A.R.S. Massachusetts Chapter To Sponsor A Display Garden
at the Stanley Park of Westfield
Reprinted from the "Rosebay", Massachusetts Chapter Newsletter
May 11 will be the opening of the Display Garden sponsored by the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society, in cooperation with the Connecticut Chapter, on the grounds of the Stanley Park of Westfield, Mass. All Chapter and Society members are cordially invited to attend. Festivities will begin at lunchtime.
Last May a formal agreement was signed with the Park. This states that the Chapter is responsible for providing plants, the Park for planting and maintenance.
Before that work had already begun on the three acres (approx.) set aside by the Park for this purpose. T. Richard Leonard, L.A., had already made several trips to view the site, take measurements and confer with Frank Pac, Supt. of the Park, and the committee. Cleaning underbrush and removal of old pitch pines, etc., was completed by the Park last fall, leaving a wide path diagonally through the three acres (near the Kensington Ave. entrance).
Plans call for initial plantings along both sides of this path, to extend not more than 75 feet back into the open woodland. The soil is very well drained, although there is not much change in elevation. The original trees, mainly pine and oak, are quite tall and provide sufficient light. Rainfall is usually adequate; the Park has arrangements for watering if necessary.
The first group of plants (nine Dexter hybrids in seven varieties) were presented to the Park last June by Heman Howard on behalf of the Heritage Plantation of Sandwich.
Since the Park requires plants a minimum of 2½-3 ft. high, Bear Swamp Gardens has volunteered to grow on any smaller plants donated for the Park. and has also agreed to assist in transportation, when necessary.
A number of plants have already been promised, in sizes usable this season. but of course a great many more are needed. Frank Pac wants to start planting as soon after April first as possible. Companion plants will also be welcome. Some members have even volunteered to send money. Checks may be made payable to the Stanley Park of Westfield, 333 Western Ave., Westfield, Mass. 01085. All contributions are tax-deductible. If you are giving plants, please include a memo of their fair market value. The Park will send you a receipt. Contributions (plants or funds to purchase them) made as memorials are acceptable; a permanent record will be kept both by the Park and the committee.
The committee is also preparing a file of contributions promised for a time when plants are larger. If anyone has small plants they wish to give to the Park later, it will be very helpful if they let the committee know as soon as possible. Some very interesting R. brachycarpum crosses made by Dr. Radcliffe Pike and Dr. Douglas Routicy. given by the University of New Hampshire; are already in this category.
For the last several years over 100,000 people per season have visited Stanley Park. Since the Park was started over 25 years ago, the plantings have achieved maturity and distinction. Recently the Park acquired another 39 acres, bringing the total to 161 acres.
A slide program on the history of the park has been prepared and donated by the Park. Arrangements for the use of the program may be made with Elinor Clarke.