What a great weekend at the Queensland Garden Expo in Nambour last weekend – fine and sunny and thousands attended. We will be open to the public on the coming two weekends, 13/14 July and 20/21 July 2013 between 8.00 am and 3.00 pm – just because we can and because lots of folk want to visit after seeing our range of camellias.
We had a great weekend, very busy selling plants and meeting people from many far-flung places as busloads of people arrived at the Expo grounds looking for particular plants which can be hard to find in their local areas. Buses came from as far north as Cairns (1700 km north) and as far south as Orange (1000 km and a bit south) with enthusiastic gardeners looking for information and plants.
Our yellow flowers from our species C. nitidissima created a lot of interest and if we had had 1000 of these plants I’m sure we could have sold them all – unfortunately, we had none! It is a species which is notoriously difficult to propagate either from cuttings, grafts or seeds – we are learning and getting better at it – and we will keep trying. This flowered the best ever in our garden this year with a strong yellow colour – we are very pleased.
The public, in general, always surprise us. The varieties of camellia that we think will be popular, and therefore take more of, are sometimes passed by, and yet others which don’t seem extraordinary are snatched up like they are the last ones in existence. Not that we’re complaining – it just makes life interesting, trying to anticipate what people may want. As we said to a number of people over the course of the weekend, if we knew what people were going to want, then of course we would bring all those varieties. And that is why we have these open days where people can come and visit, and purchase what they like.
We had a lot of interest this year in the fragrant hybrids – Fragrant Pink, Scentuous, Sweet Emily Kate, High Fragrance and a number of others – these are always popular. We also sold out of all of our variegated varieties such as Emperor of Russia Variegated, Mark Allen Variegated, Mrs Nellie Eastman, Chandleri, Carters Sunburst Pink Variegated, Grand Slam Variegated, Glenwood, Kickoff, William Bartlett and others.
The formal doubles were popular as always with Betty Ridley, Happy Holidays, Nuccios Gem, Alba Plena, Blushing Beauty, Black Tie, Ed Combatalade and others like William Bartlett and Tamzin Coull running out on the first day and had us bringing more in for the rest of the weekend.
Added to this, we attended the inaugural ‘Gardeners & Gourmets’ dinner at the Novotel Twin Waters on Saturday night – this was great fun. A number of our celebrity speakers also attended; Costa Georgiadis, Angus Stewart, Phil Dudman, Annette McFarlane, Clair Lavander as well as many of our local speakers and of course, me.. It was a fun night and there were a few who were a little slow to start on Sunday morning!
This was a great weekend, and are looking forward to seeing many of you over the next few weekends to get the ones we did not have at the Expo.
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