Minutes of Meeting of the American Rhododendron Society, Portland, Oregon, April 20, 1950
Mrs. Ruth M. Hansen, Secretary
The meeting was called to order by President, Mr. C. I. Sersanous at 8:00 P.M. in the Auditorium of the Journal building. New members in the Portland area were introduced. Guests attending the meeting were requested to rise and be introduced to the membership. Mr. B. F. Lancaster, of Camas, Wash., introduced his five guests all from that City.
The Show Chairman, C. T. Hansen, was called upon for a report. Due to the coldness of the Spring and the inclement weather there was still some doubt about the blooming dates of rhododendrons for the scheduled show, May 6th and 7th. The membership was reminded that this was their show and that it's success depended upon them to supply blooms and to help put the show together. Mr. Wm. Robinson, Chairman of Cut Trusses, was called to give his report. So far, he had received little encouragement about the entries. The Commercial exhibits were still in the minority class but we hoped for more entries as the weeks pass.
A Membership drive is to be started at the May meeting which will carry on for the Fall Months. It is to be a competitive contest with prizes going to the member who brings in the greatest number of members in a given time. There will be more about this at the next meeting.
Mr. Sersanous then told of the decision of the Board of Directors to reduce the price of the Dr. Rock seeds to one-half the original cost. One dozen packets will now sell for $6.00 or more than one dozen will sell at one-third the cost.
A request was made for volunteers from the women members and wives of members to serve on the Information table at the Show.
Mr. Sersanous again announced the coming scheduled rhododendron shows. Tacoma, Wash. the 6th and 7th. Seattle, Wash. show canceled; however on May 27th and 28th Seattle will hold a non-competitive show of late rhododendrons at 4700 25th Ave. N. E. On the 27th there is to be a meeting of the A.R.S. in Seattle at 8:00 P.M. at the same address.
A Sale and Show for the benefit of the Seattle Historical Society and sponsored by that Society will be held at the Clarence Prentice Nursery, April 30th to May 10th.
A letter was then read from Mr. Clarence Prentice in which he praised the collection of species rhododendrons belonging to the Triflorum Series which is located at 6th and Broadway here in Portland. He thought it the finest collection of augustinii, yunnanense, etc., that he had seen anywhere and that we should make an effort to have the plants identified and preserved.
Mr. Henry T. Skinner, Curator of the Morris Arboretum, Philadelphia, Penn. sent a request to nurserymen to send small plants of rhododendrons which will be tested for hardiness in the Philadelphia region. A variety list should be sent to the Secretary of the A.R.S. so that no duplication of plants will be made.
The Program Chairman, Mr. P. H. Brydon, then introduced Miss Schryver, a prominent Landscape Architect from Salem who gave a very fine talk on rhododendrons and plant associations. The highlights of her talk are as follows: Her first acquaintance with rhododendrons was in the East where all the hardy native varieties were used in great masses. One had to consider the mass tone of the leaves, whether dull, large or small as well as the color of the leaves and the flowers. One thinks in large masses of rhododendrons, but in a home garden they have to be selected with more consideration.
Plants to associate; for overhead shade the evergreens, as the Firs, or the Oaks; for background, our common English laurel blends well with rhododendrons. Foreground; the fan-leaved laurel may be used to great advantage, and for ground-cover, Pachysandra is always reliable. For a smaller place, such conifers as he Yews, English, Japanese, or even our native are suitable. The deciduous trees such as Oaks, either Red or Scarlet make a desirable protective shade for rhododendrons. For a smaller garden the flowering trees such as the Cherries, Crabs and Magnolias give both Spring and Fall color. The Pink Dogwood combines very well with Mrs. G. W. Leak. The Vine Maples and the Japanese Maples which stay green in Summer are also desirable.
Suggested Eastern trees the gardener should use are the Fringe tree, the Halesia, Stryax, Stewartia and Oxydendrons. Kalmias are natural to use with rhododendrons but they do not adapt themselves here as well as in the East. The Leucothoe, an interesting plant, is excellent for picking and for foreground use for rhododendrons. It is useful as an accent plant for corners. The Andromedas, floribunda, japonica and polifolia are most useful with rhododendrons.
Camellias associate well with rhododendrons and due to their versatility in growth, one can select the taller upright forms for accent or the sprawling forms for mass.
For the Foundation planting, the climbing hydrangea, petiolaris or schizophragma breaks the light on a wall and compliments rhododendrons. Sasanqua Camellia used in espalier form against a wall makes a good background for rhododendrons.
Aucubas in shady places do well to break large group plantings, Skimmia interesting in itself, is very good to break the heaviness of rhododendrons. For a border planting running East and West, Osmonthus illicifolius, myrtifolius and delavayi are useful to break the hot rays of the sun. Viburnim lausurtinus, odoratissimum and davidii associate very well with rhododendrons. Useful ground-covers are Pachysandra, Vinca-minor, Cornus canadensis, Salal, Sarcoiocra ruscifolia and Hookeriana.
A question and answer period then followed this delightful talk.
Mr. John Henny showed the remainder of his slides which he had taken in England last year. Some of the outstanding pictures were of R. 'Grosclaude', 'Safferon Queen', 'Nida', 'Idealist', 'Lady Berry', Pink form of 'Royal Flush', 'Lady Bessborough', F. C. C. and the biscuit form of 'Daydream'.
Mr. Henny also brought a potted plant of R. 'Carmen' for the membership to examine. Its beautiful red bells caused much favorable comment.