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Column "Camellia" part 13

~Interview with Ms. Jennifer Trehane, director of the ICS~

We interviewed Ms. Jennifer Trehane when she came to Oshima in October.
We asked about the attractive point of camellias and her impression or evaluation of the three gardens (Oshima Park, Oshima Senior High School, Tsubaki-hana-garden) applying for ICGEs. In addition, we received advice on how to make the camellia gardens in Oshima better. She answered all of our questions kindly.



【Question】
What do you think is the most attractive point of camellias?

【Answer】
I think they have so many different colors, different flowers, varieties, shapes, some are scented, some flower in autumn, some flower in spring. It’s a special flower. There is no other flower in the world that brings people from almost all nations together.


  • 【Question】
    Oshima Park is in the largest class of camellia gardens in Japan, how do you think its scale compares with other camellia gardens around the world?

    【Answer】
    That’s a very simple question and very simple answer.
    It’s the best.
    Because it has so much: the seed, the museum and glasshouses, many, many camellias all well labeled, it just has so much give people to learn about or just to enjoy camellias. It is special. It is one of the gardens that should be perfect for ICGE selection because it is an excellent garden.


  • 【Question】
    Oshima high school utilizes the upbringing of camellias in an educational capacity. The students practiced their explanations for you very hard. How did you feel about their enthusiasm?

    【Answer】
    It was so marvelous to see young people being encouraged, not just to actually tell us what it was, but for the teachers to allow them to be the people who answer the questions. To see some other shy ones, I know they practice and practice and practice…..and still do a good job. It’s lovely to have a school asking the children to do all these things. It was good for us and it was good for them, and the teachers too. It was very impressive.



  • 【Question】
    Tsubaki-hana-garden features the earliest blooming camellias in Japan alongside a scenic view of Mount Fuji. Do you think that it is a good spot for camellia fans from foreign countries?

    【Answer】
    One thing that is very special about that garden is that it is all looked after by one man, all that work, and he has planted camellias in such a smart way. He shows us different varieties growing in different ways and uses skilled pruning to make them shapely and attractive. It is a beautiful to see the camellias in all their beauty and the sight itself is interesting. I think it is good for the public to see and perhaps be inspired by his skill.



  • 【Question】
    Overall, what can we do to make our gardens better?

    【Answer】
    I think promote more. More promotion. Tell the world.
    We have encouraged you by giving ICGE evaluations. We are definitely going to give them ICGE status. We recommend to the ICS directors that they be awarded International Camellia Garden of Excellence status but when it goes to the directors’ meeting next spring, they have to make a decision. But they have never been known to say “ No” , when we have decided, so I think it’s something that is OK for you in Oshima to publicly say “We have International Camellia Garden of Excellence status" and tell everybody. I think you’ve be, in our language,“hiding your light under a bushel” .


  • The three gardens are not yet formally authorized, but the director generally gave forward comments and advice. After three days she was able to greatly advance our quest for ICGE authorization. Those three days were very productive for us all.

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