Minutes of the Meeting of The A.R.S., Portland, Oregon, Nov 29, 1948
George D. Grace, Secretary
A regular meeting of the American Rhododendron Society was held Monday evening, November 29. 1948, in the auditorium of the Irvington School, at eight o'clock. Secretary George Grace accepted payment of next year's dues, before the meeting convened. President Henny brought the well attended meeting to order at 8:15 p. m. Inasmuch as minutes of the previous meeting were published in the Bulletin, the reading by the Secretary was dispensed with. By unanimous vote the minutes of the last meeting were approved as published. The current financial statement was also published in the Bulletin.
There was no old business for consideration. There was no new business.
Concerning the approaching election of officers for 1949 and 1950, and because the nominating board was absent, President Henny announced that the election is to be done by ballots which will be sent out to members. He explained that from this area, the nominating committee has suggested Mr. C. I. Sersanous for President, and that Mr. Sersanous had accepted the nomination. Mr. Sersanous was called to the floor, and he pledged himself, if elected, to do the best job he could to make the Society the best Society, and specially promised to work for the park as a prime object. He admitted being a keen amateur enthusiast, having 100 rhododendron plants, one being 60 years old.
President Henny then accepted Mrs. Ruth Hansen as the nominee for Secretary. Called upon, Mrs. Hansen expressed the sincere hope that she would be able to fulfill all the requirements of the job of Secretary.
Mr. Burnaugh counseled briefly that all other individuals to be nominated, should be given careful deliberation.
Mr. Bacher submitted the following proposal for consideration. In regard to this year's flower show, the attendance was far below par. It met with many obstacles. First the show had to be postponed, and last, the final "big day" of the show had to be forfeited. The shows should be kept alive. He proposed that six selected colored pictures taken at the show, should be made use of in the next yearbook, thus providing modern, up-to-date illustrations in full color. To produce them, an item of $500 or $600 will be required by the enlargers. There would be three pictures for nurserymen, and three for the group. This would make the flower book the best in the nation. He also cautioned that the yearbooks should be out on time, and not six months late. Referring to the park, Mr. Bacher believed that it is premature to start building during this period of high building costs, but suggested that we first prepare the basic plan to go by, and have it approved by all those interested. He reminded members that the hillside site is all clay, and that rhododendrons do not always like clay. He declared that the working out and approval of the plan is one of the major jobs to get done, and until that is done, we are just marking time.
General discussion followed. Mr. Sersanous thought the six hundred dollars was rather high. Several expressed the opinion that it was all right. Mr. Harms called attention to the fine book just put out by the Camellia Society. He said he was willing to leave the matter in the hands of the board of directors and the committee on yearbooks.
Possibility of instituting a program of life membership in the Society was touched briefly.
Dr. Robert M. Gatke, of Willamette University, speaker of the evening after many urgent requests, repeated his address on "Rhododendrons in Small Gardens."
Speaking modestly, yet authoritatively on the subject dear to those assembled, amateur rhododendron enthusiasts and experienced nurserymen, alike, he said rhododendrons serve as a sort of common denominator among many people. This common denominator is knowledge and love of rhododendrons. There is something rather magical about the hold that the rhododendron has.
Rhododendrons need a large place. Get rid of smallness, and make it big. Rhododendrons like company. You want to mass them, and not put them out as specimen shrubs. Most of us live in town and possibly have a 50 by 100 to work with, and our problem is to get these rhododendrons which we love so much, into that small area. Some of us draw a plan, and make it very carefully to scale. Others, and 1 believe that includes most of us, instead of working with pencil and paper, are just going to tramp around, and think, and look to see where we can work them in.
Start in at the front. In the old fashioned scheme, there was always something to mark the front line. There is still need to mark the boundary line. Rhododendrons do not lend themselves to becoming a hedge in any formal sort of way. Dr. Gatke suggested as hedgerow materials, Mugho Pine, Salal, Heather, and Oregon Grape.
Rhododendrons are natural foundation planting material. There is such a variety to choose from, including low-growing, medium, and tall; and in blossom time you can get such a lovely array. A suggested use was for division line planting, either on a straight line, or in borders. In combination with other shrubs rhododendrons serve their best purpose, for they are companionable plants. The may also be used to blot out sights, and of course, there is that living area. At that part, the division planting becomes tall enough, and thick enough, to screen the area. There you need a background like Hemlock and rhododendrons.
Some of us have the long driveway question! He suggested lining the inner side with rhododendrons similar to the division line. For a walk connecting the garage and house, plant a row of dogwood, and underneath the rhododendrons.
There is nothing that gives the feeling of distance, like broken lines.
Even in the little place, see if there is some corner that could become a small scale wonderland. It can be done very skillfully. Take for instance, birch trees, several in the same hole, so to speak, and make a cluster, then the under planting of rhododendrons, and you can create a very picturesque setting. Dogwood roots are not vicious and adapt themselves well, or select a spot near an already established tree. Dr. Gatke stressed the importance of landscaping value, and not creating a hodgepodge of planting. If your place is small, don't be a collector, rather select a few, and keep the thought trained on color, outline, and the small scale wonderland.
President Henny conducted the plant sale. Contributions were made by Henny and Brydon, Brooks; Beaver Creek Nursery, Gresham; and by Mr. George Grace. Net proceeds of the sale was $86.00.
The final feature of the evening was the showing of a colorful collection of moving pictures taken by Rudolph Henny in various choice rhododendron and azalea gardens. Many newly developed American hybrids were shown.
The meeting adjourned at ten o'clock.