A Camellia Paradise

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.

 

 

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Linda and Bill Nichols – master camellia gardeners..

Feast your eyes on these glorious blooms . . .

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Marie Bray

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Rebel Yell

 

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One of Bill’s handcarved wooden identification signs in the garden.

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Laural Walker

 

La Peppermint is a stunning camellia . . .

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Doris Ellis is pictured below.

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Julie…

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Happy Birthday truly is worthy of a celebration!

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Pearl Terry, with its show stopping velvety pink blooms, won top honors at the local 2013 camellia show.  This is one of my favorites..

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Mary Fisher

 

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Delta Dawn

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Pictured below are the elegant blooms of Mrs. D.W. Davis

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The ever popular Frank Hooser.

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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.

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Ma-Dot-Cha

 

One of my very favorite white camellias is Dahlonega.

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This unusual camellia is appropriately named Cardinal’s Cap!

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Mary Fisher

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Cherries Jubilee

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Red Velvet

Linda displays Black Magic, one of her favorites.

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Mary Alice

 

Georgia National Fair pictured below . . .

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Feast your eyes on more garden grandeur…

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Buttons ‘n Bows

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Happy Times

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Pretty Lady

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Jubilation

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Alisa James

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Mark Allen

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Walt’s Time Variety

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Emperor of Russia Variety

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Miss Charleston

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Ray Gentry Variety

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Linda Carol

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Lady Panola

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Maroon and Gold

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Blue Danube

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Elaine’s Betty

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Pete Galli

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Wendy

 

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Black Gold

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.

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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!

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Leaving you with the simple splendor of a pristine white camellia . . .

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“If you would have a mind at peace, a heart that cannot harden, go find a door that opens wide upon a lovely garden.”

 

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2 thoughts on “A Camellia Paradise

  1. These camelias are the prettiest that I have ever seen–bar none!!! I feel refreshed just looking at pictures of them.

    Are the bushes for sale? I would like to buy several bushes–of my choice–about 3 or 4 ft. tall.

    I was given a tour of the gardens about two years ago by Mrs. Nichols. My friend Laura is a relative of hers and

    obtained permission from Mrs. Nichols to show us her beautiful garden. . She handed me some shears and a big

    round, tin serving platter and told me to cut anything I want to… It looked like a big plate of frilly cake icing!!!

    Mrs. Nichols is a very sweet and hospitable lady and I really enjoyed meeting her! Her husband, Bill, is really the one

    who grows the garden; but, I didn’t get to meet him. I am sure this is a joint labor of love!!!

    Mrs. Ceya Minder

    • Thanks for your kind comments, Ceya ! Laura has been telling me about their camellias for years so I was so excited when she took me by a few weeks ago. Even though the freezing temperatures had an impact on the blooms earlier, as you can see from the pictures, they still had some gorgeous blooms. Bill and Linda are so kind and gracious. What a passion they have for camellias! Truly, Southern Living magazine needs to feature their magnificent garden. I have never seen such a collection of show stopping camellias. I am not sure if any are for sale, but I know they would gladly give you growing tips..

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