As I gaze out my window this morning I see that a few of my Camellias are beginning to bloom. Camellias are among my favourite plants and, although I haven't counted, I estimate that I have well over fifty camellia plants of various ages and varieties in my garden. There were only two when we moved into the place but each year since we arrived we have added a few more to the collection
I love them because they survive with little care, do not need much water and the rabbits that infest our property have not acquired a taste for them. I was wondering when Camellias first appeared in Australia so, as it's Trove Tuesday, I turned to Trove.
I learnt from The Launceston Advertiser that in 1835 "Mr. Short.who has arrived by the Lloyds, is, we learn, an experienced naturalist, and the intimate friend of Dr. Hooker of Glasgow, he has, we learn, brought over a very valuable collection of plants, wanting in the colony, and the beautiful ca-mellia now in the garden of Mr. R C. Gunn, of Launceston, was sent out by him." (1835 'No title', Launceston Advertiser (Tas. : 1829 - 1846), 10 September, p. 3. , viewed 29 Mar 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8477453).
In 1842 Camellias were exhibited in Sydney at a "Floral and Horticultural Exhibition" at the Markets. Mr R Henderson was awarded a 1st minor prize for Camellias. (1842 'FLORAL AND HORTICULTURAL EXHIBITION.', The Australian (Sydney, NSW : 1824 - 1848), 16 September, p. 2. , viewed 29 Mar 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article37114267).
By 1847 John McMahon of Camden, NSW is advertising Useful and Ornamental Plants for sale which include "" Several hundred species and varieties of Tree Shrubs, and other Plants, including fifteen varieties of Camellia; 6 species Magnolia; 11 varieties Nerium or Laurel Rose : 6 [?] Viburnum; ,10 species Passion Flowers ; 40 varieties of Roses, &c., &c" (1847 'USEFUL AND ORNAMENTAL PLANT'S', The Australian (Sydney, NSW : 1824 - 1848), 13 July, p. 4. , viewed 29 Mar 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article37128619").