I actually got into growing Camellias by accident. I had a couple of them in the yard, but they were nothing spectacular. I was asked to come speak to the Coastal Carolina Camellia Society about growing Citrus. They wanted something different, so they came to me. At the time, I was primarily a "why waste your time growing things you can't eat" gardener. I saw this speaking opportunity as a chance to show those "silly" camellia people that they were wasting their time on flowers. As the day got closer I was determined to show them. I had all kinds of handouts, door prizes of citrus trees to win and some really cool show plants with exotic citrus fruit on them. I was ready!!
When I got to the meeting, the people were very nice. They had a wonderful spread of food out and really treated me special. I thought to myself, these folks are pretty cool. I still wanted to show them the folly of their thinking. They asked some really good questions and I was convinced I was turning some of them. I started to ask some questions of my own, just wanting to see why they grew these "flowers". They answered my inquiries with no hesitation......then.....I have no freakin idea what happened!!!
As of the writing of this page, I have 200+ camellias in my yard. I am the President of the society, Flower Show Chairman and co-chairman of the National Convention here in Charleston January 2016.
Whatever spell they hit me with worked! I can't go into a nursery or garden center without looking at what camellias they've got, just in case they have one I don't yet.
I am always looking to swap cuttings with other camellia growers. I have even gone to some of the local gardens to acquire cuttings to root. I have enjoyed competing in many
of the shows, which helps my competitive nature. You can see some of the awards
I have won on the photos and awards page of this website.