- Amorentia Estate
- Amorentia Ornamental Nursery
- Avocado Nursery
- Macadamia Nursery
- Sweet Dragon Fruit Nursery
After the Camellia sasanqua has flowered in autumn, the Camellia japonica takes centre stage in winter. When everything else in the garden is dull, the Camellia japonica adds splashes of pink, red, white and mixed or variegated colours. For the remaining months of the year, these shapely, hardy evergreen shrubs, boast glossy foliage and are great garden fillers when planted either alone or en masse.
Depending on the cultivar, the japonica grows in a wide range of climates from subtropical to bitterly cold hills. There certainly is a romantic charm about the Camellia. Most garden enthusiasts admire them and all good gardeners know that the winter rose needs specific growing conditions:
· During bud and flower formation, camellias need regular water but don’t want to be soaked.
· If you are growing camellia in a pot, don’t let the pot stand in water and let the mixture be well-drained.
· When it’s very hot, keep the roots cool.
· Camellias don’t like direct sunlight – their leaves and buds can be sun burned easily yet they need just enough dappled light (not gloom) for bud and flower formation to take place.
· Camellias are a little bit fussy when it comes soil PH – they like it to be 5.5 to 6.5 – not too much more acidic and at least neutral but not higher than 7.
· Disbudding during flowering, ensures the remaining buds gain more of the plant’s energy meaning the existing flowers and shrubs will last longer and grow bigger.
· Pruning your camellias in early spring is advisable if you want to control the plant’s size.
· Keeping an eye on pests and disease is the Bain in any gardener’s life. Luckily with Camellias, the list is fairly short. Keep your eyes peeled for scale, blossom blight and sooty mould.
The Camellia’s selection of blooms is vast – the species encompasses many flower forms or styles within the selection of cultivars:
· Semi Double
· Anemone form
· Peony form
· Rose form
· Formal double
Within each form, there is a multiplicity of shades of whites, pinks, reds and yellows and variegations and the displays are breathtakingly impressive.
In 1968 I attended a Citrus symposium in Riverside near Los Angeles Calif. I met some Australians and immediately asked them all about Macadamias. We organised a “Macadamia Trip” and Bill Storey took a small group of 4 or 5 to meet the California Macadamia Society. This was in about October of 1968. The Aussies knew him as he had recently been visiting them on Macs.
He was the world’s worst driver stationed now in California after his stint in Hawaii. He was involved in selection work while in Hawaii. While on this work he visited Australia so knew much of the areas where Macs were then grown. Bill brought over quite a few promising selections that went into the HAES gene bank. One of these selections was NSW44 that was given the HAES no 695.
Via Doc (v.d.Meulen) I was in touch with Prof Dick Hamilton (Then Dr R.A. Hamilton) on Papaya (Papino®) and Dick continued with most of the selection work on Macs in Hawaii for many years followed by Phil Ito (now too retired).
We met up with Col. Wells Miller then president of the CMS and Cliff Tanner a board member. Wells showed us his orchard and cracker and gave us each a tin of the Royal Hawaiian (now Mauna Loa) nuts. When I tasted the nuts my first reaction was that it was a fantastic product with vast marketing potential. I was sold on the crop.
We then visited the Southern Californian variety block where all the HAES varieties were growing and there was no doubt that Beaumont stood out as far as the nearly mature crop was concerned.
By the time we arrived at Cliff Tanner’s orchard we were all extremely tired and hot with frayed nerves from Bills driving. Cliff first showed us his magnificent tubs of Cymbidium orchards in full flower as a ’pick-me-up’ and then we went to the Beaumont (695,NSW44) orchard. It was a young orchard then and it was laden with nuts. During this visit he advised me to introduce it to South Africa and offered to send me some scion wood in due course. This trip was a turning point for me as immediately I ‘fell in love’ with the product and the variety.
Back at home I asked Dr Johan Grobler of the Research Station to import the graft wood to which he agreed. The condition was that I could arrange everything, but the scions had to go into the quarantine station at Stellenbosch 2 years until with special dispensation we could take it to Nelspruit. After the 2 years, if it was clean, then it had to be multiplied so that everyone who asked for some plants could receive the material. So only when there were enough plants to supply everyone who applied, could I receive my 2 plants? I understood the quarantine requirement, which is essential, but I never understood the logic behind an enterprising person having to wait for everyone else’s benefit. It had something to do with everyone being treated equally and no one should be a jump ahead of anyone else, they tried to explain.
I, immediately on my return, as luck would have it, applied to Pretoria for the necessary permits to import the graft wood. Remember there were sanctions at the time so I had to have Reserve Bank clearance, not that any currency was involved, before a phyto-import permit could be granted. This was to stop money fleeing the country during the apartheid regime.
Now old Cliff Tanner was a doer, and not a talker, and so he simply posted the graft wood to me at Letaba by air parcel post without my knowledge.
All hell broke loose and the next thing I had Grobler on the phone giving me 1000 words! They threatened me with jail. Customs had picked up the graftwood at Jan Smuts Airport. I could explain it all satisfactorily in the end. The necessary red tape was completed and the parcel went to Stellenbosch and then to Nelspruit where all the subsequent events took their course. I remember a few years later collecting my 2 plants together with a car load of plants for others, amongst which were 2 for the Loughar-Clarks in Georges Valley.
Amorentia Estate and Amorentia Macadamia Nursery hosted a macadamia tree pruning training day this week. One of our growers requested that we run the session to help train his staff. The day was a great success and they all left with a wealth of knowledge. Young macadamia tree training and mature macadamia tree pruning is an essential part of macadamia orchard management.
Established mother material 45 years macadamia propagation experience.
Amorentia Macadamia Nursery
Amorentia Estate Steeped in History
Len Hobson was my maternal Grandfather. He was well-known and well-loved as a great South African Horticultural pioneer. Len was responsible for introducing the Beaumont macadamia cultivar into South Africa. He paved the way for Macadamia nursery practices which would later be modified and adopted by SAMAC as the blueprint for the current SAMAC protocols. Amorentia Nursery played a key role in finalising these protocols that govern our industry’s foundation: The Nurseries. We are proud that our roots are anchored in history. A spot of very exciting news is that hail netting now protects our Macadamia nursery trees. After two severe storms in the last six years, we made the decision to ensure the nursery is secure.
What sets Amorentia apart from other Macadamia nurseries?
- Macadamia oil runs in our blood.
- Our pioneering spirit.
- Our 45 years of production and propagation experience.
- Our resilience.
- Our commitment to the grower and the industry.
- The strict selection of our mother-material which is paramount to ensuring that our growers receive the best possible start to their Macadamia development – because potentially high yielding trees can only come from high yielding mother-trees.
We love to show off our nursery. Come see for yourself.
Our New Amorentia Sweet Dragon Fruit Mother Block is halfway planted!
Our dragon fruit mother block will be just over a half a hectare with 676 posts and 1352 plants. 13 Lines of the nicest looking, great sweet tasting and amazingly healthy fruit you have ever tasted.
We have monitored our older mother block closely this year and have had some excellent flowering and production.
One of our farmers did some tests on the drying of Amorentia Sweet Dragon Fruit. Everything went according to plan and the initial results are very positive as the fruit kept its sweet taste.
We will be travelling around the country between June and October to host 6 Farmer Information days on Dragon Fruit. Please keep an eye on our website and social media for these events or send your details to email@example.com to be added to the invitation email for your area.
En so is ons skielik in die middle van die jaar!
Ons het ons avo seisoen vroeër afgeskop die jaar en ons derde vrag saad is reeds geplant in ons nuwe Ontkiemings Huis. Ons is baie opgewonde oor die res van die jaar. Ons sal tussen 50,000 en 70,000 saailinge produseer hierdie jaar. Meerderheid van die sal as saailinge uitgestuur word en in die land geent word.
And all of a sudden we are in the middle of the year!
Our avo season started earlier this year, and we already have our third load of avocado seeds planted in our new Germination House. We are so excited about the rest of this year. We will produce between 50,000 and 70,000 avocado seedlings this year. The majority of these will be dispatched as seedlings that will be grafted in-field.
Ons saailing kliënte van verlede jaar is opgewonde oor die eenvormigheid van die groei van die saailinge en die eerste vroeë ente is reeds gedoen. Die ente lyk goed en net drie weke na ons geent het, stoot die oogies reeds uit.
Our avocado seedling customers from last year are very excited about the uniformity of the growth of the avocado seedling trees, and we already did our first in-field grafting. The grafts look great, and only three weeks after being grafted they have started swelling out.
Ons het fantastiese media dekking gekry in die Landbou Weekblad onlangs en kry daaglikse navrae vir bome.
We have had excellent media coverage in the Landbou Weekblad recently and are getting daily enquiries.