Joint Chapter Meetings - Try Them
H.F. Cantrell, Piedmont, S.C.
Recently, the Azalea (Atlanta area), Piedmont (Charlotte, N.C. area), Southeastern (Asheville, N.C. area) and William Bartram (Greenville, S.C. area) chapters held a joint meeting in Greenville, which is a somewhat central location. Joint meetings between two chapters are held at times, but this was our first attempt at a regional meeting. The program was planned to offer variety and to touch the interest of as many people as possible. The opening presentation was by Fred Galle, who discussed the native azaleas. Our geographical area abounds with many species of the natives. The next topic, Exbury azaleas, was presented by Bill Garren, an area nurseryman. He told us of the very interesting background of this group of azaleas, but emphasized that they have not yet come into widespread use. The evergreen azaleas were the next topic. Bruce Hancock told about the Pennington hybrids, George Beasley about the Robin Hills and Furman Cantrell about the Gables and the Beltsville hybrids.
Next, the topic turned to rhododendrons; and a panel consisting of Mrs. Velma Haag, Dr. Herbert Racoff, and Ted Van Veen discussed the Dexter hybrids and other recently introduced hybrids. The last topic of the afternoon was a presentation by Dr. Don Kellam on his recent trip to the Himalayas and the Rhododendron species in that area.
The evening session began with a social hour, then dinner and concluded with a presentation by Ted Van Veen on the role of the ARS at the national scene and then an interesting account of some of the more notable hybridizers and their hybrids.
The entire program was deemed to be successful and plans are already underway for another joint meeting for the coming year. This meeting provided us with the opportunity to meet fellow members and get acquainted, to learn more about the plants in their areas, to share ideas about rhododendron culture, flower shows and other chapter activities. We hope this will become an annual affair in our area and serve to unite our chapters as well as provide other benefits.