Pinehurst Camellia Festival Blooms Again on March 17
It's early spring, and the delicate camellia blooms in colors ranging from red, deep pink, blush and white are beginning to spill from the "queen of winter flowers."
The 3rd Annual Pinehurst Camellia Show, sponsored by the Sandhills Camellia Society, will be held Saturday, March 17, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Homewood Suites by Hilton, Olmsted Village, Pinehurst.
The free show is open to the public and handicap-accessible.
The hallmark of the show is the dazzling bloom exhibition, "Beautiful Blooms," which promises to attract garden enthusiasts and their blooms, from all over the state.
"We're striving to make this year's show fun for everyone," says Jane Waldemar, president of the newly-formed Sandhills Camellia Society. "We hope people will come to the show because they've found a camellia in their yard and are just curious about it -- what are its origins, how should it be cared for, how do we grow more? We can start the educational process here -- but more importantly, we just want them to enjoy its beauty."
Putting on a Show
The day will unfold with the main event -- the camellia blossom "call for entries." This year the show's organizers are encouraging novice gardeners, children and professional growers to enter their camellia blooms between 9 and 10:30 a.m. at Homewood Suites.
Sandhills Camellia Society members and local garden club volunteers will be on hand to help register and identify blooms and place the entries.
The public is invited to view the "Beautiful Blooms" exhibition as well as to vote for their favorite blooms.
The public exhibition and voting will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Homewood Suites. Prize ribbons will be awarded for first, second and third place best blooms.
Seminars and Demonstrations
Regional gardening and camellia experts will be among those providing seminars and demonstrations.
Bill Howell, a frequent participant at camellia shows and a well-known camellia grower, will return this year at 1 p.m. to discuss "Camellias for North Carolina." He will offer advice on plant selection, planting and fertilizing.
Cindy Watson, co-owner of Cam Too Camellia Nursery, Inc., a well-known wholesale camellia grower specializing in camellias, will discuss "Companion Plantings for Camellias." Her presentation, which begins at 2 p.m., will illustrate ways to enhance the natural beauty of the camellia with under-plantings for both the garden and landscape.
Tom Cameron, vice president of the Sandhills Camellia Society, will provide a seminar at 3 p.m. on "Growing Camellias in Containers." He will demonstrate the proper container-planting technique and also offer suggestions for companion plantings.
Members of the Sandhills Camellia Society and the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service Moore County Master Gardeners will also be available to answer any gardening-related questions.
Camellias and Companion Plants Sale
Several varieties of C. japonica will be offered for sale. The camellia plants, which are provided by Cam Too Nursery, will be sold for $20 to benefit the Sandhills Camellia Society's educational programs and community beautification efforts.
Several raffles will be offered, including a prize from Homewood Suites and garden-related packages.
Local Camellia Society Formed
Sandhills Camellia Society, which was "fostered" by some local Extension Service Master Gardeners, was formed in December to promote the appreciation of camellias and advance knowledge of all phases of camellia culture.
The society, which is an affiliate of the American Camellia Society, says it is planning future seminars, shows and training classes to inform and educate camellia enthusiasts on camellia culture.
"We really are thrilled that we finally have this society in Pinehurst," says Waldemar. "The camellia is an important part of local lore and culture and is certainly due this attention. We hope more people will be interested in learning about the camellia and join the new camellia society."
Waldemar encourages the public to join the day's events. "Forecasts are for a warming trend which will certainly bring out the camellia blooms. We hope many of them will find their way to our exhibition so they can brighten everyone's day," he said.
Interested exhibitors or volunteers may contact Waldemar at 295-4572 or via e-mail at oswegoohio.com.
Claudia Watson is a N.C. Cooperative Extension Service Master Gardener. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. com.
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