Camellia Club of Mobile Inc. Newsletter Issue 6  Vol XII    February  2016


If you are interested in adding to your camellia collection (and what camellia enthusiast is not!) do come to our Meeting on February 14 at the Mobile Botanical Gardens.  This is one of our most important and interesting meetings on camellia culture.  Our experienced members will be demonstrating the various methods of propagating our favorite plants, which will include grafting, airlayering, rooting and growing from seeds.  We will have scions of hard-to-find varieties available for grafting at $1.00 each, all proceeds to benefit the club. Information will be available on where to obtain the best quality grafting stock at a reasonable price.  Grafted plants done during the demonstrations will be sold at the meeting with preference given to new/newer members.  All methods of camellia propagation are relatively easy, I have plants in my garden that I have grown from grafting, air-layering, rooting and seeds, (and I don’t do hard stuff!)  Some of the seedlings are over 8 feet tall!   Do try to attend this meeting, lots of information and expertise will be available.

Our 76th Camellia Show well-attended

The Club’s 76th Camellia Show, held at Bel Air Mall, was a success with over thirty exhibitors and over 1,000 blooms despite a vicious night freeze and one inch of heavy rain right before the Show.  Club members turned out in full force to set up the Show, from laying out competition tables & the awards table (which looked gorgeous!) to providing exhibitors with water, cups& trays, getting blooms placed in their correct categories, etc. We had a great cadre of judges who did a superb job of selecting the best blooms.  Our teams of clerks and runners worked tirelessly, transporting blooms to the Head Table, punching holes in and putting stickers on entry cards. Lots of members helped out at the Club information table and with camellia plant sales.  Our plants were very high quality from Glenn Read Nursery and Green’s Nursery, and we sold a lot of them.  Camellia mugs, tote bags and camellia pins all sold out as well.  When it came time to close out the Show at 4 p.m. on Sunday, a huge team of members turned to and had the Show torn down and packed away by 4:20 p.m.!!!  (I think maybe a lot of members wanted to get home in time to watch  “Downton Abbey”).  I would love to mention by name everyone who worked so hard on this Show, but since this is only a single page Newsletter I just don’t have the space, so do consider yourselves most sincerely thanked and hugged for your time and efforts! If ANYONE FOUND A NEW 2014 NOMENCLATURE BOOK AT THE SHOW IT BELONGS TO FLORENCE CROWDER – TELL JIM DWYER        


This year’s Club tour of one of our members’ gardens is definitely one not to be missed.  Rick Crow, long time Club member and sponsor of our Shows, has agreed to invite our Club members to visit his garden on Sunday, February 21st, from 2 to 4 p.m. Rick has been working for the past 10-12 years on establishing a woodland garden on his acreage under longleaf pines and oaks, with over 400 varieties of camellias plus azaleas. Directions: West on Cottage Hill Road to Dawes Road. Left (south) on Dawes for 1 &1/2 miles Left (next to Shell Sta.) onto Dawes Lake Road& go exactly 1 mile. Enter thru metal gates on right (next to horse pasture) CROW sign will be on gate post.  Drive back to barn/picnic area.  Rick’s cell phone: 251-458-7804  if you get lost!



While admiring the gorgeous whopping great Waterford vase awarded as the Dolores Oates Trophy to my “Tomorrow Park Hill Blush”, I was reminded that most of our current membership do not know the story behind the Alabama Growers Section at our Show.  Years ago the late Bert Wiggs, a long time member of the Club, spoke with Iim Oates, also a LTM,  about  setting up an awards section exclusively for camellia growers in Alabama.  We had a novice award, but once a Club member had won that they had to go up against the “big boys” to win a trophy – and we had a lot of really excellent growers from surrounding states such as Florida, Mississippi, Louiisana, Texas and Tennessee! So Jim & Bert put their heads together coming up with the idea of the Alabama Growers section with identical awards being  given to the 10 best blooms in the category.  When we lost Jim’s dear wife, Dolores, in 2004, Jim asked that the blooms chosen be increased to 11, with the best of group being awarded the Dolores Oates Trophy which Jim sponsors.  This was a special win for me since “Tomorrow Park Hill Blush” was one of the plants we bought when Jim took us to Vernon Howell’s Nursery to get our first camellias. A lovely plant, very determined, having managed to survive being squashed by a water oak felled by hurricane Ivan!   


Don’t forget John Grimm’s Open Garden at his place Camellia Heaven, 83381 House Creek Road, Bush, LA.  March 5 & 6, 10 a.m. to dusk.  1,000’s of varieties!  Visit recommended! Call 504-610-7828 if there has been a freeze or if it is raining, for alternative dates.