The threatening weather may have been a factor in the comparatively small turnout for our fall workshop at the Norfolk Botanical Garden on August 27, 2005; but the little bit of rain that fell did not dampen the spirits of the attendees, nor did it hamper the performance of those who participated. ˙There was good discussion of disbudding and the use of giberrelic acid, including intelligent questions, followed by the performance of these tasks on essentially a one-on-one teacher/pupil basis. We then re-grouped and removed and potted up all of the air-layers that were put on at the spring workshop.
Twenty-five people, equally divided between experienced and novice camellia growers, participated. 156 Air-layers were removed and all but 19 had roots that were adequate enough to be placed in one gallon pots. The percentage take was 87% or a 13% failure rate. The greatest failure rate was seen in Rising Sun (5 of 8 failures), Lady Kay (3 of 10 failures), Monjisu Red (4 of 9 failures) and Hino Maru (1 of 3 failures). The 87% success rate is slightly less than we have enjoyed in recent years, but not really bad.
These plants will be cared for in the Norfolk Bontanical Garden lathe house until they are ready for sale at the NBG Gardeners' Market. The money raised will go back into the Hofheimer Camellia Garden. In fact, quite a few of the air-layers were sold at the workshop for $4.00 each. In addition, several new VCS memberships were obtained.
Relatively few of the air-layers still contained cottony camellia scale egg sacks, but Sabrina, the very capable NBG gardener assigned to the camellia collection, will take care of this by spraying them with horticultural oil.
A good time was had by all, and once again, the Hofheimer Camellia Garden served as a vehicle for education, fund raising and the obtaining of new members.
Special thanks to Geraldine Fred and Marnah Lund for photographing the workshop.
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