In Memoriam: George W. Harding
Reprinted From The Azalean, Journal of the Azalea Society of America, March 1990.
George Harding passed away in February, 1990. He was one of the foremost azaleas experts in the country and one of the founders of the Azalea Society of America.
Mr. Harding entered government service as a horticulturist and rose to become Chief of Maintenance, National Capital Parks, Washington, D.C. Much of the structure of plantings on the White House Grounds and that of other parks, small and large, in the Washington area was established by Mr. Harding during his 28 years of service. He retired in 1959, having earned the Distinguished Service Award, the highest that the Department of the Interior could bestow. Upon retiring, he operated a nursery at his estate near Germantown, Maryland. In retirement he remained highly active in horticultural circles, with an interest in a wide range of trees and shrubs but with an emphasis on azaleas and the rest of the rhododendron family. A collector rather than a hybridizer, Mr. Harding was recognized as a leading authority on azaleas. In 1986, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Award by the ASA.