FOR PICKUP OR DELIVERY CALL
The Tidewater Camellia Club (TCC)
originally formed in 1952 as a garden club
for men, although women could participate
As a child, longstanding and second-gen-eration
her parents and neighbors enjoying garden-ing,
and her father joining the club.
Talley’s early memories are of the way her
mom dressed up for camellia parties and
the many hours spent preparing for social
events, shows and exhibits. She recalls her
father being kept busy as an officer and
show chairman in the club; he also served a
term as president.
In the early 1970s, shortly before Talley’s
father died, women were permitted to join.
Talley, a busy wife, mother and teacher,
didn’t join at that time but she always found
time for gardening. She once claimed, “My
favorite flower is the gardenia,” but her love
of camellias grew from her desire to have a
blossoming garden throughout the year.
Camellia bushes are evergreen that bloom
in the winter, with flowers in beautiful
shades of pink, red and white.
“I like year-round camellias,” she says.
When she met her second husband,
John Talley, she fell in love with his daylil-ies,
and he fell in love with her camellias.
The romance blossomed and they married.
In 1999, their shared love of camellias led
them to join the TCC.
Talley is still active in the club but no
longer shows her flowers, preferring to just
take care of the camellias in her garden and
use her teaching skills to educate children
at Bradley Creek Elementary School about
Even when she and John focused on
show-quality camellias, Talley says it didn’t
require a lot of work to grow them in this
“Camellias love Wilmington, and with a
little knowledge, you can grow them easily
here,” she says.
WBM may 2018
T I D E W A T E R Camellia Club
Epic Food Co. Introduces
Organic, Free-Range Roast Chickens
Farmers’ Market Sides • Crisp Salads
Chef-made Sauces and Dressings
Epic Food Co. @ The Forum
1113 Military Cutoff Road
member Melissa Talley remembers
Melissa Talley working in her backyard.