Taylor’s Pink Perfection: Camellia or Lipstick Color?

12
1905

Nature doles out some amazing colors. When my Taylor’s Pink Perfection camellia began to bloom for the first time, I found its blush exuberant, unapologetic and very reminiscent of a hue I’d come across before: the lipstick color of my fourth grade teacher Miss Wells.

In my recollection, Miss Wells and Delta Burke are now the same person. When Miss Wells wanted your attention (read disciplinary action), she’d lean over your desk placing her well-manicured hand on your shoulder, and zero in, her lips to your ear, and politely, albeit sternly, in the most lilting of southern accents say, “May I please have a word with you, [insert child’s first and last name]?” Trouble was, she would have many words with the pupil and always win the argument.

Taylor's Pink Perfection Camellia flower
Taylor’s Pink Perfection Camellia

I had a theory that her weapons-grade perfume* was a numbing agent used to lull kids into a semi-lucid, obedient state, but that’s another story. Because she insisted on unflinching eye contact (her form of a Vulcan mind meld), I was forced to behold the brightest shade of pink lipstick known to man. And now that I’ve seen this camellia, I can say it’s also known to nature.

taylors pink perfection camellia times two

If you’d like to know more about my favorite florid flirt, I’ve posted information below:

Taylor’s Pink Perfection Camellia: My favorite cheeky spring time bloomer

Taylor’s Pink Perfection Camellia: Information from Squak Mt. Greenhouses & Nursery

Height:  10 feet

Spread:  8 feet

partial shade
full shade

Sunlight:     

Hardiness Zone:  7

Other Names:  x saluenensis

Description:

Lustrous evergreen foliage cover this upright shrub; masses of semi-double pink flowers bloom over a long period, beginning in late winter; provide rich, acidic, moist, well-drained soil

Ornamental Features

Taylor’s Perfection Camellia features showy shell pink round flowers with yellow eyes at the ends of the branches from late winter to early spring. It has dark green foliage. The glossy pointy leaves remain dark green throughout the winter. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Taylor’s Perfection Camellia is a multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

This is a relatively low maintenance shrub, and should only be pruned after flowering to avoid removing any of the current season’s flowers. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Taylor’s Perfection Camellia is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Mass Planting
  • Hedges/Screening
  • General Garden Use
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Taylor’s Perfection Camellia will grow to be about 10 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 8 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 1 foot from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 40 years or more.

This shrub does best in partial shade to shade. It requires an evenly moist well-drained soil for optimal growth, but will die in standing water. It is particular about its soil conditions, with a strong preference for rich, acidic soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in both summer and winter to conserve soil moisture and protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This particular variety is an interspecific hybrid.

Taylor’s Perfection Camellia makes a fine choice for the outdoor landscape, but it is also well-suited for use in outdoor pots and containers. Its large size and upright habit of growth lend it for use as a solitary accent, or in a composition surrounded by smaller plants around the base and those that spill over the edges. Note that when grown in a container, it may not perform exactly as indicated on the tag – this is to be expected. Also note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

*weapons-grade perfume, is the indelible reference originally coined by my friend Mark Hoben.

Editor’s note: I first posted this story years ago, and I thought it was time to revisit it with updated photos and information.

12 COMMENTS

  1. Another beautiful and hilarious post to read in this dreary (even though we need the rain) weather.
    Thank you Tom. I need beautiful and hilarious right now.
    Barb

  2. Tom, your story of Miss Wells brings Shalimar perfume to mind. I had an art teacher in high school who wore that and I recall that you could walk thru a hall massed with students changing classes and you’d know whether that teacher had passed thru the area, just by the lingering scent of her Shalimar. It was intoxicating!

  3. Tom Happy Spring Day to you.. I am still in the midst of a roller coaster ride between 87 F and 30 F. With lots of rain. I live in the Midwest. I lived in Tacoma for about a year and loved seeing all the lovely flowers and trees burst forth in their spring colors. You are so lucky to have your little pea patch where you live..

    I look forward to your updates on your farm. I always read your e-mails but never have responded before. However like Patrick Forgey ” I need beautiful and hilarious right now,” too and you delivered.

    • Thank you so much Janet. I went to college in the Midwest so I know what you’re going through. May the 80s quickly supplant the 30s for you!

  4. Just beautiful! I love your description of your 4th grade teacher and her lipstick. My memories of my elementary school years are not that vivid. I do recall, however, the goodness and humanity of all of my teachers.

    • Yes, I agree, goodness and humanity indeed. Funny, I don’t know where I left my car keys, but I can remember everyone one of my Elementary school teachers. 😉

  5. The camellias are gorgeous, and your hilarious recollection of Miss Wells’ cosmetic enchantments really gave me a good chuckle! Bless teachers like that who give us rich material for caricatures and great stories! (Hope she didn’t give you Pink PTSD)🌸

  6. I think growing up in the South helped. My teachers were indeed vivid characters who introduce the wonder of the world and learning to my little pea-picking kid brain, and for that I’m most grateful.

  7. Tom, this is off-topic but when you spoke to the Fruit Club earlier this year you mentioned that you bought your place from the Bruslettens. Buzz Brusletten was a sometime composer, and the Vashon Chorale will be singing his “Country Wedding” at its 30th anniversary concerts next weekend, 7:30pm Saturday 4/27 and 3:00pm Sunday 4/28. If you’d like to hear his work I hope you can come to one of them.

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