"Rhododendrons For Your Garden"
New 250 page ARS book
The new book is well along and it is hoped that it may be distributed in the spring. Important to members are the new species section and new method of rating both hybrids and species. It has long been recognized that RHS ratings do not apply to rhododendrons grown in this country. Growing conditions, particularly climate is different.
The new species section is written for the American grower, reflecting how plants grow in this country and giving an idea of foliage, flower and growth habit, how large they grow in 10 years, their hardiness as reported by American growers and their quality of flower and plant habit. This material was compiled by a committee of members who have grown most of the plants listed, from reports of member-growers covering all sections of the country.
New hybrid ratings also reflect the growing of plants in this country. A new rating system has been used which is expressed as a fraction, 3/4 would indicate a flower of above average and the "4" would show that the plant is tops in growth habit and foliage. Ratings are based on 0 to 4, with 2 being an average plant or flower. A plant or flower rated "4" is exceptionally fine, of best quality: one rated "0" is far below standard. In rating plants no comparison was made of one plant with another; such comparison would not be practical because of extremely varying types of plants, foliage and growth. Each plant is rated on its own merits.
For convenience of members all hybrids are listed in a single alphabetical list, English, Dutch and American. These above sections could be termed an American Handbook, easier to use, greatly more accurate for American growers, a fine guide for plants to fit American gardens.
There will be a chapter on making crosses, breeding for the amateur. A non technical article covering a subject becoming more and more popular. A fine article on landscaping and plants to grow with rhododendrons written by prominent landscape architects. A list of rhododendrons grown in U.S. Botanical Gardens and Arboretums will help you find the plants which grow well in your section of the country.
An illustrated story of the National Test Garden in Portland, will feature outstanding plants. Short stories will cover other U.S. test gardens. Other features and many illustrations of plants and plantings make this an extremely worthwhile book for your library. To prepare and print a book of this type costs a considerable sum even when all editorial work, photographs and other work has been done without charge by members.