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It’s Camellia Time for BAGSC at Descanso Gardens!

by Beth Stone, posted by Deb Shaw

Camellia japonica 'Guilio Nuccio' with Camellia japonica 'Horkan' and Camellia wabisuke 'Sukiya', watercolor by Beth Stone, © 2104, all rights reserved.

Camellia japonica ‘Guilio Nuccio’ with Camellia japonica ‘Horkan’ and Camellia wabisuke ‘Sukiya’, watercolor by Beth Stone, © 2104, all rights reserved.

The winter months are Camellia show season. This year, BAGSC members will have a Camellia Painting Exhibition at Descanso Gardens, Saturday, January 17 and Sunday, January 18, 2015.

The BAGSC Camellia Painting Exhibit will take place in Van de Kamp Hall, just inside the main entrance, in conjunction with the first Camellia flower show of the 2015 season. Camellia shows are exhibitions of hundreds of individual Camellia blooms presented for judging by amateur Camellia growers. Blooms are placed into classes based upon Camellia Species and characteristics such as nominal bloom size and culture conditions.

Each show has about 25 individual classes. Each class is judged by one of several teams of three judges. The teams select first place blooms of each cultivar entered in the class. They also choose multiple first place blooms from each class that merit further judging. All judges present, typically about 20, then vote for the top blooms in each class, evaluating the first place cultivars against one another. The ballots are tallied and a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place from each class is determined. Winners may choose crystal “trophies” or may accumulate points throughout the show season, which are then converted into a gift certificate redeemable at Nuccio’s Nurseries.

Camellia Grand Prix, by Janice Sharp, colored pencil, © 2014, all rights reserved.

Camellia Grand Prix, by Janice Sharp, colored pencil, © 2014, all rights reserved.

Southern California has a consortium of five different Camellia Societies which conduct Camellia flower shows nearly every weekend from mid-January to mid-March each year in locations ranging from Bakersfield to San Diego. The January 17 and 18, 2015 exhibition at Descanso is the Pacific Camellia Society’s 50th annual show.

The Camellia Painting Exhibit and Flower Show will be open to the public: Saturday January 17, 2015 1:00 PM (pending completion of the flower show judging) to 4:30 PM Sunday January 18, 2015 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM

Admission to the Camellia Painting Exhibit and Flower Show is included with admission to Descanso Gardens. General admission is $9. Seniors 65 and over and students are admitted for $6. Children (5 to 12 years) are $4. Descanso members and children under five are admitted for free. There is ample parking at Descanso and you can also get a quick, easy and tasty lunch at their café.

Descanso Gardens is located near the intersection of the 210 and 2 freeways at 1418 Descanso Drive, La Cañada Flintridge, California, 91011. It is a 20-minute drive from downtown Los Angeles, depending on traffic.

Allow time on your visit to Descanso Gardens to take a walk through the Camellia Forest and visit the Camellia room in the Boddy House. You may also want to explore the newly opened natural Oak Woodland.

Minato-no-haru Camellia, Clara Josephs, watercolor, © 2014, all rights reserved.

Minato-no-haru Camellia, by Clara Josephs, watercolor, © 2014, all rights reserved.

More information about the Camellia Societies and Camellia culture can be found at

Nuccio’s Nurseries will also have an exhibit in Van de Kamp hall for the duration of this show which will be packed with examples of everything currently blooming in their Nursery. If you haven’t been to Nuccio’s, you owe it to yourself to see one of Southern California’s nursery treasures. Everything Camellia and Azalea can be found at Nuccio’s.

Want to volunteer to help with the Camellia Exhibition?

BAGSC volunteers are needed to help

  1. Stage and hang the show on Friday, January 16, 2015.

  2. Stay with the exhibit all weekend while it is open to the public on Saturday and Sunday, January 17 and 18, 2015. BAGSC volunteers supporting the exhibit will provide information to the public about BAGSC and our art form and will handle any sales. [There will also be at least one Camellia Society volunteer on hand at all times while the exhibit is open to talk with the public about the Camellias on display.] All BAGSC members are invited to volunteer and help support the show; you may volunteer regardless of whether or not you have work in the exhibition.

  3. Help with taking down and packing up the exhibit on Sunday, January 18, 2015.

An email blast went out to all BAGSC members with a call for volunteers. If you’re interested in volunteering, please contact Beth Stone.

See you there!

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