The 89th Camellia show of Sacramento sponsored by the Camellia Society of Sacramento was held Saturday and Sunday at Memorial Auditorium. As one of the largest camellia shows in the US, this year’s show was a testament to the popularity of this plant in Northern California.
According to Don Lesmeister, show organizer, northern California and specifically Sacramento has the best terroir for this plant in the US. Blossoms are larger, more robust, and generally healthier than in other areas of the US. Don tells the story of one blossom that won 2nd prize in a northern California Camellia show being placed into the owner’s refrigerator for a week and then being flown out to a show in the southern States only to take top blossom at the show!
30+ judges had their work cut out for them choosing amongst several thousand plants for the best blossoms in a number of show categories. Below are examples of the beautiful blossoms that made either the initial or final cuts at the show.
Carol Schanz, president of the Camellia Society of Sacramento, showed me around the auditorium, highlighting the show area for the blossoms and the various exhibits surrounding the show area.
Camellia plant show area.
The photo contest winners are displayed. Entries containing camellias were judged in several categories both serious, humorous, with and without people, or just blossoms.
Actual camellia plants were available for sale at the show, thanks to Green Acres nursery.
Sacramento’s Japanese sister city, Matsuyama, displayed crafts and goods associated with camellias.
Interior designs leveraging the visual impact of the camellia were provided by the Floral Design Guild.
Sunday’s schedule included a ‘Paint In’ where artists painted camellias and competed for ‘President’s Choice’ and ‘Peoples’ Choice’ awards. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the paintings goes to the Camellia Society of Sacramento.
The judging of the flowers took place in rounds. In the first round 6-9 of each category of blossoms was separated from all the entries. From these flowers best in show was chosen. In all 49 trophies were presented this year.
Best in show flower went to Don and Joan Lesmeister. Congratulations!
All the winning entries are shown on tables. It truly was an impressive display of camellias.
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