In the second of a series of regular midweek posts with the emphasis on images rather than text, I’d like to share a few photos from a visit a week ago to the Conservatory at Chiswick House. Some of the collection of Camellia japonica housed in the Conservatory survive from specimens planted in 1813 when Samuel Ware completed a large glasshouse commissioned by the 6th Duke of Devonshire. From one end to the other of its two wings, spreading from a central dome, is a distance of 96 metres. Because of their sheltered location, the spectacular blooms do not display the frost damage evident on many camellias when planted outside. The cultivars in the collection include ‘Flore plena’ and ‘Pompone’.