QBARS - v22n4 Display Garden for Rhododendrons and Azaleas to be Established in Mississippi

Display Garden For Rhododendrons And Azaleas
To Be Established In Mississippi

Bill M. Basham, Jackson, Miss.

Mr. Arthur Coyle, president of the Southern Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society, has made arrangements with the Mississippi Research and Development Center in Jackson, Mississippi, to establish a new Display Garden for Rhododendrons and Azaleas. Mr. Coyle has appointed Mr. Geoffry Wakefield, noted author and authority on rhododendrons to chair a committee to assist the R & D Center in this endeavor.
The R & D Center was created by the Mississippi legislature in 1964 to carry out applied research, technical assistance and service programs designed to accelerate the State's economic development and to be closely associated with the academic community of the State's institutions of higher learning. As a part of this concept and as the result of other legislation, Mississippi State University, the University of Mississippi, and the University of Southern Mississippi have agreed to pool their resources to create a Universities Center. After these Centers were created, it was decided to construct adjoining buildings for each and to erect a third building simultaneously to house the State's first educational television broadcasting. station. Construction is well underway and should be completed late in 1969. Staffing for the R & D Center began in 1965 and presently consists of over 100 persons who are housed in temporary quarters while their new building is under construction.
It is significant to note that from the beginning, considerable thought and careful planning have been applied to the use of the land surrounding the building complex, which will occupy a portion of a large tract of heavily wooded hills. The key to the planning on the use of the land was to locate these buildings and their access roads along the ridge that meanders throughout the interior of the site and to blend the architecture into the natural setting, so that each would complement and accentuate the other. Even with the natural beauty of the area, however, a great deal of clearing and cleaning must be accomplished before any planting is begun. These pre-planting activities will be done in phases. The 40-acre tract indicated by the map will constitute phase one and will require several months for completion. Approximately ten acres of this portion of land has been designated for the Rhododendron and Azalea Display Garden.

Map of new Rhododendron and Azalea Garden at Jackson, Miss.
Fig. 68.  Map of new Rhododendron and Azalea Garden
at Jackson, Miss.

Various species of pine dominate the landscape, along with a generous sprinkling of oaks, hickories, sweetgums and elms. Smaller trees and shrubs such as viburnums, hawthorns and huckleberries also grow in abundance.
The planting, including the Display Garden, will be composed of native and introduced plant materials that will provide a naturalistic effect. Plans call for trails and walkways to be installed simultaneously with the plantings, and for the entire campus to be treated as a natural study area, or outdoor classroom, where school children, gardening enthusiasts, nature lovers, and many others will be encouraged to visit. There will be no charge or admission price for anyone to view the Display Garden or any other part of the grounds. Hopefully, in such an area, people will learn more about gardening and nature, and in the process enjoy themselves.
It is requested that any of you who wish to donate rhododendrons to this Display Garden limit your contributions to those plants included on the following list (15"-30" height with large root balls): 'Album Elegans', 'Blue Peter', 'Dr. A. Blok', 'Dr. V. H. Rutgers', 'Gomer Waterer', 'Kate Waterer', 'Mrs. G. W. Leak', 'Roseum Elegans', 'Anna Rose Whitney', 'English Roseum', 'Antoon Van Welie', 'Holden', 'Medusa', 'Snow Lady', 'White Swan', 'America', 'Catawbiense Grandiflorum', 'Cynthia', 'Dr. H. C. Dresselhuys', 'Goldsworth Orange', 'Jean Marie de Montague', 'Mrs. T. H. Lowinsky', 'Purple Splendour', 'Vulcan', 'Nova Zembla', 'Roseum Superbum', 'Chionoides', 'Loder's White', 'President Lincoln', 'White Pearl' and 'Snow Queen'.
It is expected that this list will be enlarged in the future to include the more tender and exotic rhododendrons after grounds personnel have gained experience with the culture of the clones listed. All plants received this fall will be placed in a holding area until the site has been prepared to receive them, probably late in 1969.