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Journal American Rhododendron Society

Current Editor:
Dr. Glen Jamieson ars.editor@gmail.com


Volume 54, Number 1
Winter 2000

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Commentary: In Praise of Conventions
Donald W. Paden
Urbana, Illinois

Annual conventions of the American Rhododendron Society are occasions not only to look forward to, but are also very pleasant to look back upon. Three of these come to mind - the Niagara in 1998, another in Vancouver in 1997, and a third in Scotland in 1996. At the end of the Scotland convention a trip through England and across the Channel provided additional interest.

The site of the 53rd ARS Annual Convention was in Niagara Falls, Canada. There were nine tours listed in the convention program, two of which my wife, Elaine, and I selected. The accompanying collage of photos shows gardens we saw during the convention. The weather in Niagara had not cooperated very well with the dates set many months prior to the convention, and the peak bloom had occurred about three weeks before we arrived. Nevertheless, the gardens were impressive.

Vancouver, British Columbia, is on the western edge of Canada, many, many miles from Niagara Falls. At the convention there again were several tours, some of which were scheduled at the same time as another, so one could not see all of the gardens. However, we were able to see six of them.

The convention in Scotland was similar to others in past years, but enough different to be well worth the trip. There were numerous garden tours and many castles to see, along with bagpipers, stone walls, and, of course, rhododendrons. Of course we captured all of these convention tours on film.

Croben garden    Vineland garden
Croben garden
Photo by Donald W. Paden
   Vineland garden
Photo by Donald W. Paden
 
Fritz garden    Toronto garden
Fritz garden
Photo by Donald W. Paden
   Toronto
Photo by J. P. Tatum
 
Royal Botanic Garden    Croben garden
Royal Botanic Garden
Photo by J. P. Tatum
   Croben garden
Photo by Donald W. Paden

Other pleasures await convention goers. Two incidents come to mind, both a bit amazing. The first made the trip doubly worthwhile for me. I was wandering on a hillside in one of the estates on a garden tour and found a rhododendron with a familiar label. It was a plant I had named. The other incident occurred when we were at the airport in Brussels waiting for our plane back to the States. In a hallway we met a family who lived only two blocks away from our home in Urbana. Elaine works professionally with the man at the University of Illinois. We had no idea they would be in Brussels. Home seemed a little less far away and the world a wee bit smaller.


Volume 54, Number 1
Winter 2000

DLA Ejournal Home | JARS Home | Table of Contents for this issue | Search JARS and other ejournals