Camellia Club of Mobile  Newsletter


Volume XI Issue 7 -  Editor: Vera Curry                                                                April 2015



We are looking forward to seeing everyone at our Meeting at Sunday, April 12, at the Mobile Botanical Gardens.  As usual we will have a panel of experienced camellia growers who will answer all questions on taking care of your precious plants over the summer season and how to best get them ready for their dramatic bloom re-entry next fall. Information will be available on watering, planting, fertilizing, pruning, bugs, etc. There will be paper available to write down the names of fertilizers, pesticides, etc. that are recommended by our experts.


Don’t forget that we will also be holding our annual Photo Competition, all members can take part, just don’t enter any photo that you have previously entered in this competition.  There are four photograph categories as follows:


  1. Camellia bloom(s).   2. Camellia(s) & people.   3. Camellia(s) in arrangement.   4. Camellia(s) in landscape.


There will be a nice award for the winner of each category.  Photos do not have to be framed and can be any size.  We see some gorgeous pictures each year.  Winners are determined by anonymous votes from the members present, and yes, you can vote for your own entry!


The other important part of this final Meeting of the 2014/2015 Camellia Season is the Election of Club Officers and Board Members to serve for the 2015/2016 Season.  A  slate of candidates will be presented by the Chair of the three- person Nominating Committee for approval by Club members present. Nominations can also be made from the floor.



I’m really sorry I missed the March Meeting - got lots of great feedback on how much everyone enjoyed the talk given by Homer Richardson of the Brookhaven Camellia Club in Mississippi. He gave hints and tips that helped everyone, from experienced growers, to know-a-bits like me, to real newbies.  I do hope lots of people attended this meeting, it sounds like it was a lot of fun.  Our sincere thanks to Homer for giving up his Sunday for our Club and making the long trip from Brookhaven.




First, my most sincere thanks to our Club Secretary Dr. Jim Dwyer for writing and sending out the March Newsletter. He did a great job, I’d say that I might have found a replacement as Editor, but Eileen would probably smack me!  Jim has plenty to do already...


While across the pond (as Jim put it) I had the opportunity to visit the month-long free Camellia Show at Chiswick House in London.  The camellia trees in the 300 ft long Conservatory were spectacular, most in full bloom.  Met some lovely camellia people and took a lot of pictures.  I asked about how the propagation of “Middlemist’s Red” was going.  There are only two of this plant and the other is in New Zealand.  Apparently even the International  Camellia Society’s most expert propagators are having great difficulty in getting scions to take on various rootstock. I passed on what I could remember from Randolph Maphis and Jim Smelley about using “Kumagai” as rootstock, they’re going to try it since several were familiar with the strong growth characteristics of “Kumagai”.  There was a nice arrangement of potted camellias and other plants as you entered the greenhouse, spotted a gorgeous little low-growing camellia, absolutely ideal for a pot hanging in the shade. pale pink/white & fragrant, called “Quintessence”. It’s a non-retic hybrid from New Zealand - think I might have tracked it down in a Louisiana nursery....I definitely want one, or two, or six!


We are sad to report that Geri Jinks, of Brookhaven, Mississippi, recently lost her valiant battle against cancer.  Those of us who read the Gulf Coast  Camellia Society’s annual publication “The Gulf Coast Camellian” will remember the great job she did as Editor of that magazine.  The sincere condolences of the Camellia Club of Mobile go out to her family.