About ten miles south of Dothan, Alabama just off Highway 231-South lies the small community of Madrid and the home to a virtual camellia paradise. For the past fifteen years or so, Linda and Bill Nichols have been cultivating the pine tree laden acres surrounding their lovely home with a multitude of varieties of prize winning camellias. There are literally hundreds of camellias on their property, and with the addition of new specimens each year, they have lost count, too! Their passion for growing spectacular camellia blooms just seems to grow over time. Bill has even done original wood carved signs for identification purposes, and has become quite proficient at the grafting process as well. Active in the Southeast Alabama Camellia Society, the couple’s magnificent camellias win top show honors locally and regionally. They enthusiastically spent a recent afternoon showing me their incredible camellia garden. After seeing these photographs (which don’t truly capture their beauty), you will feel as though you have been at a world class garden show.
Feast your eyes on these glorious blooms . . .
La Peppermint is a stunning camellia . . .
Doris Ellis is pictured below.
Happy Birthday truly is worthy of a celebration!
Pearl Terry, with its show stopping velvety pink blooms, won top honors at the local 2013 camellia show. This is one of my favorites..
Pictured below are the elegant blooms of Mrs. D.W. Davis
The ever popular Frank Hooser.
Ma-Dot-Cha, pictured below, was originated by Mr. and Mrs. Mark Cannon of Dothan, AL, and first bloomed in 1962. The camellia was named for their three daughters.
One of my very favorite white camellias is Dahlonega.
This unusual camellia is appropriately named Cardinal’s Cap!
Linda displays Black Magic, one of her favorites.
Georgia National Fair pictured below . . .
Feast your eyes on more garden grandeur…
Lovely winged elm trees line the front part of their property. They have generously shared the unique branches with me for floral design over the past years.
Thanks to the Nichols for their hospitality and for opening the garden gates to their own enchanted refuge of rambling woodland pathways filled with masses of camellia pompons. I look forward to more excursions to their inspirational garden retreat. Their camellia collection has to be one of the most diverse and largest in the tri-state area: A tour of their garden is already on my garden club’s calendar for 2015!
Leaving you with the simple splendor of a pristine white camellia . . .
“If you would have a mind at peace, a heart that cannot harden, go find a door that opens wide upon a lovely garden.”