Camellia tradition blooms at LBW

Published 10:23 am Friday, April 26, 2024

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The Greenville Camellia Society (GCS) and Lurleen B. Wallace (LBW) Community College have joined forces to bring a vibrant Camellia Garden to the LBW Greenville campus. The project, initiated by Peige Josey, dean of the Greenville campus, and GCS President Jan Newton, has garnered enthusiastic support from GCS members.

Newton expressed excitement about the collaboration, stating that she was thrilled with the chance to pass along an important piece of Greenville’s cultural heritage. 

“This is a fabulous opportunity for our Society to contribute to the Camellia City’s tradition of having a camellia garden in every possible public space,” Newton said. “It is also a service project for our organization and one which enriches our community.”

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The selection of camellia varieties and colors was carefully curated by Josey to enhance the entrance to the Wendell Mitchell Conference Center. Barbara Middleton, GCS historian and local camellia expert, along with Vice President Helena Shirley, Treasurer May May Bates and other Society members, played pivotal roles in overseeing the garden’s design.

Josey, delighted by the partnership, explained that the project was the realization of a long-standing desire to introduce the state flower onto LBW’s campus.

“We have wanted to add camellias to the campus for a long time, and this was the perfect opportunity to partner with the Greenville Camellia Society,” Josey said. “They’ll be having their annual Camellia Show in the Wendell Mitchell Conference Center here on campus in February, so we’re excited for that. This was part of their contribution to the campus… to help us by not only acquiring the camellias but helping us plant them and teaching us how to care for them. It’s been a wonderful partnership.”

To celebrate this collaboration, the GCS will host a special Mother’s Day Camellia Plant Sale on Saturday, May 4, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Marvin’s in Greenville. Society members will be on hand to assist in selecting the perfect gift, ensuring that it will warm your loved one’s heart for years to come.

The Greenville Camellia Society, a nonprofit service organization, aims to promote interest in and knowledge of the Japonica Camellia, the state flower of Alabama, as well as the many other Camellia varieties. For more information, please contact or visit their Facebook page.