In Memoriam: Milton Wildfong
West Vancouver, British Columbia
With deepest regret we have to announce that our much loved long time member, Milton Wildfong, died on Thursday, October 4th. Milton was a most highly respected plants-man, known not only to our British Columbia Chapters, but widely in the States and overseas.
He started his Silver Creek Gardens in Mission some 25 years ago. It was a wilderness when he first went there, but after six months hard work was ready for planting, and Milton decided to specialize in rhododendrons. He started with 1800 cuttings, and shortly after that became a member of the Vancouver Rhododendron Society. He was a most enthusiastic and dedicated worker becoming a director for several years, and was president for a brief period.
He became interested in hybridizing, specializing in developing the best characteristics of species plants. For many years he was responsible for rooting and growing on the species cuttings donated by the UBC Botanical Garden. He was a consistent contributor to the ARS Seed Exchange and gave members much valuable advice on the art of pollen and seed collection, and the care of seeds.
In more recent years he was unable to get to many of our meetings, but as recently as last year was giving us the benefit of his advice in the art of starting seeds and growing them on. Many of our members have warm memories of his friendly assistance and kindness, and his superb collection of very fine plants, many quite rare species, and choice hybrids were a delight for rhododendron lovers.
In 1988 Milton was awarded the Bronze Medal by the Fraser Valley Chapter, ARS. Milton was mentor to the Fraser Valley Chapter - whose members will long remember his fascinating talks and discussions and credit him with doing much to assist this new branch of the ARS to become established. He treated everyone as a friend, and was always ready with advice and assistance, and his Silver Creek Garden was a mecca to thousands of rhododendron lovers. Milton Wildfong was a great plantsman and a very fine person - he will be sorely missed.