After a two-year hiatus because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Fayetteville Camellia Club’s annual Camellia Show & Plant Sale returned to Cape Fear Botanical Garden on March 4-5 with a display of nearly 600 camellia blooms entered in competition.
“We were thrilled to learn that 60% of exhibitors this year were local, winning a good share of the 25 cash prizes available,” said Jack Dewar, co-chair of the show.
Winners included Cathy Kubeny, with three medals; Diane Libecki-Long; Victoria and Neal Gemelli; Brian Tyler; John and Sonya Fields; and club President Judy Capps, according to a news release.
“Beauty is precious and necessary and does not need to be rare,” said Finley Bryant, former president of the Camellia Club. “Underlining our club’s mission is this simple fact: Anyone can grow a camellia, but most people don’t know it. We can help.”
Representatives of the American Camellia Society kicked off the show by recognizing Cape Fear Botanical Garden as part of the American Camellia Trail.
Dewar presented a gift of signage to Botanical Garden CEO Chris Hoffman, the news release said.
A dozen varieties of locally grown camellias were available for sale. Education on growing camellias included “Q&A” tables with chart displays showing how to plant and nurture the flowers. Club experts Chuck and Nancy Umstead demonstrated how to use mature camellia shrubs to produce new shrubs using the “air layering” method.
The Nippon Club of Raleigh, headed by Yoko Iwashima, entertained visitors with demonstrations on the Japanese tradition of making tea with camellias. A team of six wearing traditional kimonos served about 70 bowls of tea on Sunday afternoon.
On both days, the Fayetteville Ikebana Club exhibited 20 highly skilled replicas of Japanese-style flower arrangements, each including camellias.
Brian Tyler of the Botanical Garden led a class in flower arrangement.
The Camellia Club also welcomed a collaboration with the next generation of camellia growers by showcasing 337 pieces of student artwork linked to camellia culture. Most were done by fourth-graders.
Next year’s Fayetteville Camellia Club Show is scheduled for March 2-3. For more information, go to fayettevillecamelliaclub.org.