From the President
By the time this issue of the Journal arrives in your mail the pleasure and excitement of the primary rhododendron blooming season - for the northern hemisphere - will have ended. But the delight nevertheless extends as we tend our gardens, marvel at nascent growth, search for bloom buds on new plants or seedlings, and anticipate yet another cycle through the seasons. And, for our friends down under, an array of the early blooming members of genus Rhododendron heralds the fortuitous tilt of the earth on its axis as change proceeds around the globe.
On the subject of change, I am pleased and honored to have assumed this office, and hope to equal the service to you of those who have preceded me. Your other officers and directors are, I know, just as eager to keep the American Rhododendron Society a vital, growing organization responsive to its members. Be informed as to the identity of your representatives and be sure to let us know of any suggestions you may have.
Here's an idea I'd like to see tried by all chapters. We know of the sister city programs; why not a sister chapter, or better yet, chapter's project. This can be as simple as sharing newsletters among designated members from each group, who would in turn pass along items of interest to the chapter. I realize some of this occurs now, but I visualize a more active program involving all our chapters which would be more than occasionally reprinting items from another newsletter.
Newsletters contain a wealth of often fascinating information. Items about programs, special study groups, gardening ideas, tours, plant exploration, chapter projects and money raising ideas, test gardens - the list goes on and on. Perhaps even more significant, they convey a strong sense of the tremendous vitality and diverse personality of our membership. This fills a niche which cannot be captured by our Journal that is indeed worthy of wider circulation.
Nor would this be expensive to implement. Larger chapters might even experience lower mailing costs by being able to take advantage of bulk postage rates for 200 or more. Try for variety by exchange with chapters of different size, and ones both in your area and more remote. The designee to share the exchange should be an enthusiastic member or newsletter editor who will be energetic in reporting to his fellow members.
I know this would broaden the awareness of all for the varied flavor and dynamics of our Society.