Report To The A.R.S. by California Chapter
Having completed its third year with the American Rhododendron Society, the California Chapter is proud of its accomplishments the past year. Starting with a membership of forty-two in January, at the close of the year boasts an active roster of sixty-eight ardent Rhododendron and Azalea lovers from all parts of the state.
Looking back over the year, under the guidance of President James Moulton and Program Chairman F. Owen Pearce, all of the meetings had outstanding speakers and good attendance. In the spring Major Barber from Exbury estate of England spoke to the California Chapter in a joint meeting with the California Horticultural Society. The meeting was held in Golden Gate Park of San Francisco across the bay from Oakland, home of thousands of gorgeous rhododendrons. Major Barber showed a wonderful assortment of colored slides of Exbury Estate and the new hybrids of Lionel De Rothschild including the Exbury Azaleas. In the fall it was our good fortune to have another famous Rhododendron authority from Great Britain in the personage of Mr. E. H. M. Cox of Glendoick, Perthshire, Scotland. Mr. Cox talked and showed pictures of rhododendrons from Scotland. This meeting being of such importance was again held in conjunction with the California Horticultural Society in San Francisco. These meetings were of such interest that over seven-hundred persons attended.
The California Chapter was indeed fortunate to have John Henny from Brooks, Oregon back again to speak at a winter meeting on rhododendrons. A repeat invitation for 1955 was given Mr. Henny if he would be so kind to make the long trip to Oakland.
Because growing azaleas is equally enjoyed by most members, Mr. O. E. Hopfer, gave an outstanding talk on deciduous azaleas and Mr. Charles Phillips talked on evergreen azaleas during the spring meetings. Both men are known from their Azalea exhibits at the Oakland garden show every year.
Members contributing talks and information on propagation and cultivation at the meetings include: Maurice H. Sumner of San Francisco, Roy Hudson of Golden Gate Park, Dr. Albert C. Daniels of Ross, Howard Kerrigan of Oakland, Ed. Farwell Jr., of Alameda, and John Druecker of Fort Bragg. The California Chapter is especially thankful to Mr. Druecker for his faithful attendance at meetings, driving more than three hundred miles every month and contributing many beautiful rhododendrons for the raffles. Howard Kerrigan and Jack Osegueda also contributed many plants for the raffles to help bolster the treasury balance.
The major project undertaken was the large exhibit at the Oakland Spring garden show. Under the leadership of Thomas Russ of Oakland, many truckloads of Rhododendrons and Azaleas were gathered from members to create a beautiful setting at the main entrance to the building. More than one hundred thousand garden lovers viewed the show and the California Chapter believes it has done much to stimulate interest in rhododendrons and azaleas in the bay region. Plans are now underway for another fine exhibit in the 1955 show.
Still in the planning stage but getting much enthusiasm is a local test garden for rhododendrons and azaleas. Park officials have promised their support for the project, and with the great wealth of new material being grown by members, a fine project will be a reality soon.
Due to the mild winters and cool summers in San Francisco bay region, many members are growing the tender varieties of rhododendrons especially the maddenii family. Many new crosses have been made but many species are being sought in order to further breed the race. An appeal is being made to everyone in America and abroad to send seed to the California Chapter for distribution to members. Mr. Maurice H. Sumner of San Francisco, Calif. is in charge of seed collecting and contributions should be sent to Mr. Sumner. The California Chapter has a good collection of seed supplied by Harry K. Roberts of Piedmont and John Druecker of Fort Bragg and will be glad to negotiate exchanges.
For 1955 new officers are: President, Jack Osegueda; Vice-President and Program Chairman, Howard Kerrigan; and Secretary-Treasurer, Thomas Russ. The Board of Directors include: Dr. Albert C. Daniels, Floyd H. Mick, Justin Greene, Harry K. Roberts. F. Owen Pearce, Everett Farwell Jr., John S. Druecker, Mrs. Ashley Giauque, Helen Mowry, Maurice H. Sumner. The meeting place is the Washington School Auditorium at 61st and Shattuck, Oakland, the fourth Thursday of every month.