QBARS - v23n4 Book Review: Rhododendrons in America

Book Review: Rhododendrons in America

Ted Van Veen
Fig. 72.  Ted Van Veen, author of
new book, "Rhododen-
drons in America."

Planned for October release is a book entitled "Rhododendrons in America" by Ted Van Veen, owner of the Van Veen Nursery in Portland, Oregon. The new deluxe volume, published by Sweeney, Krist and Dimm, Inc., nationally known horticultural printers, will contain over 200 full color photographs of Rhododendrons along with easy-to-read information on selection, planting, care and description of 300 favorite varieties.
The new book, according to Van Veen, has been planned for a number of years to answer the need of both growers and nurseries for information and pictures of the popular varieties in order that choices may be made outside of the blooming season or without having desired varieties in stock. Van Veen has grown up in the Rhododendron business having followed in the footsteps of his dad who started this famous Oregon nursery back in 1925. He is generally recognized as a leading authority on Rhododendron culture.
Presently the Van Veen Nursery with offices and greenhouses in Portland and growing grounds at Monitor and Aurora, Oregon, is said to be the largest exclusive seller of Rhododendrons in America. Each year several hundred thousand cuttings are started in the Portland greenhouses. Van Veen has chosen to rename the so-called "Spring Liners" to "Juniors" and the former "Fall Liners" to "Yearlings" as more descriptive of his product. The "Juniors" are shipped in May and June when they have achieved a full large root ball and vigorous top growth, mainly to nurseries which line them out and after two or more years sell them as budded shrubs. The "Yearlings" have gone through the second summer and are shipped in the Fall or the following Spring.
For many years Ted Van Veen has felt that the year-around beauty of Rhododendrons, which he calls the "King of Flowers", could be used in far larger quantities in most all sections of the nation, but the great problem at the retail level is being able to show the adult shrub and its colored trusses. "Generally," he states, "the only ones sold are those in full bloom, while hundred of exotic plants which landscapers would love to have are never seen." The new book with its profusion of color photographs is designed to eliminate this problem, and Van Veen feels it should do much to stimulate wider use of a far larger variety of Rhododendrons.
The photographs have been taken over several seasons by Stan Andersen, a well known expert in the field, as well as by a number of other photographers in various sections of the country. Howard Somer, outstanding artist, is the designer. The price is set at $20, with counter display six packs to book stores and garden centers at normal discounts.
The book, according to the publishers, is designed for beauty and popular use rather than a complete treatise on the subject. It discusses briefly the development and hybridizing of the great variety of Rhododendrons, the selection according to climate and soil, landscaping, planting and care. According to the text, there are varieties that can be grown successfully in almost every section of America.