JARS v40n1 - Cleveland in 1986

Cleveland in 1986
Carolyn Dana Lewis
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Welcome to Cleveland on America's North Coast. The cliffs and bluffs along Lake Erie comprise the longest lakeshore of any metropolitan area in the world with more yacht clubs than San Diego. The theme of the 1986 convention, the "Adaptability Connection" could well be extended to cover the host city, for many groups joined forces to adapt the city to changing circumstances resulting in the designation of Cleveland as one of the top ranked cities in which to live and to visit. Today Cleveland is a world corporate center including headquarters for 30 of the Fortune 500 corporations. It is a challenging, diverse and sophisticated city.

Photo courtesy of Convention & Visitors Bureau of Greater Cleveland

Headquarters for the convention will be the luxurious, completely refurbished Holiday Inn Rockside, conveniently located at the intersection of I-77 and I-480, ten minutes from the Ohio Turnpike and about 20 minutes from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. The Hopkins Limousine Service provides transportation from the airport to the Inn for $6.50 per person. The Holiday Inn, with 375 spacious guest rooms, has almost totally been turned over to the American Rhododendron Society for our use. In the event you call for reservations, mention the Society so your room will be at the special rate we have negotiated. Reservations must be made by April 23rd to guarantee this rate. After that date the price will be honored on a space available basis. An additional 600 hotel rooms in the immediate area will accommodate the overflow.
The Inn has agreed to open their dining room for breakfast at 6:00 am to allow for leisurely breakfasting before the tours. There is also a Denny's and a Bob Evans restaurant directly across the street. For those people who have allergies or food restrictions, we will substitute fish for the evening entree or fruit salad for lunch when there is no choice offered at that meal at the Inn. Please let us know at the time of registration. The price will be the same for the substitution. Substitutions can not be made at the time of the convention so please inquire when you register.
A wine and cheese party hosted by the Holden Arboretum will start the festivities Wednesday night and after a buffet dinner, C.W. Eliot Paine of the Holden Arboretum will officially welcome the 1986 American Rhododendron Society Convention to Cleveland. He will be followed by the keynote speaker, Dr. Peter Ashton, Director of the Arnold Arboretum, Harvard University, discussing "Rhododendron Adaptability: The View From Tropical Asia". Nine other speakers of national and international reputation are already scheduled, including participants in a symposium on rhododendron flower color pigments and their manipulation in hybridizing. The speakers include:
Richard Murcott, collector; specialist in hybrids produced by Dexter, Phipps and other Long Island breeders and hybridizers.
John S. Basford, curator of the world class rhododendron collection at Brodick Castle, Isle of Arran, Scotland.
Dr. Nicholas Nickou, explorer for rhododendrons in Kashmir and Sichuan; a well known plantsman with wide knowledge of many genera.
Dr. J. Heursel, Senior Assistant, Rijksstation voor Sierplatenteelt, Belgium; long time researcher in the inheritance of flower color in persistent leaved azaleas.
Dr. R.J. Griesbach, Beltsville Agricultural Research Center; investigator of rhododendron flower pigment formulation and expression.
Barry Yinger, curator of the Oriental Plant Collection, National Arboretum, Washington, D.C.; a former resident of Korea and Japan and plant explorer in China.
Dr. Jon Valigorsky, frequent visitor to rhododendron nurseries and hybridizers in northern Germany.
Dr Clifford E. Desch, Zoologist at the University of Massachusetts; hobbyist and rhododendron explorer in Sikkim and Yakushima; authority on rhododendron micromorphology.
Thomas Buchter, Executive Director, New England Wildflower Society; authority on companion plants and landscaping with rhododendrons; formerly Associate Director of the Henry Foundation for Botanical Research.
1986 ARS Convention logo The tours on the official schedule will be filled in the order applications are received. Because of space limitations the Friday and Saturday duplicate tours must be balanced. Therefore while you will get the tours you signed up for, in the event you are not among the first to register it might not be on the day you indicated. After April 21st all tours will be available only as space becomes available. Highlights of the tours will include:
LEACH HYBRIDIZING & TRIAL GROUNDS (Included on Thursday all day tour) In North Madison, Ohio, this 30 acre farm was bought in 1971 after a disastrous fire at David Leach's hybridizing and trial grounds in Brookville, Pennsylvania. Most of the rhododendrons which survived the fire were moved in the ensuing four year period. About 20 acres of the original farm are used for the cultivation of rhododendrons and other ornamental plants. There is a collection of magnolias which is nearly complete for the local climate, and most of the named cultivars of deciduous hollies are represented. There are many rarities among the plantings from the testing program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and from importations by Peter Girard. Exbury, Knap Hill, IIam and Leach deciduous azalea hybrids are on display.
There are about 750 feet of plank enclosed beds for seedlings from crosses. After two years in these beds, the small plants are moved to open fields and mulched with wood chips. After they have bloomed at least twice with full exposure, if they seem to be hardy, distinctively different and superior to other known hybrids, they are transplanted into landscaped arrays in one of seven fairly well defined display gardens. There they are tested and observed for additional years; those which continue to perform well may then become candidates for release to a group of six introducers in this country and three overseas. Far less than one percent of the seedlings become even preliminary selections for introduction. The newest rhododendron hybrids represent the fourth and fifth generation of breeding since hybridizing began 43 years ago. All plants are labeled, hybrids usually with their complete pedigree. Oriental rhododendron species are often represented by several different forms, some the result of the owner's exploration overseas. The breeding programs have, in four decades, produced 77 hybrids which have been released. Forty-nine of them are now commercially available, and others are scheduled for first sale by wholesale growers in the next two years.
HOLDEN ARBORETUM (Included on Thursday all day tour) A unique 2800 acre preserve of natural woodlands, horticultural collections, display gardens, ponds, fields and ravines. The 475 foot differences in elevation include rare geological formations. Dedicated to scientific and educational purposes, the charitable non-profit arboretum is primarily concerned with cultivated plant families appropriate to the environment of the northeastern United States.
The Holden Arboretum has dedicated the Helen S. Layer Rhododendron Garden to be a five acre exhibit of hybrid rhododendrons and azaleas grown by Northern Ohio breeders, common ericaceous plants, "ironclad" and species rhododendrons. It also contains major plantings of Exbury and Ghent azaleas originally shipped from Holland and several elepidotes from C. O. Dexter which were part of the original plantings made in 1940. Expansion of the garden in 1971 featured a 250 year old red oak and a 350 year old white oak. In 1982 a new wooded site of beech and oak was thinned to expand the garden once again. This time the beds, instead of being excavated, were raised on top of the existing soil using run-of-bank sand mixed with leaf compost and peat moss. Because of the well drained, acid soils, many common plants have been added to extend the season and add interest. Representing the heath family, Ericaceae , the garden has 25 genera, 116 species, and 561 infra-specific taxa. In addition to the genus Rhododendron represented by 465 varieties, there are 29 varieties of Calluna (heather), 15 varieties of Erica (heath) and 26 varieties of Kalmia (mountain laurel). There are representative collections of hybrids bred by David Leach, Anthony Shammarello and Peter Girard.
ROEMER NURSERY (Included on Thursday all day tour) A containerized wholesale operation in North Madison, Ohio, originally intended as a propagation facility for lining out stock, it evolved when some seedlings grew too large for liners. The large three bay plastic greenhouse was built for large scale winter potting and growing. It includes rolling benches to increase growing space, small diameter tube root-zone heating, and energy efficient hot water boilers. 70% of the plants are grown from cutting to saleable state in a mixture of 3 parts pine bark, 1 part long-fiber peat and part sand with lime and basic nutrients added. For overwintering, the container stock is placed close together in huts, watered and sprayed and covered with opaque plastic in mid to late November. Opaque plastic is essential to prevent extreme temperature fluctuations during the winter months. It is removed before May when the main growing cycle begins. On the two acres adjacent to the ROEMER NURSERY are the Stroombeek's residence and private and display gardens which include many unusual and dwarf conifers, members of the family Ericaceae and perennials, annuals and bulbs.
THE GARDEN CENTER OF GREATER CLEVELAND (Friday or Saturday tour) Founded by the Garden Club of Cleveland in 1930 it is the oldest civic garden center in the United States and has been the pattern and inspiration for many others. The main portion of the grounds, designed by Clark and Rapuano include a collection of native rhododendrons. The Evans Reading Garden features dwarf and semidwarf rhododendrons and azaleas, and the Japanese Garden contains many of Tony Shammarello's hybrids. Korean azaleas, Exbury, Knapp Hill and Peter Girard's Glendale hybrids are also grown on The Garden Center Grounds.

The Garden Center
Garden Center
Photo courtesy of Convention & Visitors
Bureau of Greater Cleveland

SECREST ARBORETUM OARDC (Sunday Tour) At the Ohio State University Agricultural Research and Development Center in Wooster, Ohio, this is the site of the Great Lakes Chapter test garden. The mature Rhododendron Display Garden was started in 1966 with 135 plants provided by Girard, Klyn, Shammarello and Stroombeek. Three years later some new Exbury hybrid azaleas were received from Edmund de Rothschild of the Exbury Estates Ltd. in Southampton, England through the intercession of David Leach. The original Exbury collection included 36 clones of the newest and finest of all the Exbury hybrids at that time. It was thought that the plants of this collection were the first of their type to be sent to the United States. The Ilam hybrids from New Zealand were also introduced into the garden with the aid of James Wells. The Azalea Allee was named the John E. Ford Azalea Allee in 1984 honoring the late Curator and rhododendron hybridizer.
STAN HYWET HALL AND GARDENS (Friday or Saturday tour) Located in Akron, this is considered the finest example of Tudor Revival architecture in America. Patterned after the stately homes of England, this 65 room mansion was built by a 20th century industrial pioneer, Frank Seiberling, who founded the Goodyear Tire Company. For forty years it was a family home and the Seiberling's hospitality was legendary. Four Presidents of the United States were entertained here, Will Rogers spun yarns, and Paderewski played the Steinway in the magnificent music room where Rosa Ponselle, James Melton, Leopold Stokowski and Mme. Schumann-Heink also performed. The extensive gardens feature a rhododendron Allee.
NASA's LEWIS RESEARCH CENTER (Friday or Saturday tour) This is NASA's primary propulsion center, recognized the world over for the development of propulsion systems for aircraft, launch vehicles, and spacecraft. Here scientists and engineers continue to work toward quieter, more efficient aircraft engines, improved propulsion systems for deep space flight, and reusable space vehicles. Exhibits and special programs are designed to be especially exciting to students of all ages.

NASA Lewis Research Center
NASA Lewis Research Center
Photo courtesy of Convention & Visitors
Bureau of Greater Cleveland

HALE HOMESTEAD FARM AND VILLAGE (Alternate Thursday all day tour) The Western Reserve Historical Society has recreated northeastern Ohio's rural life in the mid-1800's. Learn how wool goes from sheep to shirt from the shearing of the sheep, to the carding of the wool, through the dyeing and weaving of the yarn. Visit restored homes and buildings where you will be greeted by friendly guides in period costumes and see artisans plying their trades of carpentry, blacksmithing and glassblowing.
THE CLEVELAND MUSEUM OF ART (Included on University Circle tour, Friday or Saturday) Its consistently high level of quality has made it one of the finest museums in the world. The Far Eastern art collection can be matched in only a handful of cities outside the Orient. The adjacent Fine Arts Garden designed by the Olmstead Brothers Landscape Architects of Boston was dedicated in 1928 and is maintained by the Cleveland Parks Department.

Cleveland Museum of Art
Cleveland Museum of Art
Photo courtesy of Convention & Visitors
Bureau of Greater Cleveland

THE TROLLEY TOUR (Friday morning) This tour of Cleveland affords visitors and residents a close up and personal look at this All American City. A 1 hour trip covers about 50 points of interest. In the warehouse district the guide will point out the old Academy of Music Building where John Wilkes Booth performed the day before he assassinated Abraham Lincoln. The commentary makes the dynamism of the present come alive also. Lolly the Trolley is authentic in detail, yet offers all the comfort and convenience of a modern tour vehicle.
EVENING AT THE OLD ARCADE Friday evening is the night of enchantment. Evening dress is appropriate but not essential. You will be whisked by modern carriage to the Old Arcade in downtown Cleveland. This four tiered Victorian confection of gilt-iron, glass and gold leaf was built in 1890 by a group of far sighted businessmen including Cleveland's John D. Rockefeller. The Romanesque Revival gallery of shops and offices has been copied in other world class cities including Toronto, Houston and Philadelphia and is the fore-runner of today's shopping mall. For the night it will be transformed into your private party room. After a relaxing "Attitude Adjustment Hour" and dinner we will acknowledge those who have won ribbons and awards at the Rhododendron Show. Then on to the socializing and dancing to the music of DGB in the renewed elegance and style that echoes the history of the Old Arcade.

Old Arcade
Old Arcade
Courtesy of Convention & Visitors
Bureau of Greater Cleveland

The PLANT SALE will offer hundreds of plants not readily obtainable including many from Canada. The CRAFT SALE will afford you an opportunity to do your Christmas shopping early. Everything will feature rhododendrons, from aprons to litter bags including jewelry by Ruth Riegel and leaded glass by Cathy Grogg. A gold, bronze and crystal rhododendron truss by La Melodie of California will be raffled off. Similar ones can be ordered for under $1,000.
Your convention badge will be your ticket for admission to all lectures. Since we will be in public areas, it is also an assurance that other people do not interfere with our trips and meals. Please wear it at all times.
Please bring your favorite trusses. We want our guests from other chapters to take home their share of ribbons and awards. This is a National Show. Please help us make it national in the scope of entries.
We await you with enthusiasm and planning and love!