JARS v42n2 - A Winning Combination

A Winning Combination
Great Lakes Chapter Annual Meeting & Rhododendron Society of Canada Annual Meeting
Carolyn Dana Lewis, Ann Arbor, Michigan

The Great Lakes Chapter ARS, and the Rhododendron Society of Canada will hold a joint annual show and meeting, Friday through Sunday, May 20-22, 1988, at Ann Arbor, Michigan. Our location in the middle of North America has meant that we do not find rhododendrons growing here as commonly as in warmer, coastal climates. Yet, many hybridizers, both in the United States and Canada, hobbyists and nurserymen alike, have devoted large parts of their lives to the development of a wide range of hardy rhododendrons. These rhododendrons are becoming available through a growing number of nurseries. The aim of this meeting is twofold:

1.  To increase the popularity of rhododendrons and azaleas among the general public.

2.  To afford an opportunity for hybridizers to share techniques which show promise of leading to an even greater range of flower color along with increased hardiness.

In pursuit of the first goal, thousands of advertising pieces inviting the public to the Rhododendron and Azalea Show are being distributed through nurserymen, hotels, restaurants and garden clubs.

At the show, Dr. H.L. Hinerman will conduct periodic demonstrations of rhododendron culture for this area. Books and pamphlets suitable for the novice gardener will be available.

Meanwhile, those members who have worked so hard to make the show an outstanding one will be enjoying a relaxing bus ride to Westcroft Botanical Gardens at Grosse Ile, Michigan. Westcroft was established in 1919 by Ernest N. Stanton, who realized a need for more varied plant material in Michigan landscapes and began a test garden for unusual nursery materials. Over the years, Mr. Stanton won many awards for his hybrid azaleas, rhododendrons and azaleodendrons.

The banquet speaker, Bob Sutherland, from Amhersberg, Ontario, Canada, has been the moving force behind creating a public rhododendron arboretum and promotes the genus Rhododendron in such a way that many gardens in the area now include rhododendrons.

Sunday morning, Don and Carolyn Dana Lewis will host a continental breakfast at their home. They grow several hundred varieties of rhododendrons, many very small, on their one third acre lot. One block away, Norris and Helen Post will open their acreage to visitors. The Posts grow particularly outstanding species rhododendrons. Several other gardens may be seen in the immediate area.

At the headquarters hotel, the Sheraton University Inn, the Breeder's Roundtable will be in full swing late Sunday morning. Participants include Michigan hybridizers and others. John Basford, curator of the rhododendron collections, Brodick Castle, Scotland, will speak at 12:30 pm. His topic is "Species in Relation to Hybridizing". He will emphasis hybridizing for cold climates. Also, he will comment on judging.