Camellias to bloom at Show

Dame Marie Bashir with Narrandera Garden Club secretary-treasurer Denise Di Salvia at last year’s Camellia Show.

More than 1000 blooms are expected to be on display at the Narrandera Camellia Show this Friday and Saturday. Despite the dry weather, the organisers are hoping to see a strong turnout again this year.

“Last year was the national show, and this is just our show, so we won’t have the international judges,” said the Camellia Show secretary and treasurer of the Narrandera Garden Club Denise Di Salvia. A Narrandera institution since 1974, the Camellia Show will kick off from 8.30am tomorrow.

“Anyone is welcome to bring down their blooms after 8.30 on Friday morning. We’ll enter it for you. You don’t have to know exactly what the blooms or the categories are – just bring them down,” Mrs Di Salvia said. There are seven classes of camellias to get involved in, which are then broken down by size and variety.

“We have the single camellias – so that’s up to nine petals. Anything over that is a semi-double, which can have two layers of petals around the stamen,” Mrs Di Salvia explained.

“We’ve got the irregular semi-double – that involves an interrupted stamen. Then we’ve got our informal doubles. You sort of think of them as being the fluffy ones. You can see the yellow pollen on the end of the stamen and its spread all throughout the mix of petals and petaloids. They’re a beautiful flower. They’re all beautiful, but that one’s a bit of a favourite,” she said.

The formal double is similar to the informal double, but has no visible stamens. The elegans form is also in its own category.

“The elegans is an undulating row of mixed petals and petaloids. It gives it the look of sitting up on a plate,” Mrs Di Salvia explained.

“And then there’s also a section for reticulates. They’re usually the big, blousy blooms. They don’t grow particularly well here, they’re not very fond of our water.”

A final category for any bloom that is a hybrid of the above is also part of the show. Mrs Di Salvia said she was expecting some travellers from Sydney, Albury, Canberra and the Illawarra to make the trip down for the Narrandera show.

“Our two regular judges are coming down from Sydney and Canberra. It’s always a good day to catch up with people.” Ms Di Salvia said that a special guest Margaret Levich would be making her way to Narrandera from Sydney. Ms Levich, along with her husband Peter Levich had competed in the show in the past.

“She will be there to present the Peter and Margaret Levich award for the best miniature,” Mrs Di Salvia said.

The show will kick off on Friday morning. Blooms can be entered from 8.30am and the judging will be held between 12pm and 2pm. The show will open to the public from 2pm until 5pm and the official opening, along with the presentation of the awards, will be held at 3pm.

The blooms will also be on display on Saturday between 10am and 4pm. The show will once again be held at the Ex-servicemen’s Club.

“We’re very grateful to the Ex-servicemen’s Club for their support of the show and the garden club,” Mrs Di Salvia said. “We’re also very appreciative of the Narrandera Rotary Club for literally providing the manpower to set up the show and dismantle everything when it’s over.”

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