It's an interesting aspect of the human condition that we tend to desire most the things that are just beyond our reach...especially when those things are highly desirable to start with.
When we're talking plants and gardeners, the effects can be particularly powerful.
Here's the thing. My garden is located in the northern Midwest, in USDA zone 5. I like Camellias. Dang. They're hardy in zones 6 to 9. So I'm stuck drooling over them whenever I see them during my travels, or on other gardeners' blogs.
"But wait," you say. "There are a few cold-hardy varieties."
I wouldn't have really registered that thought until I found a few encouraging articles from:
The latter source makes the case for a particular group of Camellias--Winter's Charm, Winter's Beauty, and Winter's Star--rated to -15 F, which is about as cold as we get here. Carolyn at Carolyn's Shade Gardens also recently featured some excellent posts about cold-hardy Camellias.
But just because it's "possible" to do something, doesn't mean a person should. Just because I covet my southern neighbors' Camellia bounty doesn't mean I should try to push the zones and grow one here. Or should I try it? The warm microclimate near the rock wall would be near perfect for a Camellia, right?
What do you think? Should I be content to enjoy Camellias from afar, or should I act on my Camellia dreams?
(Note: The Camellias shown here, to my knowledge, are not cold-hardy. For more information on cold-hardy Camellias, visit Carolyn's blog or the U.S. National Arboretum website.)