Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Chiswick House Camellia Festival

Beautiful dazzling rays of spring sunshine enticed me to spend the afternoon in the historic grounds of Chiswick House to view their collection of Camelias as part of their 2012 festival.

The Neo-Palladian villa set in 65 acres is reputed to be one of the finest examples in London built by Lord Burlington in 1729 to house his vast collection of art acquired from his fashionable European Grand Tour.  Lord Burlington also resided at Burlington House on Piccadilly, today the Royal Academy which I visited last week to see David Hockneys latest exhibition.

The Camelia festival is a celebration of the over thirty historic Camellias, some planted 200 years ago and considered to be one of the most important collections in the world housed in the newly restored 300ft long Conservatory and includes one of the only two surviving ‘Middlemist’s Red’ in the world.

Below are some snapshots of some of the flowers on display. Whilst growing several camelias in our garden I didn't quite appreciate the diverse range and I have fallen for Camelias once more. Coco Chanel knew all along with her great love for the flower. If its good enough for CC its good enough for me.


  1. Dear Paul,
    your photos of the camelias are so beautiful and immaculate! In the hothouse of the Botanical Garden in Berlin I visited an exhibition - beautiful too - but of course no sight of 'Middlemist's Red'.
    'Chiswick House' is listed now in my little pink notebook; don't know why I never was there. Lord Burlington is such a colourful personality - must see the house of 'The Apollo of the Arts'.

  2. Wow, 200 year old Camelias sound very impressive. The photos you take are very beautiful. the petal details are incredible. the first image could almost be porcelain.

  3. Of course Coco Chanel's favourite flower was indeed the camelia I had completely forgotten but you can see why.

    I am always surprised that most camelias do not have more scent, if any. I think they put so much of their energy into creating such beaty that the perfume is almost immaterial but I wish they could smell beautiful too.

    Have a beautiful week dear Paul.

    Daphne X

  4. The flowers are just so beautiful and it's worth stopping to take a closer look as they have such a short flowering time.

  5. I read only recently of Coco's love of the Camelia and it's influence in her design. Your photos are beautiful.
    Thanks for visiting my blog broadcasting from Nova Scotia, the Christmas Tree Capital of Canada ;-)
    "Diane" is spectacular; I don't know what too me so long buying her. A bright light on snowy days.

  6. Such a beautiful post! I have always loved camelias but here in New England we cannot enjoy them in our gardens. Therefore I have lots of peonies and David Austin old fashioned roses. Thank you for the enjoyment of reading about Chiswick House Camelia Festival. I am so happy you visited my Land of Blog and will be following me! I have also signed on to keep track of your adventures!
    Have a wonderful week,

  7. Ces camélias sont superbes. C'est une fleur que j'aime beaucoup !

  8. Camellias are starting to do well in NY Zone 6. It is going to be one of my new acquisitions for my garden this year. Great photos of the beautiful flowers. Love your blog and can't wait to see more!


  9. Love the photos! Camellias are starting to do very well in NY Zone 6 and it will be one of the key acquisitions for my garden this year. Beautiful blog!

  10. Beautiful photographs Paul! I would have loved to join you. I am sure now....I want to have a Camellia in my garden too, if Coco loved them.....:-)

    Enjoy your evening,


  11. Your flowers are beautiful and the photography is amazing...so happy I found your sight..I am now a follower...

  12. i have never grown camellias but they are certainly gorgeous!! and smell good too! thanks for stopping by my bloggy and for following along...i am following you now and look forward to future posts...nice to meet you.

  13. How breathtakingly beautiful !
    I so miss visiting the formal English gardens, sounds like a wonderful day out.

  14. Hello, I saw a comment of yours on another blog and was intrigued by your blog title. I just adore Camelias. We are blessed to have a few in our garden around our old house. There are some amazing bushes that have been here for years - not quite as long as those you've shared. They to me are the roses of winter. Thank you for sharing their beauty with us.
    Best Regards,

  15. simply stunning!
    Happy Twirls,

  16. Gorgeous, I didn't know about Chanel's love of camelias. x

  17. Ce sont les Camellia de ma Bretagne natale... Avec le temps je préfère de plus en plus les C. sasanqua, dont les feuilles ont à mes yeux plus de finesse et font grâce au jardin de fleurir en plein automne, tardivement.
    Thanks Paul, I'm glad that I've found your great blog. Talk to you soon.

  18. Paul-
    I had no idea that Camillas came in so many beautiful colors. You must have been in "picture taking" heaven to be among all those lovely flowers. You did a wonderful job with the photography. Simply stunning!


    Ps- I think that my husband and I will be in London for a few days next summer! Want to meet?

  19. In the United States, Camellia is the state flower of Alabama. It is a glorious flower indeed! Beautiful photos!

  20. I think your blog is absolutely stunning, I enjoy reading all the different things you get up to and that you have a great interest in beautiful things.

    The camelias are one of my favourite flowers too. Me and Coco are like two peas in a pod!

    Keep up the great work. x

  21. Your camelia photos are gorgeous, sounds like a fun afternoon.