Avarell Cockfield and Veronica Borchardt enjoying themselves at the Toowoomba Hospice Camellia and Winter Flower Show.
Avarell Cockfield and Veronica Borchardt enjoying themselves at the Toowoomba Hospice Camellia and Winter Flower Show.

Camellias blossom to give hospice a hand

THE Toowoomba Hospice recently hosted its 2015 Camellia and Winter Flower Show in the grounds of the TAFE South West Horticulture Centre.

The event brings in much-needed funds for the facilities and services provided by the hospice and has become a much- anticipated annual event.

Despite the near-arctic conditions on the Friday preceding the show, the weekend opened up into two enjoyable and informative days, boasting an array of guest speakers, local and regional plant nurseries, cooking demonstrations and even an Early Ford V8 Club display.

But the drawcard of the event was the Heritage Bank sponsored Joan Falvey Camellia Hall which was filled with hundreds of camellias.

So what is the appeal of camellias? What makes them so special?

For Queensland Camellia Society member, Gloria Thorpe, it is the endless possibilities of this wonderful plant that are the real attraction.

"There is a never ending choice, hundreds and hundreds of types of blooms - red, pink, white - providing colour in the winter and they are not as much work as roses!"

Apart from being a stunning outdoor addition to the garden, camellias are also wonderful enhancements to the interior of a home.

As was evident in the Camellia Hall, the bloom lends itself to a wealth of intricate arrangements and connotations, showcasing the many varieties on offer.

If one is not terribly artistic, however, there is no need to fret or undertake hours of arduous tuition to put together a respectable arrangement.

Gloria said arranging camellias was, "something you pick up as you go along."

Because the blooms are so magnificent, a single well-chosen flower floating in a bowl, with perhaps a bit of foliage, is all you need to mount a very nice display which will easily last between five and seven days.

"Look for a fresh bloom, with no damage and look closely at the centre stamen (to see if is in good condition) - the most important thing is that it appeals to you and suits your décor."

If you would like to find out more about camellias, visit www.camelliasqld.org.au.

Toowoomba Hospice can always use more support. For ideas on how to help visit www.toowoombahospice.org.au and click on 'how you can help'.

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