Minutes of Meeting of American Rhododendron Society, Portland, Oregon, October 19, 1950
Submitted by Ruth M. Hansen, Secretary
Meeting called to order by President Mr. C. I. Sersanous, in the Auditorium of the Journal Building at 8:00 P. M. The minutes of the previous meeting were read and approved.
Mr. Sersanous announced the passing of three faithful members; Charles Vollum, William Parker of Portland and Frank Sipes of Alderwood Manor, Wash. New members of the Portland area were then introduced; Dr. Daniel H. Labby and Virgil Struckmeyer. Guests were introduced and Mr. and Mrs. Wales Wood of St. Helens, Ore., were acknowledged for their faithfulness in attending all the meetings.
Report of the Publicity Committee followed in which Mr. Foland, Chairman, stated that he had plans to publicize a substantial story about the Test Garden, on November 5th, in the Garden Section of the local papers. He further stated that our system of Awards and Test Garden Information should be publicized on a National basis.
Mr. Sersanous then told about the development taking place at the Portland Test Garden. That it . was ready for planting. Trees had been pruned, some removed, others would be taken out later as necessary. Areas to be immediately, planted had been rototilled, so everything was in readiness for the planting to begin on Saturday following this meeting.
Mr. Bacher, Chairman of Test Garden Committee read an excellent report on the Test Garden progress. He ended the report by asking for volunteers to help on Saturday with the moving of the two large 'Cynthias' which were donated by Mr. Kaiser, formerly head of the Portland Park Department.
Mr. Sersanous drew attention to the blue print on the wall for the Planting Plan of the Test Garden and the Shelter which would protect visitors on the Island from showers. It was Mr. Sersanous's hope that the actual construction of the shelter could be undertaken before Spring.
A plant auction followed which netted the Society $105.50. These plants were donated by Lynn Brooks, Carlton Nursery, Glenn Savage, Rhododendron Nursery, Arthur Wright, Adolph Meyer, Ben F. Lancaster, Lackamas Gardens and Dr. J. Harold Clark, Cranguyma Farms.
A short talk on "The Planting of Rhododendrons" was given by George Grace. The highlights of his talk were: One may plant any time during the year if ample care is given. The hole should be plenty large and filled with top soil and leaf mold. Do not plant too deep. Drainage; good drainage is essential. The soil must be light and porous so air can get down to the roots.
Where to plant rhododendrons: This depends on the size of one's garden. The greatest error is to plant too close to the foundation of a house and too close together. The ideal place is where they can have open shade and be protected from the noonday sun. Fir trees give good shade but take all moisture from the plants.
Fertilizer: A good mulch is the number 1 secret of growing rhododendrons. These plants are not happy in a heavy soil. Do not waste any plant material as leaves, grass clippings, etc., as they will make a mulch and keep the roots cool. Cow manure is an excellent mulch. Mr. Grace stated that he knows very little about commercial fertilizers.
Kinds to Plant: if one has the room or space some of the species should be planted. The Triflorum group is marvelous. Among the hybrids were the williamsianum hybrids which are wonderful for filling in between other plants. Personally the Slocock hybrids as 'Elspeth', 'Mrs. W. C. Slocock', etc., can't be beaten for compactness and beauty. Among the small growing types are 'Blue Diamond', 'Blue Tit', 'Sapphire' and many others.
At the close of this talk Mr. Bacher showed some of his fine slides of species. Our own native R. macrophyllum headed the list with picture taken on Mt. Hood showing it's natural way of growing. Other pictures included such species as lutescens, euchaites, desquamatum, grande, camtschaticum, leucaspis and, many others beautifully shown. Dr. Royal Gick of Eugene brought a slide of his 'Jan Steen' which won the admiration of the membership.