Minutes of 13th Annual Meeting of the American Rhododendron Society
May 18, 1957
Ruth M. Hansen, Secretary-Treasurer
The 13th annual meeting of the American Rhododendron Society was called to order by President, C. I. Sersanous at 8:15 P.M. in the Portland Garden Club building.
Visitors from the five Northwest Chapters were introduced as follows: Alleyne Cook; Vancouver, B.C. Chapter; E. B. Dunn, Seattle Chapter; Carl Fawcett, Tacoma Chapter; Mrs. Rose Haines, Grays Harbor Chapter and Dr. Carl Phetteplace and D. W. James, Eugene Chapter. The Non-chapter members coming from the greatest distance were Mr. & Mrs. Harry Seevers from Ottawa, Kansas.
Mr. Sersanous then announced our full recognition to the Southeastern Chapter as our newest member. This is located in Asheville, N. Carolina and already it has a membership of over 40 members.
The reading of the minutes of the previous meeting, May 17, 1956, were dispensed with as they had been printed in the Bulletin.
The changes in the By-laws as printed in the April Bulletin were read by Mr. Sersanous. A vote of hands was requested. Vote carried unanimously.
The full Financial Report will be printed in the July Bulletin and was therefore not read at this time.
The report from the recent election giving the results were then read. Officers for 19571959 are as follows: President, C. I. Sersanous; Vice-President, Dr. J. Harold Clarke; Secretary-Treasurer, Ruth M. Hansen. The following Directors were elected: E. B. Dunn, Seattle, Wash.; Robert M. Bovee, Oswego, Ore.; Howard Slonecker, Oak Grove, Ore.; Dr. Carl Phetteplace and W. P. Riddlesbarger, Eugene, Ore. and Herbert Schink, Portland Ore.
Awards from the Show were presented at this time. Mrs. B. E. Torpen was presented with the Dr. Goodman Award, a large silver platter for the Best Truss in the show. This was won with an enormous truss of R. Mars. Commercial exhibit. Howard Slonecker won the Dr. Corbin Cup for the highest number of winning points and Rudolph Henny won the Dr. Goodman Cup for the Best American Seedling.
Dr. J. Harold Clarke, President of Portland Chapter announced the picnic to he held June 8th at 4:00 P.M. in the Test Garden. Everyone is to come prepared to help dead-head the rhododendrons.
Mr. Sersanous then introduced the speaker of the evening, P. H. Brydon. Mr. Brydon is a Chapter member and a Life member of the ARS. He received his horticultural training at Kew Gardens, England and at Edinburgh, Scotland before accepting the directorship of the University of California Botanical Garden. He then became associated with the firm of Henny & Brydon and more recently has his own shop in Salem, Ore.
The subject of Mr. Brydon's talk was; The Use of Rhododendrons in Foundation Plantings Around the Home. He stated that the modern homes today are of good design so that one does not have to hide any portion of them with a heavy planting of shrubs. Our problem is not to over plant. We must however soften the corners with well selected material.
One new idea that he would like to see advanced is that there be no planting between the house and encircling concrete path, better to have the path directly next to the house and the planting on the outside of the path. This makes for better maintenance, painting, window-washing etc., to the house. The driveway should be intergraded with the entrance.
In the actual planting around the house Mr. Brydon suggests that one confine himself to the use of medium growing varieties as R. 'Mrs. Furnival', R. 'Mars' or R. 'Vulcan'. One advantage is that they can be more easily moved if outgrown. or a good composition of materials he further suggested that one could not go wrong if he followed the formulae as prescribed in Grant's book on garden design; 1 good bold broad leaf variety as Fatshedera, 2-3 medium growing varieties and 10-12 heaths. In the 6' to 8' high class such varieties as Aucuba, Camellias and Fatshedera like similar conditions. In the 4' to 5' class are Mexican Orange, Pieris, Vaccinium and Mugho Pines. In the next size down are Daphne, Gaultheria, Mahonia nervosa, Pernettya, Raphiolepis, Sarcococca etc., all retain balance. For the ground level one can use perennials as dwarf phlox.
Many rhododendrons are suitable for espalier use such as Lady Chamberlain, Lady Roseberry and Royal Flush. These can also be trained flat against the house.
Mr. Brydon then showed a number of excellent slides all of which were on the medium and low-growing rhododendrons. As each slide was shown he would explain whether the variety had a good habit of growth and how it could be best used in a planting. This concluded Mr. Brydon's talk.
Mr. Harry Seevers was then asked to tell of his experiences of growing rhododendron in Kansas. They have great extremes in temperatures but the winter sun is really rough on the plants. They use gas and therefore there is no coal smoke or anything else to break the rays of the winter sun. He has a lath house in which he grows most of his plants. He uses 3-4 parts oak sawdust and 1 part sand in all his plantings and before planting any balled rhododendron every bit of soil is washed off the roots and then planted in his own mixture.
Their temperatures range from 21 degrees below zero to 118 degrees above which they had in 1954. He had rhododendrons in heavy new growth during that heat. They would wilt during heat of day but he never lost one. Armistice Day 1954 the temperature was 45 degrees, next morning it was 6 degrees above zero. Apple orchards were killed.
Rhododendrons if planted under lath or with shade will grow. They grow beautifully on the North side of a house. As for azaleas he grows practically all of them well, never having lost any Knaphill, Exbury, Gables, Ghent's or calendulaceum varieties. Both rhododendrons and azaleas are mulched each winter with 1" sawdust mulch. The fertilizer used is basically cotton seed meal with a little super phosphate. No fertilizer is used after 30th of May. Sawdust is stock-piled 3-4 years before using.
Mr. Carl Fawcett of Tacoma was then called upon to say a few words about the rhododendron project in Point Defiance Park. The Tacoma Chapter planted over 400 rhododendrons in this park last Fall and they hope to add more this coming season.
No further business the meeting was adjourned.