Spotlight on Nassau Gardens

Jerry & Ellen Rice

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Jerry and Ellen Rice have lived in Callahan for 18 years. Jerry is the gardener and has almost 400 Camelias growing at this time, with the idea of planting more soon. On their farm are also beautiful slash pine trees, lovely dogwood and redbud trees, native Azaleas and red, pink and white Crepe Myrtle.

The most difficult learning experience he has had was getting the soil to the correct PH, which is slightly acidic, by adding fertilizer with nitrogen, phospherus and potassium.

He has done a good job with adjusting the soil. He also has become an expert at grafting or rooting new plants from the stems. This is important when he wishes to produce another Camelia bush that is the same as the one he likes. Camelia seeds do not make new plants that are the same as the original.

It was amazing to see so many lovely Camelias blossoms with very different colors and shapes. They also are beautiful at a time when most bushes are not in bloom.