Japonica or japonica hybrids with exceptional bud hardiness
We've had a few camellias in the yard for maybe 15-20 years, so I'm not brand new to camellias, but fairly new in terms of doing intensive reading and selecting of varieties.
I have Jennifer Trehane's wonderful book and have selected many, many camellias to wish for. The one thing that doesn't tend to get mentioned is how bud hardy a particular variety is. I imagine that kind of information is pretty hard to come by, as even in our own yard so much is speculation that needs long experience and comparison to be able to derive conclusions.
Still, I feel I can confidently proclaim Professor Sargent is an exceptionally bud hardy variety, whereas Debutante isn't. The official low here during that recent early January week or ten days of an exceptionally long cold wave of unusually low temperatures was 15 degrees several nights and 13 one night (though in our particular yard the low would have been a bit warmer than that). Anyway, within a week we had beautiful perfect blooms from more than one Professor Sargent, while at the same time there were a zillion buds on the Debutantes that had turned totally brown. We do get some Debutante flowers every year after some low temperatures, but nothing remotely in this range, and every year lose maybe 2/3 to 3/4 of the Debutante blooms (one year all, I think). I'm still grateful to have those Debutantes and wouldn't want to get rid of them, but I'm thinking that with a bunch of new purchases coming up now I ought to try to find out as much as is known about varieties that might excel in bud hardiness.
Do you have any varieties that you'd like to nominate (along with my Professor Sargent) on a japonica or japonica hybrid list as maybe being especially bud hardy? Thanks very much for any ideas.