Answer: It's true that camellias prefer shade from the hottest summer sunshine, but there are many, many old camellias happily growing in landscapes exposed to full sunshine. I suspect this is because the canopy is large enough to cast shade on the newer, more susceptible to sunburn leaves. Of those that tolerate the most sun, you can choose from Camellia japonica 'Covina' with medium rose-red blooms, 'Kramer's Supreme' with deep, clear red flowers, and 'Donation' with orchid pink blooms. 'Donation' is a hybrid (a cross between Camellia japonica and Camellia saluenensis) and is well-suited to full sunshine. All of the above will grow in full to part shade, as well. As for arrangement, I prefer the look of a grouping of plants rather than a single specimen. If I were planting a hedge, I'd plant 3 or 5 of one (odd numbers work well in landscaping situations), then plant either 3 or 5 of the other. As an example, plant 3 camellias, 5 gardenias, 3 camellias, then reverse the order and plant 3 gardenias, 5 camellias, 3 gardenias. This will provide visual interest in grouping, leaf color and shape, and bloom color. Good luck with your landscaping project!
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