Preliminary Plans for the A.R.S. Annual Meeting May 15 - 18, 1975
E. C. Brockenbrough, M.D., Bellevue, Washington
FIG.1. Recognized as the
outstanding authority on
rhododendron taxonomy, H. H.
Davidian will come from
Scotland to be a featured speaker
at the 1975 Annual Meeting.
FIG. 2. Hideo Suzuki, one of
Japan's most knowledgeable
rhododendron hobbyists, will
speak at the 1975 Annual
Meeting in Seattle.
Mark your calendars now and make your plans to participate in the 1975 Annual Meeting! The Seattle Chapter, joined by other chapters of the Puget Sound area, will host what promises to be an outstanding program of speakers, meetings, and garden tours. The head-quarters hotel will be the lovely Bellevue Holiday Inn, situated in a park-like setting just across Lake Washington from Seattle. Highlighting the meeting will be the appearance of two prominent rhododendron authorities from opposite corners of the world. Mr. H. H. Davidian from Scotland and Mr. Hideo Suzuki from Japan will each contribute his expertise to the sessions.
Mr. H. H. Davidian is the undisputed dean of rhododendron taxonomists. His professional career has been at the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh, whose staff he joined in 1946 upon graduating from the University of Edinburgh. As a result of his outstanding work with rhododendrons, particularly with the identification and classification of herbarium material, the Royal Horticultural Society awarded him the Veitch Medal in 1956 and the Lauder Cup in 1958. He is also the recipient of the Scottish Horticultural Medal. Among his travels he has visited Norway and Sweden as an invited guest to identify rhododendrons growing in the garden of the King of Sweden, in Gottenburg University Botanic Garden, and in Bergen University Botanic Garden. Mr. Davidian will present a major address on "Rhododendrons in Cultivation," which will cover the selection and culture of dwarf rhododendrons for the rock garden, medium rhododendrons for small and large gardens, large-leaved plants for the large garden, and azaleas.
Mr. Hideo Suzuki, our other honored guest, is one of Japan's most enthusiastic and knowledgeable rhododendron hobbyists. His profession is Director of Marketing with Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, but all his spare time is spent traveling throughout Japan, collecting and studying rhododendrons indigenous to his country. Mr. Suzuki is Managing Director of the Japanese Rhododendron Society and is also a member of the American and Australian Societies. He has contributed a number of scholarly articles to our own Quarterly Bulletin. Mr. Suzuki will present two programs, including his principle topic, "New Discoveries of Rhododendrons in Japan." Having spent the last eight years traveling throughout the Japanese Archipelago, he has explored many wild areas in search of new plant forms. You won't want to miss meeting him and hearing of his experiences.
Registration will begin Thursday afternoon, May 15, and the opening session that evening will feature a symposium on the "Sikkim Rhododendron Exploration of 1974." Britt and Jean Smith led twenty-four other members of the A.R.S. in an unforgettable adventure in the West Bengal and Sikkim Himalayas during the past spring. The group retraced some of the ground covered by the pioneer plant explorer, Sir Joseph Hooker, in 1848-50, and was the first Western party in modern memory to be permitted to trek in rhododendron country of the tiny mountain Kingdom of Sikkim. Representatives from the group will report on different perspectives of the trip, each reflecting his own particular interests. Come to hear of the origin of the trip and of the obstacles that had to be overcome, the history of Hooker's exploration and how his observations compared with ours, the impressions of a professional botanist, the perspectives of a landscape architect, the experiences of a lady trekker, and the observations of one who often notices subtleties that escape the rest of us. We will also report on the Kingdom of Sikkim, its people, and the gala banquet held for us at the palace by the Chogyal of Sikkim. And, of course, the discussions will be profusely illustrated with color slides taken by the participants.
On Friday morning, May 16, we have a varied program planned. In addition to a number of unique topics, there will be an "update" session with brief reports on the current status of the Species Foundation in its new location, the rhododendron collection at the University of Washington Arboretum, and the projected fifteen-acre woodland rhododendron garden in Seattle's new Discovery Park. Following luncheon at the Hotel, Mr. Suzuki will address the Society on "New Rhododendron Discoveries in Japan."
Friday afternoon shuttle buses will take you to Bellevue Square, where beneath a covered pavilion, you will have the opportunity to visit what is probably the largest and most comprehensive rhododendron show in North America. Here you will see imaginative landscape displays; the highly competitive amateur plant section, featuring the newest Northwest hybrids; educational exhibits, and a special display of exquisite rhododendron bonsai, as well as the traditional cut truss sections. Participation by other Puget Sound chapters promises to make this year's show a special treat.
FIG.3. Seattle, Queen city of the Pacific Northwest, will be
the site of the 1975 Annual Meeting. Located in the center
of one of the world's most favored regions for rhododendrons,
the area's climate is moderated by two snowy mountain ranges
and the nearly constant temperature of Puget Sound waters.
Here mild winters and cool summers permit all but the most
tender of rhododendrons to flourish.
The day will be capped by a scenic boat cruise across Puget Sound through beautiful Agate Pass for a potlatch salmon barbecue at one of the Northwest's showplaces, Kiana Lodge. The North Kitsap Chapter will join us in hosting this event. There will be ample time for exploring the grounds and gardens where thousands of azaleas, rhododendrons, fuchsias and begonias flourish in the mild saltwater climate.
Saturday morning will lead off with a panel discussion, "A Look into the Future - Rhododendrons in the next Twenty-Five Years." Henry Schannen will lead a group of distinguished panelists. Mr. Davidian's address on "Rhododendrons in Cultivation" will complete the morning program. In order to provide as much time' as possible for the afternoon tours, box lunches will be provided after buses load up at the Holiday Inn. Several tours are planned so that individual interests can be accommodated whenever possible. Everyone will want to visit Isobel and Lawrence Pierce's three-acre garden in West Seattle - a beautifully landscaped estate with the finest new hybrids, as well as choice forms of species. The Species Foundation's twenty-three acre preserve with its 5,000 to 6,000 unique species plants, newly located at the Weyerhaeuser Corporate Headquarters, will be a must for many visitors. Other private gardens, the University of Washington Arboretum, and selected nurseries will provide a wide choice for members and guests.
The Annual Meeting and Banquet will be held Saturday evening, May 17, at the Holiday Inn. We have not scheduled a guest speaker for the occasion, since the President's address and other festivities will, we feel, pleasantly complete the rather full day.
On Sunday there will be a Breeder's Roundtable, which has been such a successful part of the post-convention activities during the past two years. For those who desire to further explore the beauties of the Puget Sound area, optional tours will also be organized.