The Dedication of the A.R.S. Test Garden, May 5, 1951
John Bacher, Chairman Test Garden Committee
Hybrids growing on the north end of Crystal Lake Island
A.R.S. Trial Gardens.
The dedication took place during a special meeting of the A.R.S., at which were in attendance and introduced as distinguished guests Hon. Dorothy Lee, mayor of the city of Portland; Commissioners Bean, Bennet, Peterson, and Bowes; Superintendent of Parks Buckley, Assistant Superintendent of Parks Nussbaumer and former Superintendent of Parks R. P. Keyser.
The purpose of the meeting was to accept on behalf of the American Rhododendron Society the permit and contract by which the city of Portland has granted to the A.R.S. the use of a tract of land on which the test garden is located. Permit and contract are covered by city ordinance No. 91847, passed by the council on June 15, 1950.
The officers of the Society conveyed the official thanks of their organization to the city for the opportunity to use the property to carry out their project, which, they assured the representatives of the city present, would result in mutual benefits-not to the A.R.S. alone, but also to the park system of the city, to the public and finally to posterity.
The speakers praised the property as very suitable for a test garden. It is especially adapted to the growing of rhododendrons and azaleas; a woodland planting ground with cool, moist air coming from the lake; good soil; all that goes to make growing conditions very favorable.
The speaker invited inspection of the improvements that have been made during the past eleven months: a shelter has been constructed, paths were built throughout the garden; some four hundred rhododendrons and azaleas were planted, for the most part specimen plants, the donors being members of the A.R.S. The planting is not finished, hundreds of plants are yet to come. The hope was expressed that this garden will in due time become the outstanding rhododendron test garden in the United States.
Special attention was called to two beautiful rhododendrons in the garden. They are of the variety Cynthia and both over forty years old. With appropriate words they were dedicated on behalf of the donors and the A.R.S. A suitable plaque and marker has been provided with an inscription, which was read to the meeting.
The dedication marker at the American Rhododendron Society
Trial Gardens, Portland, Oregon.
INSCRIPTION on the Marker at the A. R. S. Trial Grounds, Portland, Oregon
Here in the charm of this exquisite garden Living Beauty may ever dwell in full glory.
While World Wars flared and flagged there grew and flourished in Eastmoreland two handsome rhododendron specimens of the variety named 'Cynthia'.
In their resplendent beauty they had responded to the sentiment of Joyous Living of a gracious lady, whose-home they adorned, and annually were a delight to thousands, they who lived nearby, and they who sojourned from afar to behold.
On the Twenty-first Day of October, A. D. 1950 when these plants were forty years old, they were transplanted hither and were accorded the Distinctive Honor of marking the Initial Planting and Establishment of this Featured Rhododendron Garden.
American Rhododendron Society
Claude I. Sersanous, President
Opening Remarks At The Rhododendron Test Garden Dedication Ceremonies
Your Honor the Mayor, Friends and Guests of the American Rhododendron Society:
It is my privilege as chairman of the Rhododendron Test Garden to compliment you and thank you for the assistance you have given us in the creation of this garden. It may not be. a very impressive sight as yet and may need many more years to reach the goal of ambition of its founder, President Claude Sersanous. However, it has the possibilities of untold progress, just like a new born baby needs 20 or 25 years to become a promising beauty or genius in any field of human endeavor. It is our aim to make this test garden a mecca for all students and people interested in the charms of this splendid shrub for its study and observation, and that a wider grasp of its potentiality will materialize among our public. It, however, will take many years to complete collections of species, one of our goals; also to observe the merits of new seedlings from our own hybridizers and those from other sections of our country. May history tell of the glory of rhododendrons, say 25 or 50 years later, when the splendor of our plantings will truly transcend our wildest dreams of today. Our actions will be forgotten but never the increasing charms of our rhododendron garden, a magnificent tribute to its founder, Pres. Sersanous.