ICS Congress 2014

Tuesday 11th March 2014 to Sunday 16th March 2014

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Click here to read a special travelog from Max Hansen on his recent tour of the region

Five days and five nights in Pontevedra province (Northwestern Spain), including the presentation of papers, visits to the gardens, nurseries and the International Camellia Show in Pontevedra.

The Pontevedra province, popularly known as Rías Baixas is a camellia garden that brings colour and light to our autumns, winters and springs in streets, squares, gardens, castles and monasteries. In this region, the camellias are magnificent trees of amazing beauty. The Rías Baixas has outstanding historic camellia specimens, which were probably introduced in Galicia by the Galician nobility several centuries ago and are still thriving in the historical gardens of our Galician manor houses traditionally denominated as Pazos.

This province also offers a great touristic diversity with its exotic islands, forests and routes, sun and beaches, gastronomy and wine tours, golf, thermal tourism, monuments and museums.


The Congress sessions will cover different fields, which enable the participation of the different sectors involved in the camellia world: tourism, ornamental, nursery field, landscape gardening and scientific sectors, trying to deal with all aspects related to the camellia plant.

Sessions will be held on Wednesday and Thursday morning and on Friday afternoon. The rest of the days include visits to the gardens, nurseries, exhibits and other attractions.


Tuesday, 11 March

In the morning participants will be welcomed at the Provincial Palace of the Diputación de Pontevedra by the provincial authorities. Congress registrations start from 16:00 pm. The congress will be inaugurated in the evening with a welcome party including traditional music and dancing, a Galician wine and an aperitif.

Wednesday, 12 March

In the afternoon, participants will departure to Vilagarcía de Arousa to visit the Pazo de Rubiáns, a large manor construction dating back to the 15th century with a garden, a peculiar woodland belt and a vineyard of the variety ‘Albariño’. Eucalyptus, magnolias, olive trees, camphor, Japanese cedars, araucarias and camellias, among other botanic specimens live in the garden. Then participants will visit Pazo de Señoráns, a winery belonging to the Designation of Origin Rías Baixas where they will taste the wine and learn more about the wine production.

Thursday, 13 March

The garden of the Pazo de Lourizán, turned today into an Environmental and Forestry Research Centre owns one of the most important arboretums in Europe. Apart from camellias in this garden it is worth to mention the Dutch elm, the Cedars of Lebanon, the Queen palms, the magnolias and the metasequoias. It is estimated that about 300 specimens of magnolias and camellias that surround the Pazo were planted between 1840 and 1850. A short drive from this garden we find the Estación Fitopatolóxica do Areeiro, one of the most important camellia research centre in the world, gathering an important camellia collection with more than eight hundred camellia cultivars. Their studies are mainly focused on camellia identification using morphological and molecular markers, on the viability and profitability of tea and oil camellia production in Galicia. In the afternoon participants will visit Pazo de Gandarón, a Galician manor house dating from the 18th century which was turned into an agricultural research centre. In this garden we find a magnificent specimen of Magnolia soulangeana, lime trees, lagerstroemias, palm trees and camellias dating back to the last quarter of the 19th century. The ICS Board of Directors will be held in the afternoon.

Friday, 14 March

Departure to the Soutomaior Botanic Park in the morning, designated as International Camellia Garden of Excellence at the last International Camellia Congress held in Chuxiong. In the garden, apart from a large number of exotic species, it is worth to mention the large camellia collection comprising more than 400 specimens planted from the end of the 19th century until now, and belonging to the camellia collection of the Diputación de Pontevedra (Pontevedra provincial government). Among their oldest 19 specimens, we find the largest in Galicia. The Banquet hall of the castle will be a perfect place to hold the closing dinner.

Saturday, 15 March

Early in the morning participants will visit Río Tollo Nursery, one of the most important camellia producers in Spain. They grow camellias resistant to low temperatures and properly labeled according to their variety, shape and colour. They also commercialize azaleas, rhododendrons and other ornamentals.  The next visit will be Pazo de Castrelos, whose park is considered the main lung of the city of Vigo. The garden was designed in the 19th century and has a great variety of exotic species. Amazing is the specimen popularly known as ‘Camellia Methuselah’, one of the oldest in Galicia. At the end of the day, participants will contemplate the flowers exhibited in the International Camellia Show,rotating each year among the cities of Pontevedra, Vigo and Vilagarcía de Arousa. In the 2014 Pontevedra Camellia Congress the show will be 50 years and will take place in the city of Vigo.

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Soutomaior ICS Congress

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