Savannah Camellia Festival

Brie Arthur 6.jpg

What: Savannah Camellia Show

Where: Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens, 2 Canebrake Road

Order tickets by Nov. 6: At 11:30 a.m. Nov. 16, Brie Arthur will sign her book “The Foodscape Revolution” following a luncheon, lecture and camellia trail tour. Tickets are $35. At 10:30 a.m. Nov. 18, Arthur will present a lecture and tour. Tickets are $15.

Show, book signing: 2 to 5 p.m. Nov. 17 and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 18; included with $5 entrance to CGBG


It’s been said Brie Arthur could graft a camellia to a fence post and make it stick.

While that is impossible, it does point out an extreme talent for plant propagation, which she put into practice at two of the East Coast’s most prestigious nurseries. I do know she has propagated the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens’ famous Lord’s Holly, and that puts her at the top of my list.

Brie has become a rock star in the world of horticulture, frequently appearing on the PBS show “Growing a Greener World,” and now she is leading the “Foodscape Revolution,” which is also the title of her new book. Luckily for Savannah, she is bringing her talents to the Savannah Camellia Festival from Nov. 16-18 at the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens.

The Coastal Georgia Camellia Societyformed early last summer and has exploded not only with membership, but also enthusiasm, reminiscent of the mythical Phoenix rising, creating both inspiration and excitement. The return of the Savannah Camellia Show is creating a reverberation throughout the world of horticulture. It is here where much of rich camellia history began with our own Judge Arthur Solomon, famous as a Chatham County commissioner and perhaps more so as a plantsman and one of the participating founders of the American Camellia Society.

The show kicks off Nov. 16 with a luncheon with Arthur featuring “The Foodscape Revolution from Camellias to Chamomile.”

“The Term ‘revolution’ is used far too casually today,” said Allan Armitage, professor emeritus of horticulture, University of Georgia. “Very seldom do we see a trend become a movement, then become part of our vocabulary. Brie Arthur has not only been the leader of the foodscape revolution, she is also the face and voice. This is one book that needed to be written.”

Seating is limited and tickets will need to be purchased by close of day Nov. 6. Following the luncheon, there will be a book signing and a tour of the Judge Arthur Solomon Camellia Trail.

The Savannah Camellia Show opens for display from 2 to 5 p.m. Nov. 17 at the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens Andrews Visitor and Education Center. The show is included with the $5 admission to the gardens. The day also features a meet and greet/book signing with Arthur.

Nov. 18 will be a busy day, too, with the Savannah Camellia Show from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., open to everyone who pays admission to the gardens. Arthur will present her lecture again that morning at the garden annex with refreshments and a special tour of the Judge Arthur Solomon Camellia Trail. Seating is limited and tickets should be purchased by Nov. 6.

For all tickets and information go to

Sitting on my desk as I write this is a 1964 edition of the Savannah Morning News touting “Savannah the City of Camellias.” It goes on to state the Men’s Garden Club expects more than 5,000 visitors at the Camellia show.

Wouldn’t it be neat if it hit that mark again for the revival, if you will, of the Savannah Camellia Show at the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens?

Norman Winter is the director of the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens at the Historic Bamboo Farm, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension.