QBARS - v18n3 ARS Gold Medal Awards

The American Rhododendron Society Gold Medal Awards


It is now our pleasure, at this meeting of the Middle Atlantic Chapter, to present an outstanding award, the Gold Medal of the American Rhododendron Society, to a gentleman who has been both a long-time member of the Society and one of the founders of this Chapter.
A native of Lincoln, Nebraska, this gentleman is noted for accomplishments and contributions of many kinds. As a legal authority, he has served as legislative counsel to the United States government and as special assistant to the Secretary of Agriculture; he has been professor or lecturer at at least seven universities, and a leader in many civic activities. In his avocation as a horticulturist, he has served as a director and as a member of the editorial committee of the American Horticultural Society. As Chairman of the Advisory Council of the United States National Arboretum for the past 18 years, he has made great contributions to the physical and functional development of this institution. For all of this, for his contributions to our knowledge of daffodils, hostas, lilies, and many other plants, it is not surprising that he has been previously honored by a number of national organizations.
But this gentleman has also been a pioneer in testing new rhododendron and new azalea varieties in a Bethesda, Maryland, garden which we all know well. Besides being a willing advice-giver on the problems of rhododendrons, azaleas and their garden companions, he is also a writer with an innate ability to separate the chaff from the basic or essential. In his production of The Azalea Book he has provided so original and so complete an information source on this important segment of the genus Rhododendron that within the brief period since 1958 this valuable reference work has attained its third printing and remains unlikely to be superseded for many years.
In partial recognition of his many contributions to horticulture and to our knowledge and understanding of azaleas and rhododendrons in particular, it is our very real privilege to present to MR. FREDERIC PADDOCK LEE this Gold Medal of the American Rhododendron Society.

Ben Lancaster God Medal Award
Fig. 30.  Mr. Ben Lancaster  receives Gold Medal from
President Dunn, while Dr. Carl Phetteplace watches in the
Photo by Editor


With great pleasure the American Rhododendron Society presents to Ben Lancaster its highest honor, THE GOLD MEDAL, in sincere appreciation of his contribution to the Society.
His service to the Society began as a charter member and continued through a number of years as a National Director. He has made enthusiastic contributions in the planning and planting of the Portland Test Garden and in donations of plant material. He is the author of many fine articles in the Quarterly Bulletin and in other publications on the culture of rhododendrons and related subjects.
During a convalescence, he became acquainted with accounts of the Rock expeditions and began to accumulate the better forms of species as a basis of a hybridizing project. His goals were to improve growth habit, quality of flower and ease of propagation. As a result of this program at Camas, Washington, Ben Lancaster has rewarded the gardens of the world with a spectrum of beautiful rhododendrons.
A summary of the achievements of Ben Lancaster would be incomplete without recognition of the inspiration and interest shared with him by his wife, Rose Lancaster, whose hand and name has entered into so many of his hybrids.
To Ben Lancaster, with his quiet Scotch humor, his penetrating knowledge of the Genus Rhododendron, his deep sense of responsibility to his fellow gardeners, his unlimited generosity in time and experience to all those who seek his counsel, the American Rhododendron Society presents its highest tribute, THE GOLD MEDAL.

Herbert Ihrig Gold Medal
Fig. 31.  President Dunn reading the Citation before presenting it
to Mr. Herbert Ihrig while Chris Johnson, President of the Seattle
Chapter stands by.  Mr. David Leach, at lower right listens
Photo by Editor

Mr. Edward B. Dunn, President of the American Rhododendron Society, before he presented the Gold Medal to Mr. Ihrig, read a Citation giving details of his activities in introducing many rhododendron species into the Northwest.


"To Herbert Ihrig, a pioneer in the Northwest in the study and culture of the Genus Rhododendron , for his many years of contributions to Rhododendron Gardens in the Seattle area, and in recognition of his untiring efforts to increase the growing of finer forms, the American Rhododendron Society presents its Gold Medal."