JUNE, p. 4: poor Camellia sinensis & what about 'Williamson' azalea?

• Pinus thunbergii, Japanese Black Pine:

"The trees need not be too tall, but they should be old, splendid in form, and laden with deep green needles".

Kathy shared this quotations from 'Sakuteiki, Visions of the Japanese Garden', 11th century scroll as translated by Jiro Takei and Marc P. Keane - the scroll is among the oldest surviving guides to gardening or, more precisely, the Japanese art of “setting stones.”;  Kathy said she uses this quotations while discussing the Yamasaki black pine on her tours - an idea I want to steal (the tree looks much better in real life):
SJG 6/16/11 • Pinus thunbergii, Japanese Black Pine;
NW of the pond, where the W and N path meet, Area P
SJG 6/16/11 • Pinus thunbergii, Japanese Black Pine; it was already candled this year
-  one new growth on the end of the branch was allowed to stay, the other was pinched

The 100+ year old Japanese black pine (Pinus thunbergii) was donated to SJG in 1993 by Richard Iwao Yamasaki of Seattle, before that it was tended to by him and his father. At its spot northwest of the pond, near the stone wall, this beloved pine confers an abiding strength. Mr. Yamasaki's long association with Seattle japanese garden dates to 1959, when he worked under landscape architect Juki Iida of Japan who supervised the Garden's installation.

• Rhododendron 'Gosho-Zakura', azalea:

SJG 6/16/11 • Rhododendron 'Gosho-Zakura', azalea - corolla white with pink sectors;
under Yamasaki Pine, Area P
SJG 6/16/11 • Rhododendron 'Gosho-Zakura', azalea
- bud and flower close-up; Area P

Info on the plant in BackyardGardener.com:

Rhododendron hybrida (Gosho Zakura Satsuki Azalea)
Compact, low-growing, evergreen shrub that is twiggy and dense with a spreading to rounded form. Leaves are lance-shaped to elliptic and notably smaller, 1/2 to 2 inches long, than other azalea hybrids making it the wonderful bonzai plant that it was originally bred to be. Showy, funnel-shaped, ruffled, lilac-pink flowers with whitish throats, 2 to 2 1/2 inches wide. Flowers are borne from May to June. [...]
Important Info: This Japanese azalea is a hybridization between Rhododendron indicum and Rhododendron simsii.
More here...

They separately list plant Rhododendron (Gosho Zakura Kurume Azalea) - I don't know what is the difference.  One is 'Satsuki', the other 'Kurume'.

• Rhododendron 'Garda Joy', azalea:
SJG 6/16/11 • Rhododendron 'Garda Joy', azalea - corolla (coral) red, semi double;
E side, at the bottom of the hill, Area O
SJG 6/16/11 • Rhododendron 'Garda Joy', azalea - close-up, semi double flower

Info on the plant in BackyardGardener.com:
Rhododendron kaempferi (Garda Joy Kaempferi Hybrid Azalea)
Spreading, cold hardy, semi-evergreen shrub. Leaves are glossy, lance-shaped to ovate, 1 1/2 to 2 inches long. Flowers are borne in showy trusses of 2 to 4 per cluster. Bloom time is midspring to early summer. Foliage turns beautiful red hues in fall and winter. Plant as you would any of the other azaleas: high and in well-drained, acid soil, rich with organic matter.
More here...

• Rhododendron 'Ro getsu', azalea:
SJG 6/16/11 • Rhododendron 'Ro Getsu', azalea - corolla white with pink sectors;
top W side of steps leading to Kobe lantern, Area O
Ro Getsu 13 days later: SJG 6/29/11

SJG 6/16/11 • Rhododendron 'Ro Getsu', azalea
- close-up of different colored flowers, Area O
SJG 6/16/11 • Rhododendron 'Ro Getsu', azalea  - another close-up

Info on the plant in BackyardGardener.com:

Rhododendron (Rogetsu Satsuki Hybrid Azalea)
The Satsuki Japanese azaleas are believed to have originated several hundred years ago from natural crosses between R. indicum and R. tamarae. (R. tamarae was formerly known as R. eriocarpum and before that as R. simsii var. eriocarpum.) Later, horticulturists continued the crosses between these two species as well as others. Compact, low-growing, evergreen shrub that is twiggy and dense with a spreading to rounded form. The small leaves (1/2 to 2 inches long) vary widely in shape, usually lance-shaped to elliptic. Flowers, often multicolored in various patterns, are borne from May to June and also vary in size (from less than one to more than five inches) and shape. Satsukis are the most popular azaleas in Japan, especially for bonsai culture. In the garden, this is a front of the border shrub because of its lower height--perfect for the smaller garden.
More here...

• Camellia sinensis, Camellia (Tea Plant):

SJG 6/16/11 • Camellia sinensis, Camellia (Tea Plant); Area O
Are we meeting its cultural requirements?:(

  USDA Plant profile shows the plant present only in FL, GA, NC, SC.  Other sources say it can be grown outdoors in Zone 8 or above;  if  colder than that, one can grow it in a greenhouse or a pot that you bring indoors in the winter. National Gardening Association Zone Finder  (type 98112) shows that SJG is in Zone 7B, and SJG being in the lowest part of Arboretum probably has its own, cooler microclimate.  Looking through available info (below) indicates  that our Tea Plant's  present location  seems to full-fill its climatic requirements and sun exposure, but it's on the hill, so I wonder about 'plenty of water' requirements - irrigation or terrace needed?

American Camellia Society is of opinion that Seattle is  perfectly zoned to grow it:

Growing Camellia Sinensis
Camellia sinensis can be grown in most moderate zones in the United States. Zones 7, 8 & 9 provide the most suitable outdoor climates althought it can be grown in greenhouses and/or protected areas in colder climate zones or used in containers where you could protect it from severe freezes. Camellia sinensis will perform well in areas in bright light or full sun with balanced nutrients and plenty of water. Species Name: Camellia sinensis (Large Leaf - White Flowering cultivars) Growth Habit: Upright, bushy growth Bloom Time: Fall Maintainable Height: 3-4’ or larger Soil Conditions: Moist, well drained acid soil Light Conditions: Full sun to part shade.
More here....

 Found this info on Imperial Gardens website, which mentions importance of preventing soil erosion:
Tea bushes are planted from three to four feet apart and planted in rows which follow the natural contour of the landscape. Tea is also grown on specially prepared terraces to help irrigation and to prevent soil erosion.

More here...

International Camellia Society has this to say:

They love warm wet summers and moderately cold dry winters, but can prosper surprisingly well in a range of adverse climatic conditions, tolerating dry summers and wet winters. Frost hardiness is -5°C (25°F) in pots and about -15 to -20°C ( 0 to 5°F) in open ground. Research is presently done on hybrids with improved cold-hardiness.
More here... 

Finally, checking the GardenWeb forums brings WA state experiences in growing Camellia sinensis, some successful, but most resembling  rather poor results we are achieving in SJG:

I grew one for about 12 years. It got barely over 4 ft. tall with small blossoms. Somebody wanted it more than I, so I sold it. Unremakable is the best way I can describe it. 
I never missed it. [...]

Camellias in general do quite well here - tea camellias benefit from our damp, rainy season but would appreciate partial shade and regular deep irrigation during our dry summers. And they grow rather slowly. Quality teas are harvested from only the buds and top two leaves of any stems, so don't plan too many tea parties any time soon :-) [...]
More here...

• Rhododendron ('Williamson', azalea?): 

Questionable find:  we weren't sure which of the plants in the area meets description from the Plant Book: 2 Rhododendrons 'Williamson', azalea, 1' high.  There was no other plant information to go by, so  we think it is this one, and decided to research it further:

SJG 6/16/11 • Rhododendron ('Williamson', azalea?)
- Area Y, one by the lantern, and the other some 4 m away

SJG 6/16/11 • Rhododendron ('Williamson', azalea?) , Area Y

The research so far turned up big fat O. Nothing on google under Rhododendron 'Williamson', nothing under 'Williamson' azalea and nothing under combo of the two.

American Rhododendron Society (go to Plant Data and do search through rhododendrons and azaleas database) lists nothing with that name on its list of  azaleas, and only Rhododendron williamsianum (Williams rhododendron) on its list of rhododendrons - different animal, not azalea.   Giving up for now.

While searching came across A MONOGRAPH OF AZALEAS - by BY ERNEST HENRY WILSON AND ALFRED REHDER, issued April 15th, 1921 (paper copy in Berkeley Library, U of California).  A perfect time waster for azalea lovers, among others has info on:
THE AZALEAS OP THE OLD WORLD. By Ernest Henry Wilson . 1
THE AZALEAS OF NORTH AMERICA. By Alfred Rehder .... 107

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