I have a large older Camellia japonica regarding which I have written into the UBC Forum , maybe a year or more ago, and never got a reply, so am trying again... it was not blooming past the large bud stage, the buds were just browning or 1/4-opening... it otherwise looks extremely vigorous. It has been fairly radically pruned by me, in two stages, over the past couple of years. I fertilized and loosened the soil around it last fall, and have been watering it thoroughly even through some wet spells when passers-by must have thought I was crazy, because it is planted fairly close to the townhouse's concrete foundation-slab [the main trunk is about 3-4 feet out, maybe, but the roof overhang is huge, and the ground there seems to drain superbly. Also there are large Douglas Firs nearby, within a few feet, as Broadmead regards them as protected until they threaten the houses more obviously. They don't really do so at the moment... but they are close by and are large, and the roots must impact the Camellia. It is in the shade, mostly, but gets some early morning sun and the top of it gets sun later in the morning coming over the lower roof of the house. I went and looked at it yesterday and the many buds seemed huge but tight. I turned on the water yesterday [the water had not been on for it for a couple of weeks] and left a portable small hose-sprayer under it for a considerable time, moving it around through all the drip line... and put it back on this morning. Now this morning I see some of the buds are showing glorious pink, and may possibly open. Would it have been lack of water which prevented bud opening? If this blooms there will be a celebration in this household.