Garden Gnome: Camellias will be stars of show

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I love living in a place where flowers bloom in the winter. It’s probably a result of growing up in the frigid North where you didn’t see anything even green until May.

Camellias will be on display at the Aiken Camellia Society's 61st Annual Camellia Show.  SPECIAL
SPECIAL
Camellias will be on display at the Aiken Camellia Society's 61st Annual Camellia Show.

Thanks to the folks who built our home and planted about a dozen camellias and my master gardener buddy Robert Rogers, who generously taught me air-layering on his wide selection of camellias, we have a fabulous assortment of camellias. There’s nothing like fresh flowers to brighten up even the most dreary winter day.

You will get to see hundres of camellia blooms and compete plants in Aiken next weekend.

The Aiken Camellia Society will hold its 61st Annual Camellia Show from 3 to 8 p.m. Jan. 21 and 1-6 p.m. Jan. 22 at the Aiken Mall. It’s free and open to everyone.

Anyone may exhibit flowers, too. Awards will be given in several categories, writes Stephanie Weldon, of the society. The classes are for camellias grown in the open and those grown with any man-made protection such as a greenhouse. There are classes for japonica, reticulata or reticulata hybrids, or nonreticulata hybrids, miniatures and collections of three blooms of the same variety or five blooms of different varieties. There are novice classes for Aiken County residents who have not won a major award.

Blooms may be entered from 8 to 11:30 a.m. Jan. 21. Blooms must be named according to the American Camellia Society nomenclature. Society members will be available to help identify blooms. More than one flower to a stem will disqualify an entry. Entries must have one or two leaves from the parent plant.

The show will also feature Japanese flower arrangements presented by the Augusta/Aiken Chapter of Ikebana International, and a Bonsai display by Fred Wieland.

The show is free. Camellia plants will be given to everyone who joins the American Camellia Society at the show.

For information, call Lee Poe at (803) 648-8249 or Jim Dickson at (803) 279-9451.


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