Looking to plant camellias alongside a garden wall


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Hi all,

Hoping to get some advice as a person who's never looked into garden matters much in the past!

I have a garden block wall that I'm looking to plant some camellias alongside to brighten the look up a bit.

After a bit of research I discovered that while some camellias can tolerate a neutral PH soil that they do much better with an acidic PH soil.

Issue one is my soil is more on the alkaline side as well as been clay.
Thus I was thinking of replacing the clay soil alongside the wall with topsoil amended with ericaceous compost.
That should be effective in improving both the PH and the drainage to something more tolerable for camellias?
Then after planting it's just a matter of mulching with more ericaceous compost?

Regarding dimensions it'll run the length of the wall and the width would be 30 inches (since its beside a wall and I want to avoid stepping into the area) with a depth of 12 inches.
I read that camellias have shallow roots so this setup should this should be okay for them?
Maybe I'm overthinking it but won't that be a bathtub like effect in that the camellia roots won't want to grow into the surrounding tougher clay soil?

Or would I be better off not going for the in ground garden bed and just have a raised bed 12 inches deep?
Any cons to the raised bed vs the in ground apart from the additional cost?

Thanks for your advice.
 
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I have heavy clay soil, and the camelia that came with the house doesn't seem to mind it, but we are quite acidic here. The main thing I know of them is that the flowers form as buds really early on, so are very liable to frost damage. Depending on the orientation of the wall it could be an excellent place for them if it gives them a bit of shelter. Mulching with oak leaves is a good way to get a bit of cheap acidity.
 
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