A Successful Joint Chapter Meeting
H. Furman Cantrell, Piedmont, S.C.
See Article in Vol. 33 No 4.
Ted Van Veen addresses the first joint meeting of the Azalea, Piedmont, Southeastern
and William Bartram Chapters during the banquet following the day long session.
Photo by H. Furman Cantrell, Ph. D.
Another joint meeting of the Azalea, Piedmont, Southeastern and William Bartram Chapters was held October 19-21, 1979, in Greenville, S.C. (the geographic center of these chapters). The meeting began on Friday evening with an informal discussion of Annual Flower Shows by representatives from each chapter. The group decided to form a committee to continue working on ways to standardize flower shows, addressing such areas as entry, staging, classification and judging.
The Saturday program began with a Roundtable on Evergreen Azaleas. Several new hybrids were discussed as well as sources for the plants. Next, representatives from each chapter presented eight mini-talks on propagation methods. This was a very effective approach to the topic.
A plant exchange followed the luncheon and resulted in the distribution of numerous unusual plants. The next topic was hybrids, and the emphasis was on hardiness ratings. George Ring was our guest speaker for this topic. A committee has been formed to begin studying hardiness of selected hybrids in the southeast. A special feature of this segment of the program was the official introduction of a new hybrid by Ted Richardson, and a brief discussion of the factors involved in introducing new hybrids.
The next portion of the program was a presentation by Dr. Henry Skinner on the topic of Native Azaleas. He shared many of his experiences as he discussed the growth traits and distribution of the deciduous azaleas. The final portion of the afternoon session was presented by Dr. Don Kellam. He shared his vast experience and travels in pursuit of the species in a most interesting manner.
Following a social hour and dinner, Fred Galle, ARS President, spoke to the group about activities, programs and objectives of the ARS. This provided an insight into many areas which the average member is often unaware.
The Sunday morning session opened with an informal discussion of Flower Show Judging. The group discussed criteria for judging and the mechanics of the judging process. Several new ideas came from this session. Next, a hybridizers roundtable was held at which time some of our hybridizers discussed some of their crosses as well as some techniques. The meeting concluded with a slide-talk presentation of some British rhododendron gardens which were visited by several chapter members in the spring.
We regard this kind of meeting as a very successful and enjoyable event. It provides an opportunity to exchange. information and ideas, to develop and strengthen relationships between chapters and members, to identify and attempt to solve common problems and to work together toward the advancement of the genus Rhododendron in the southeastern states. We are already working on plans for the 1980 meeting. We had members of the Birmingham Chapter join us this year, and expect that chapter and perhaps others to participate in the 1980 meeting. We strongly recommend joint chapter meetings to other chapters in areas similar to ours.