First Meeting of the Potomac Valley Chapter
of the American Rhododendron Society
Mrs. R. H. Goodrich, Secretary
Fig. 29. The first meeting of the Potomac Valley Chapter was held
at the National Arboretum on the 5th of October 1969.
Newly elected officers pictured above are (left to right)
George Ring, Vice President, Mrs. Wilma Lehman, Trea-
surer, Mrs. R. H. Goodrich, Secretary, Newton Edwards,
The informal Washington, D. C. rhododendron group, that has been meeting for several years, on October 5th formally organized as the Potomac Valley Chapter, electing Newton Edwards, President; Mr. George Ring. Vice President; Mrs. R. H. Goodrich; Secretary; Mrs. Wilma Lehman, Treasurer; and as Directors, Mr. Reid Denis, Dr. E. A. Hollowell, and Dr. August Kehr. The Chapter started with a healthy membership of 53, plus 7 associates. The first meeting was held at the handsome new building at the National Arboretum, with 42 attending.
In order to share our rhododendron and azaleas with one another, an auction was held of donated un-rooted cuttings and small plants, sold at low prices, netting the new Chapter $150.00. In the sale were such exciting items as cuttings of 'Crest', 'Virginia Richards', 'Belle Heller', Gable Crosses, 6" yakushimanum plants and other species.
Mr. Richard T. Johnston, a horticultural student at the University of Maryland, provided copies of a report he prepared based on a questionnaire survey of experience in growing rhododendron species in the Washington, D. C. area. A surprising total of 169 different species have been tried in recent years.
Dr. Henry Skinner, Director of the National Arboretum, showed some excellent slides and spoke on new and unusual forms of natural azalea hybrids to be found in the wild along the eastern seaboard. Many have the potential to enrich our gardens if more extensive use were made of their breeding potential.
Dr. Skinner is especially interested in canescens; austrinum which is fast growing and easy to root as well as scented; an atlanticum dwarf form of which he has third generation progeny; and of various forms of calendulaceum which bloom from May to July, japonicum and occidentale plants with he recommended more crossing of the the Eastern native azaleas.
Ballots that were distributed in connection with the forming of the new chapter indicated a wide range of interests among our very knowledgeable and enthusiastic members. Quarterly meetings are planned.