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February 18th, 2014, Tuesday, 7:00 - 8:30PM
ANNUAL INDOOR WORKSHOP OR SPEAKER
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April 5th, 2014, Saturday, 9:30AM - 12:30PM
[Rain date April 12, 2014]
Hofheimer Camellia Garden, Norfolk Botanical Garden
VCS FALL WORKSHOP REPORT 8-26-2006 (sample)
By Winston Gouldin
August 26, 2006, was bright, sunshiny, and hot during our annual fall hands-on workshop at the Hofheimer Camellia Garden. Twenty-seven dedicated and eager people turned out and turned to, making it another highly successful event. Disbudding of camellias was discussed and demonstrated. This was followed by a rather detailed discussion of the use of gibberellic acid to promote earlier and larger blooms on C. japonica. I presented a hand-out denoting my experience over the past nine years of recording the date of the application of gib and the date of the response.The novices then paired with the more experienced camellia growers for a hands-on experience with both modalities.
During the discussion of gibberellic acid, it was noted that using the nomenclature determination of whether a camellia was listed as an early bloomer could be used as a guide as to whether or not a variety would respond to the gib. However, my experience would dictate that this is not altogether a reliable determinant because there are too many exceptions in the form of cultivars listed as blooming later. For example, Sea Foam is a late bloomer, but I have had many to open in November, one as early as November3, when gibbed. The key is to gib EARLY. Black Tie is a midseason bloomer, but it opens usually in 4-5 weeks after being gibbed, and I have had it open in 22 days. Kumasaka is mid-to-late, but I have had gibbed buds to open as early as November 2. Grace Albritton is midseason, but will open in November, although it is inconsistent in its response. Christmas Beauty is midseason, but I have had it open as early as October 30 when gibbed early. Lavender Prince II is mid-to-late, but I have picked many blooms in November, although its response is extremely variable. Tom Cat is mid-to-late, but I have had a response as early as November 5. Dahlonega is midseason, but I have had some beautiful blooms in November. Hopkinís Pink is mid-to-late, but I have seen a response in as little as 23 days. Helen Bower is listed as mid-to-late, but responded rather consistently for me in 42-54 days in 2005, and I recall that Jim Henkel has won an award for this bloom in our fall show. Finally, our own Tubby Habelís prized Les Marbury is listed as midseason, but I have produced blooms in November with gib. In summary, after expanding on a topic brought up at the workshop, my recommendation is to gib all early bloomers, but donít give up on the others, especially if someone elseís experience indicates a response. In fact, that was my purpose for the hand-out at the workshop. I hope the information I have provided will help to increase the number of blooms we have entered in our fall show.
And now, back to the workshop itself. With the fun part of disbudding and gibbing behind us, we then proceeded to remove and pot the 178 air-layers that were applied to camellias in the Hofheimer Garden and nearby in the older garden during the spring workshop. There were 24 failures for an 87% success rate, identical to last yearís. Considering the drought we have been experiencing, this is outstanding. The failures were as follows:
- Blood Of China 4/10
- Hino Maru 2/10
- Lady Kay 8/8
- Metissa 2/10
- Angelís Blush 1/10
- Evangeline 2/10
- Star Above Star 2/10
- Princess Lavender 2/15
- Prolific 1/5
The total failure of Lady Kay came as a surprise. Last year there were only 3 of 10 failures with this cultivar. There were indications the bark was incompletely removed in the application, which could explain the total lack of a take.
The consensus was that this was an excellent workshop, and we are grateful to all who participated, including some who came from quite a distance, like Ahoskie, NC, and others who have had major health problems recently.
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