Camellia Gardens Open House planned Saturday

The fifth annual Camellia Gardens Open House at the Southeast Louisiana National Wildlife Refuges Complex headquarters here will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15.

This free event is presented in partnership with the Northshore Camellia Society and the Camellia Club of New Orleans. The complex is located at 61389 La. 434 in Lacombe.

The 110-acre property, historically known as Bayou Gardens, contains more than 400 cultivars of camellias, plus a variety of other exotic plants, amidst a backdrop of native vegetation.

The event will showcase and celebrate the large camellia collection of the former Bayou Gardens, many of which will be in full bloom. These beautiful flowering trees are at their peak and offer vibrant colors not typically seen over the winter months.

Activities scheduled for the day include both talks and demonstrations. Camellia enthusiast, Hunter Charbonnet, a board member of Northshore Club and American Camellia Society, will present a program on the history of camellias. Jim Campbell, president of the Northshore Camellia Club, will demonstrate grafting as well as other effective methods for rooting limbs on existing camellias for reproduction.

Visitors can explore the grounds on their own or attend one of the free guided walking tours that will take place on the hour. The tours will cover a brief history of the complex as well as the variety of camellias that can be found here.

For more information contact Supervisory Park Ranger David Stoughton at (985) 882-2025 or email david_stoughton@fws.gov.