American Horticultural Council Congress
By J. Harold Clarke
It was a pleasure to represent the American Rhododendron Society at the Congress of the American Horticultural Council, held in historic Williamsburg, Virginia, Oct. 23-25. It was a beautiful place for the meeting with much of horticultural interest to be seen in the many original, as well as restored, colonial gardens.
The Congress was well attended by representatives of a surprisingly large percent of the some 120 organizations which make up the Council, which also includes a few hundred individual members. The Council attempts to present a united voice for horticulture, and is making good progress in that direction, especially with respect to ornamental horticultural organizations, including most of the single plant societies. Up to this point it has a much poorer coverage of the commercial fruit and vegetable groups. The A.R.S. has been particularly interested in the Council because of the problems of Nomenclature, the Council acting as the connecting link between various groups in this country and the International Horticultural Congresses which have assumed the responsibility of developing an international code of nomenclature.
The Council will be the coordinating agency for American participation in the International Flower Show to be held in Rotterdam, Holland, in 1960. It is also taking an active interest in the possibility of inviting the International Horticultural Congress to meet in this country in 1966.
The matter of standardized ratings for various types of horticultural plants was discussed and the writer was named chairman of a committee to explore the situation and determine whether such standardization is practical or desirable. It would seem reasonable that a rating of xxxx, or some other symbol, should mean the same to a rose grower that it does to a rhododendron or camellia grower.
Awards for horticultural achievement were presented to David Burpee, Mrs. Helen Hull, Prof. Victor Ries, Arno H. Nehrling, and Thomas Dolliver Church.
The highest honor of the Council, the new Liberty Hyde Bailey medal, established by A. H. C. president, Albert J. Irving, was awarded for the first time this year. The recipient was Dr. John Wister, of the Arthur Hoyt Scott Foundation, Swarthmore, Pa.
Exhibits included a very nice collection of Gable rhododendrons staged by Dr. Thomas Wheeldon, Pres. of the Middle Atlantic Chapter of the A.R.S., who was exhibits chairman for the Congress.
The American Rhododendron Society was very well represented in the list of officers and participants. Dr. Irving, Pres. of the Council is a member of our New York Chapter. Dr. Henry Skinner is Vice Pres., Harold Epstein of New York presided at one of the meetings. Mrs. Jesse Hakes, general chairman of the Congress, is the wife of a member of the Middle Atlantic Chapter. Dr. Wister, recipient of the Bailey medal is a member of the Philadelphia chapter. Dr. Clement Bowers has long taken an active part in the Council, and there were other A.R.S. members present and active.
The next Congress will be held in Rochester, N.Y. in the fall of 1959.