Camellias Reign in the Southern Garden: Highlights of the Southeast Alabama Camellia Show

Southeast Alabama’s Camellia Society recently held its 2015 annual show here in Dothan.  In spite of a hard freeze several weeks prior to the show, over five hundred entries captivated show goers.  Although camellia show chairman Linda Nichols was holding her breath due to the inclement weather, she, along with the other society members, was thrilled with the quality of this year’s entries. ??????????????????????????????? These ladies have been a steering force in the SE AL Camellia Society for many years:  (from left to right)  Mrs. Rosa Thomas, Mrs. Helen Hargrove, Mrs. Marion Hall (for whom a camellia is actually named); and Mrs. Judy Wise. ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????

Eleven different classifications of both protected and unprotected camellias were artfully displayed in endless rows in hues of pink, white, red, burgundy, and salmon on the display tables. Other prize-winning entries are featured below:

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Society member, Judy Wise, did a masterful job of arranging camellias in various containers for display at the show . . . ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????

Judy used a piece of family heirloom silver to arrange this stunning camellia arrangement for the reception area. ???????? Pink Perfection continues to be one of my all time favorites  . . . ??????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????

To extend the life of cut camellias many experts have successfully dipped them in a waxing solution, producing a porcelain-like shine that lasts for up to two weeks.  Once they are waxed, they do not require a vase or water.  Below is a sample of waxed camellias that was displayed at the show.  Go to following link to see the technique developed by Debbie Odom of Savannah, GA: ???????????????????????????????

The common camellia (Camellia japonica), starring as the queen of the Southern winter garden, has been considered by some garden experts as the southern garden’s answer to the peony.  How interesting is the fact  that this iconic shrub, having been in cultivation for more than 1000 years, is Alabama’s state flower!

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“if there is a reason for a gardener to move to  the south, it’s the camellia”.   Jamie McIntosh, Flower expert

Many thanks to Allen Bourland and Linda Nichols for organizing another successful show.  Southeast AL Camellia Society meetings are held the second Tuesday (September – May), 6:00 P.M., at the First United Methodist Church, 1380 West Main Street.


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