Camellia Club of Mobile Inc. Newsletter Issue 4  Vol. X  - January  2014

Getting  ready  for  our  74th  Show!

The January 12th Meeting will be dedicated to preparing for our 74th Camellia Show at Colonial Bel Air Mall on the 18th & l9th January. Show Chairman Walter Creighton and Assistant Show Chairman Al Baugh will run the meeting and explain what is needed in the way of help from Club members.  There is lots to do to put on a successful Show, we will have something for everyone who wants to participate, whether you can spare only a little time or spend all day at the Show.  There will be training sessions on various aspects such as clerking (just about the most important job, other than judging!), placement , helping with set-up and assisting exhibitors.  The Club has been putting on Shows for so many years that everything always seems to go reasonably smoothly,  new members will find that there is always an experienced member who is happy to help with any problem or question.  Those who arrive early for set-up on Saturday will find hot coffee and breakfast pastries available to sustain them, plus sandwiches, juice, etc.  Don’t forget the Judges Reception which will be held Friday evening – details of this will be given out at the meeting – Sharon Emmons, as usual, will be in charge of the catering for this event.  Highly recommend attending this reception, you will get  to meet lots of Camellia Show judges who are camellia enthusiasts from all the other Clubs in our area.  Note: At Sunday’s meeting we will also show everyone how to enter their own blooms at our Show and how to complete the entry cards – all easy-peasy!  Looking forward to seeing you at the meeting.



The American Camellia Society has published  its Camellia Calendar for next year – it will be even better than last year’s because one of the featured camellias will be c.reticulata “Jim Smelley”   - originated by our own Jim & Elaine Smelley and just registered this past year. The calendars will be available for purchase at the Christmas Meeting and cost is $10.50 each.  There are only a few left now so we recommend that you get one before they’re all gone.  The ACS is using this particular calendar to highlight blooms associated with “Camellia Legends” that the camellia world has lost during the past months.  Included in the roll call of legends is our own Elaine Smelley, along with such camellia giants as Dr. Bill Ackerman and  Hulyn Smith.



Sadly we have been told of the most unexpected passing of Stephanie Grimm of Metairie, Louisiana.  Stephanie and her husband John have been Club members for a number of years, they own a lovely garden called “Camellia Heaven” which they have opened each year  to visits from Camellia Club members throughout  the south.  Stephanie was a Master Gardener and helped with the restoration of Hody Wilson’s  camellia grove at the Tangipahoa Parish Extension Service in Louisiana. Our most sincere condolences go out to John and her family.




The Club’s Christmas Party was a great success.  Food was much enjoyed by all who attended and past Club President Jim Oates, ably assisted by his elf Katina, did his usual phenomenal job of getting members to part with their money during the Auction.  The tea towels embroidered with camellias and the Club’s name were a huge success, our thanks to Cathy Baker for making and donating such lovely items. Our  thanks to all who donated or successfully bid on items.


The ACS held their Annual  Convention in Pensacola, FL, on December 11 – 15, 2013.  This was well attended by camellia people from  all over the US. The Pensacola Camellia Club’s Show on December 14 was very successful with well over 1,000 blooms exhibited.  A number of our members won awards at this very well-organized Show put on by one of the oldest Club’s in the U.S.


The Northshore Camellia Club’s Show in Covington, LA. held on December 21st  was well supported by exhibitors from our region, again some of our Club members won awards.  Northshore is one of the newest Clubs and doing very well.


Camellia Club Shows are really important in the camellia world – they let enthusiasts see the latest blooms and also spark an interest in our favorite flower among gardeners who would otherwise not know much about the Queen of Winter Flowers.  Friendly competition with other growers increases the fun of exhibiting in the shows and the importance of educated, experienced, accredited Camellia Show  judges cannot be stressed enough.  We congratulate our Club’s new Novice Judges this season,  Jimmy Walker and Leo Brown.