by C. I. Sersanous
Again it is a pleasure to report to the membership continued gains in the financial condition of the American Rhododendron Society for the fiscal year ending April 30, 1956.
In the following pages you will find a financial report from our Auditors, Yergen and Meyer of Portland, Oregon, including a comparative balance sheet as of April 30, 1955, and as of April 30, 1956. Also a similar statement covering cash receipts and disbursements of the Crystal Springs Lake Island Test Garden Fund, a further statement of cash receipts and disbursements of the Exhibition and cool house fund, and finally an analysis of the Surplus Account for the fiscal year.
The National Society Surplus now stands at $9,636.00 from $6,086.00 as of April 30, 1952, which indicates a consistent growth of the Society.
One important project was completed early in the year in which the book published by the Society titled "Rhododendrons" made its appearance and was well accepted by the membership and the public. Containing 234 pages with many illustrations, the book further contains valuable reference material. Starting with page 164 and ending with page 192, covering both species and hybrids, is probably the first attempt to establish American hardiness ratings throughout the U. S. and Canada by any book contribution on Rhododendrons. Other ratings consist of the plant quality, probable height in 10 years, blooming season, color, parentage, originator and date. A key to this rating information is found on pages 158 to 161. Some 340 horticultural varieties and 210 species are included in the rating tables.
To the members of the book committee consisting of Dr. J. Harold Clarke, as Chairman, Robert Bovee, Director, George D. Grace, Director, Rudolph Henny, Editor of our Rhododendron Quarterly, and our Secretary, Mrs. Ruth M. Hansen, my personal congratulations and sincere thanks for a splendid task well done.
Another project was very nearly completed and was used for the first time by the Portland Chapter for its 12th Annual Show, May 19th and 20th. The building was designed by Mr. C. T. Hansen, Chairman of our Test Garden Committee. The structure which is a combination cool house and for exhibition purposes, is of a Quonset but type built of steel and wood approximately 65 feet overall including a porch on three sides. The center portion is built of steel curved to a 20 foot radius and covered with a clear plastic roof. It will be used to further botanical interest and to house certain tender varieties of Rhododendron consisting of the Arboreum and Maddenii Series and their hybrids. This part of the building is 40 feet by 40 feet and is to be heated by electric heaters and fans automatically and thermostatically controlled to 36 degrees Fahrenheit. The heating system is to be installed during the summer and is expected to be in readiness for operation by October 1, 1956. The plants on site are doing well and making good growth, preparatory for their new home.
Space will not permit listing of the names of those of the faithful who contributed so generously of their time and effort to bring this project to a successful conclusion. To those members, may I extend my personal thanks of gratitude.
Our membership continues to increase and as previously stated, in my report in the January 15th issue of the Bulletin, the last Chapter that of New Jersey with headquarters in Montclair, N. J., joined our ranks making ten in total. Additional Chapters are in the making.
The above constitutes a report to the membership for our fiscal year ending April 30, 1956, all of which I believe indicates continued growth of the American Rhododendron Society.