Festival of Camellias at Massee Lane Gardens

Festival of Camellias at Massee Lane Gardens

Festival of Camellias at Massee Lane Gardens

Celebrate a Southern Classic: 2017 Festival of Camellias

The 2017 Festival of Camellia Events will be held at Massee Lane Gardens January and February 2017. Special events includes care and culture workshops, free admission day, camellia naming ceremony, Georgia Camellia Trail ribbon cutting, self guided tours, tours guided by horticulturist, deluxe guided tour luncheons, Ikebana flower arranging class, one-stroke camellia painting class.

            Celebrate a southern classic with the 2017 Festival of Camellias at Massee Lane Gardens, with special events in January and February, the peak blooming season for camellias in Georgia. Massee Lane Gardens was the private farm and garden of David C. Strother, one of the founders of the American Camellia Society. Strother stared the garden in the 1930s and lovingly planted his favorite camellia varieties in a formal landscape. He expanded the garden as his collection grew, incorporating brick pathways millstones, telegraph mile markers, and brick fencing. Strother donated his 150 acre farm and camellia garden to the American Camellia Society as its permanent headquarters in 1968.

            An International Garden of Excellence and American Camellia Trail Garden, Massee Lane Gardens includes seven separate specialty camellia gardens. There are over 300 camellia varieties and over 1,000 camellia plants in the nine-acre garden and landscaped greenhouse. While the largest number of cultivars is of Camellia japonica, Camellia sasanquas, Camellia hybrids and a number of Camellia species and fragrant tea olives and winter daphne add variety to these plantings. Two museum galleries showcase the largest collection of Edward Marshall Boehm porcelain sculptures on public display in the United States.

February Festival of Camellias Activities: Tea, Tours & Luncheons

            Massee Lane Gardens will be open every Monday in February. A complimentary tea tasting each Monday will showcase one of the most popular camellias in the world—the species camellia sinensis is the common tea plant. Professionally guided tours and boxed luncheons can be scheduled Monday through Friday in February. Lunch selections from The Railroad Café in Fort Valley, Georgia feature a fruit cup, chips, cookie, water and a choice of the Conductor Club Sandwich, Southern Pecan Tumbled Chicken Salad Sandwich, Ham and Swiss Sandwich, Turkey and Swiss Sandwich, and a Veggie Wrap. Luncheon tours are $15 per person with advance reservations.

Art in the Gardens
            February 11, 2017 will be all about Art in the Gardens. An Ikebana flower arranging class will be offered at 11:00 a.m. Junior Associate Ikebana Master Maria Muniz and Ikebana Instructor Lucy Hicks will demonstrate the art of Ichiyo Ikebana, a Japanese style or floral arrangements. María Muñiz, Junior Associate Master of the Ichiyo School of Ikebana, began the formal study of ikebana in 2009.  She has  attended workshops with the headmaster of   Ichiyo School, Mr. Akihiro Kasuya, in Tokyo, Japan.  Ms. Muñiz is a member of Ikebana International Middle Georgia Chapter, Ikebana International Atlanta Chapter and Ichiyo School of Ikebana Atlanta Chapter.  She has participated in Ikebana exhibits in Atlanta, Macon, and Watkinsville, Georgia.

            Participants will use branches, leaves, grasses and vines along with camellia blooms to create artistic floral compositions with graceful lines and pleasing forms. Ikebana is literally translated as “Living Flowers” and includes the use of lines, mass, and empty space in three dimensional, asymmetrical forms as essential design elements. It is considered a spiritual and philosophical art form. Ichiyo (pronounce ee-chee-yo) translates to “one leaf” in Japanese. Ikebana places importance on natural beauty which constantly renews itself by adapting to change. It is practiced in Japan as a sign of cultural refinement.  The Ikebana Class is now SOLD OUT.

            A camellia painting class using the “One Stroke” oil painting technique will be taught at 2:00 p.m. by artist Shirley Rainwater of Lizella, Georgia. Rainwater is certified received a Level II Art Instruction Certification from Dewberry University in Orlando, Florida. She was taught by Donna Dewberry, who invented the one-stroke technique. Participants will complete an 11 x 14 canvas painting. The Painting Class is now SOLD OUT.

Middle Georgia Camellia Society and Flint Energies Camellia Show
            The Middle Georgia Camellia Society and Flint Energies are hosting a competitively judged camellia show on February 25 and 26, 2017. Growers from all over the Southeast will bring over a thousand camellia blooms to be judged by American Camellia Society accredited judges. A special novice show class is available for home gardeners to enter blooms and compete for prizes. There is no cost to enter blooms and experts are available to help identify and prepare blooms for entry. Bloom entry is from 7:30 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. The show opens to public on Saturday 1:00 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. and Sunday 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m., and there is no cost to view the show. Click here to view the show schedule.

Call now for Box Lunch, Guided Tour and Art Class Reservations!

Call (877) 422- 6355 toll free to make reservations for Garden Tours, Luncheons and Art Classes. Camellia Care Workshop registration form can be printed and mailed with payment to the Middle Georgia Camellia Society.


  • Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, and free for children under 12 and American Camellia Society members.

  • Flint Energies Co-Op Connection and AAA members are eligible for a dollar off the regular admission fee (please show membership card at Gift Shop to receive the discount.) (Admission discounts are not available for guided tours.)

  • Massee Lane Gardens is located at 100 Massee Lane, Ft. Valley, Georgia. Click here for driving instructions and information on the gardens.

  • Call toll free at (877) 422-6355 to schedule a guided tour or to reserve a boxed luncheon. For more information, email ask@americancamellias.org.