"Camellias belong in the home landscape because they are attractive, evergreen shrubs that bloom in what most people consider the off season of fall and winter, some in spring," says Brian O'Neil, director of horticulture at Norfolk Botanical Garden in Norfolk, Va., www.norfolkbotanicalgarden.org .
This time of year, garden staff offer guided walks through its camellia collection, which includes two major camellia species - the fall-flowering C. sasanqua and late-winter and early-spring blooming C. japonica - and the different types of flowers, such as double, anemone form, single, etc. Camellias are cold hardy in zones 7-9, and often to Zone 6b.
The botanical has more than 1,700 camellia plants in more than 1,100 different cultivars and species, including the tea camellia, Camellia sinensis, which is among the first camellias to bloom in October, according to O'Neil
The Hofheimer Camellia Garden was created in 1992 in memory of Alan and Aline Hofheimer, founding members of the Virginia Camellia Society
"We have one of the largest collections of camellias in the southeastern USA," he