The Tacoma Chapter Show
By Fred Robbins
The Tacoma Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society held its annual non-competitive Rhododendron Show in the lobby of The Bank of California on May 15th and 16th. As we think every year, "it was the best show ever." From door prize tickets, it was estimated between five and six thousand visitors crowded into the lobby during the two days.
Due to the 18° to 22°, freeze which the area experienced on May 1st, the show generally had the poorest quality of blooms that the Society has ever displayed, with the exception of the entries of one or two growers living in favorable positions near the sound. Before the show most members felt ;here might be a decided shortage of presentable plants so all extended themselves and dug everything they felt was presentable. Consequently, there was an abundance of plants; what was lost in perfection and quality was more than made up in quantity and color.
Another result of the freeze was that the growers displayed a larger number of varieties, which included many dwarfs and large leafed plants. There were R. basilicum, R. falconeri, R. sinogrande, R. fulvum, R. calophytum and R. kingianum in the large leafed species and R. calostrotum, R. cremastum, R. charitopes, R. concatenans, R. impeditum, R. intricatum, and R. ledoides in dwarf species.
The members of the Society displayed most of the hybrids which bloom in the Puget Sound area at this time, a few of which were, R. 'Flame', R. 'Hon. Jean Marie de Montague', R. 'Fabia', R. 'May Day', R. 'Mrs. G. W. Leak', R. 'Bow Bells', R. 'Sou. of S. C. Slocock', R. 'Corry Koster', R. 'Letty Edwards', R. 'Adrian Koster', R. 'Little Joe,' R. Ostebo #74, R. 'Armistice Day', R. 'Day Dream' (Red), R. 'Naomi' var. Exbury, R. 'Naomi' var. Glow, R. 'White Swan', R. 'Faggetter's Favorite', R. 'Hawk', R. 'Elspeth Slocock' and R. 'Elizabeth'; Azaleadendrons 'Broughtonii Aureum' and 'Glory of Littleworth'; and Azalea 'Percil'. Mr Roy Clark of Olympia and Mr. Lester Brandt of Tacoma displayed some very interesting crosses which they have been developing.
The Society members are becoming old hands at setting up this annual display. The experience of the past six years manifested itself in the speed and efficiency with which the show was put together under the able direction of Mr. Carl H. Skoog, Show Chairman. There were between fifty and sixty enthusiastic workers on hand to help put up the fir trees, set up the exhibits and serve food. Everyone went to work with great enthusiasm and had a great lot of fun putting on the show.
Mr. Skoog appointed the following as heads of his committees: Mr. E. J. Cooper and Mr. E. H. Van Fossen in charge of the bank crews and proper ties; Mr. Van Fossen head of the Society display, Mrs. Albert Guy, Publicity; Mrs. Kenneth Janeck, Trws Display; Mrs. Fred Robbins, Center Lobby Display; Mrs. J. W. Lodge, Hostesses; Mrs. Carl Fawcett, Refreshment and Mr. Fred Robbins, Assistant Chairman. Mr. Van Fossen relieved the Society members of a lot of work by having Mr. Prentice of Seattle put up their display. It consisted of a woodland scene with a waterfall surrounded by fir trees, woodland plants and rhododendrons, with a large antique crane in the foreground. The scene was very effective. Mrs. Albert Guy produced an excellent news coverage, both by newspaper and radio. Mrs. Janeck and her committee put up a most excellent display of cut trusses, mounted on a large bank of moss, of approximately ninety varieties of bloom. She also had a fine display of dwarf rhododendrons. Mrs. Robbins, in the center lobby display, showed many dwarf rhododendrons, azaleas and companion plants, making it most effective. Mrs. Lodge had someone on the floor at all times during the show to take visitors around and answer their questions. Mrs. Fawcett did a magnificent job in the dining room, satisfying the appetites of the fifty to sixty workers.
The commercial displays were shown by Mrs. Coen's Nursery, Melrose Nursery, Broxon Nursery with Tacoma Seed Company, Brandt Nursery, Budil Nursery, Savage Nursery, Johnson Nursery all of Tacoma; Heineman Nursery of Milton, and Mr. Clark of the Rainbow Nursery of Olympia. Mr. Billet and Mr. Bowen contributed plants.
Mr. George Grace of Portland, Mr. E. Ostbo of Seattle, and the University of Washington Arboretum furnished many of the fine trusses displayed. The Society greatly appreciates their interest in our Show as evidenced by the fine trusses cut and delivered to us, and herewith extends its thanks.