In Memoriam: Arthur Sandison
Mary Ann Stephens
If it is not a rhododendron, then it's a weed - quote Art Sandison, rhododendron aficionado par excellence. What's more, Sandison rhodies had to be tough. The penalty for being too tender, delicate or weak was a one way trip to the dump.
In the early '60s Art and his wife, Elaine, were introduced to the enchanting world of rhododendrons by Bill Whitney, founder and original owner of Whitney Gardens in Brinnon, Wash. Special friendship followed. The Sandisons made many weekend trips to the nursery where they did nursery chores with Whitney and talked. In recalling those visits, Elaine said that Bill Whitney did not care whether he sold rhodies or not. Talking with his visitors - nee customers - was his prime interest. Several unnamed and named Whitney crosses are blooming on in the much admired and enjoyed Sandison garden.
Art, a long-time member of the Juan de Fuca Chapter, seldom missed a Chapter meeting. He knew rhodies and generously shared his knowledge of, experience with and enthusiasm for his favorite plant joy.
Art Sandison was born Nov. 11, 1915, and died Jan.6, 1993.