JARS v40n3 - 1986 Western Regional Conference

1986 Western Regional Conference
Parker Smith
Sebastopol, California

Rhododendron Conference Logo It would be difficult to find a more appealing area in the western states to visit in the fall of the year than the Monterey Peninsula in California. A mild climate, beaches, dramatic land and ocean scenery, Steinbeck's Cannery Row, the famous 17-Mile Drive, Carmel Valley, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium are some of the features. Combine these with the 1986 Western Regional Conference of the ARS and there should be something of interest happening for everyone, whether a rhododendron enthusiast or not. The previous Western Regional Conference hosted by District Five (California) was held at this same location and based on the enthusiasm expressed by many of those that attended, it was decided to return to this popular location. The last weekend in September (the 26th, 27th & 28th) is the time to reserve for this year's conference.

The hotel where the conference will take place is the Holiday Inn (The Monterey Beach Hotel), located right on the beach at 2600 Sand Dunes Drive, Monterey, California. Enclosed in this issue of the Journal is a summary of the program, a pre-registration form (to be mailed to the registrar), and a hotel reservation form (to be mailed directly to the hotel). Monterey is served by four airlines, Amtrak, Greyhound and several highways. San Francisco is only a two to three hour drive to the north along a scenic section of the coast.
The theme of this year's conference is "California's Rhododendrons". The program will feature presentations about the rhododendron and azalea species and hybrids that do well in the varied climates of California; those hybrids that have been created in California for use here and elsewhere; and those unique tropical and semi-tropical groups that we have the unique advantage of being able to grow in our mild coastal climates. Many of those to be discussed and illustrated are useful as container, greenhouse and sunroom plants in climates where they cannot be grown outdoors. A wide range of distinguished speakers including nurserymen, educators, hybridizers and just plain rhododendron enthusiasts, will present a wide range of illustrated programs (see the pamphlet in this issue for more details). Sunday's round-table forum on Vireyas will feature such well known grower-collectors as Bill Moynier, Peter Schick, Bob Badger and E. White Smith as well as others.
The plant sale will feature a wide range of rhododendrons and azaleas, concentrating on the California created hybrids, many of which have not received wide distribution even within California. Container plants will be exhibited as well as the flowers of some of the Vireyas that are blooming in the fall. A photo exhibit will illustrate the flowers of some of California's rhododendrons and we hope to have some special exhibits of new products related to growing rhododendrons and azaleas.
Since the last conference was held in Monterey, a new attraction has been added to the many already existing in the area. This is the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the newest and largest aquarium in the United States. It features 23 major galleries and exhibits and 5,000 creatures within its 50,000 square feet of area plus many observation decks overlooking Monterey Bay. Special group rates are available to us if enough people sign up to attend.
There will be a great deal to take in at this year's conference for those interested in rhododendrons and azaleas. Before and after attending the presentations, and for family members who may not have the same enthusiasm for this plant genus that you do, there are a multitude of places to explore and enjoy in the immediate area. We hope to have the opportunity to welcome many new and old friends to Monterey this fall.
For further information or any questions you may have, please contact our registrar; Tom Wynn, Sunnyvale, California.