QBARS - v25n1 American Rhododendron Society 1971 National Convention

The American Rhododendron Society 1971 National Convention
Alfred S. Martin

The next annual meeting of the American Rhododendron Society will be held in historic Philadelphia May 13 to 15, 1971. The meeting will be headquartered at the newly renovated Benjamin Franklin Hotel near the heart of Independence National Park The surrounding area abounds with sites of great horticultural and botanical interest. The host Philadelphia Chapter is delighted to have the co-sponsorship of the Valley Forge Chapter and the Princeton Chapter. We are also extremely fortunate to have the active cooperation and co-sponsorship of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. The considerable organizational talents of Ernesta Balllard, the executive director, have been instrumental in overcoming many formidable obstacles on short notice. Registration facilities will be available late Thursday afternoon May 13 and the formal program will start on Friday, May 14 at 9:00 a.m. Excellent meeting facilities will be provided by the Benjamin Franklin.

The educational program has generally planned to cover the landscape use of rhododendrons and allied plants as well as cultural problems and practices. Individual presentations will be limited to approximately thirty minutes each. An outstanding panel of speakers has been brought together for the meetings. John S. Kistler, one of Philadelphia's leading landscape architects, will begin the meeting with 'General Landscape Uses of Rhododendrons'. Gertrude Wister, who needs no introduction, will follow with 'Companion Plants for Rhododendrons'. We are happy that our editor, Jock Brydon, will be available to discuss 'Species for Eastern Gardens', a topic that has deservedly received increasing attention in recent years. We hope that Dr. Radcliffe Pike of Lubec, Maine, will also present his thoughts on wild flowers as companions to rhododendrons. We all have noticed an increasing interest in deciduous azaleas and we are fortunate to have Larry Carville, Rhode Island Nursery, one of the country's most knowledgeable people, to cover this subject. Dr. Charles Hess, of Rutgers University, always a highlight speaker, will talk on 'Environmental Factors in Rhododendron Growth and Flowering'. Alfred Fordham of The Arnold Arboretum will be back to analyze the results of an extremely important study at the arboretum on the effect of micro-climates in plant growth and hardiness. We have been able to induce Dr. Gustav Mehlquist, University of Connecticut, to share with us some more of his comprehensive knowledge of rhododendron breeding.

The educational program will be followed by a general membership meeting on Friday afternoon. This was a most successful innovation at the Vancouver meeting last year. The annual banquet on Friday evening will be preceded by a cash bar reception. No speaker has been scheduled for the banquet but we will be looking forward to the president's report by Dr. Phetteplace and the presentation of awards. In the event that the banquet program should be shorter than usual, a appropriate film will be available to be shown to those who choose to remain.

A novel approach to garden visits will be tried this year. On Saturday May 15, three alternate bus tours covering a wide variety of interests will be available. One tour would cover the Arrington's Garden and Nursery in Huntingdon Valley, the Princeton Chapter Display Garden at the Hun School in Princeton, Indian Run Nursery and the Heuser's Garden near Princeton and the Princeton Chapter Flower Show. The second tour would visit two gardens, including Ernesta Ballard's, in the Chestnut Hill area, the Martin collection at Three Tuns and Charles Herbert's extensive garden near Valley Forge. This tour would return to the hotel through Valley Forge Park. The final tour would visit Dr. Franklin West's garden in Narbeth, the Wister's garden in Swarthmore, the Arthur Hoyt Scott Foundation, Swarthmore and the Tyler Arboretum in Lima. Choice of tours will have to be made at the time of registration for the conference. By that time, everyone will have more in depth information available on the sites to be covered. Hopefully, everyone will be able to make the tour of their choice but alternate choices will be requested.

The fee for early registration has been set at $30.00. This would be increased to $35.00 after April 15. The registration fee will cover all of the meetings and programs scheduled for Friday, May 15, the banquet on May 15, and the alternate bus trip and box lunch on May 16. We were unable to secure space in the Benjamin Franklin for any function on Saturday night which was not unduly disturbing since we thought many of the local people would like to return home following the conclusion of the tour. For those who wish to remain, there will be a reception Saturday evening at the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society followed by an optional dinner at Bookbinder's. This restaurant enjoys a national reputation for traditional Philadelphia seafood and is located in close proximity to both the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and the Benjamin Franklin Hotel.

There will be no official flower show staged at the Benjamin Franklin during the annual meeting. There will be a very comprehensive exhibit available featuring plants and trusses of Eastern hybrids both named and unnamed.

We hope that this preliminary information will enable all of you to set aside this time to visit Philadelphia next May. Detailed information will be given in the April Quarterly and prior to that time, there will be an informative mailing to all members.