might be about a half dozen large camellias. The bamboo was so thick that venturing far into the grove was not possible. Essentially nothing more was visible beyond the first few camellias due to the density of the bamboo.
Last week Bernard Patout and his team cleared the bamboo from the entire area where the camellias are growing. What materialized was not just a handful of camellias but no less than 43 camellias, planted in rows covering a substantial area. Some of these camellias are over 25 feet tall, no doubt because they struggled to reach the sun while competing with bamboo. It seems this grove of camellias was consumed by the adjacent bamboo during the last 70+ years and essentially vanished right before our eyes.
This is an exciting discovery because these camellias are some of the originals planted in the gardens over 70 years ago and that they have not been seen nor studied since that time. It is even possible that this group many contain some of the rarest camellias, known to have been in Jungle Gardens but never found!
It will be a fascinating group of plants for camellia enthusiast to study and identify. I tried photographing some of the flowers but many are so high up in the tall trees that my camera lens would not permit decent photos.
Now with the bamboo in its proper place these newly discovered camellias will be able to thrive and flourish. The plants looks surprisingly good and all of them have great color and appear to be very healthy. This newly discovered grove of Camellias is located not far from the Buddha parking circle as indicated on the map.