JARS 42n3 - Northeast Regional Conference

Northeast Regional Conference
Pat Walton
Upper Saddle River, New Jersey

The 1988 Northeast Regional Conference will be held on October 29 and 30, in Danbury, Connecticut, at the Danbury Hilton Inn, easily accessible from Interstate-84. This is our second meeting at the Danbury Hilton, which proved to be a convenient and accommodating convention facility in 1986.

The general chairmen of the convention, A. Richard Brooks, Director, District 6, and H. C. Gehnrich, President of the New York Chapter, have planned a particularly interesting and provocative program of highly-qualified speakers.

Following the opening luncheon on Saturday, we will have a series of talks on compatible companion plants for rhododendrons including —

Kalmias: Richard Jaynes, author of The Laurel Book and Kalmia; The Laurel Book II, breeder and authority on laurels, and International Registrar for the genus.

Dwarf and slow-growing conifers: Peter Del Tredici, assistant propagator at the Arnold Arboretum, author of many publications, authority on hemlocks and many other conifers.

Heaths and heathers: Michael Dodge, research horticulturist and primary photographer at White Flower Farm, Litchfield, Connecticut, one of the premier northeastern nurseries.

"Ironclads Lost and Found," a subject of great interest to us in the cold northeast, will be explored by Dr. David Lewis, professor of plant pathology at Rutgers University. Dr. Lewis, an expert photographer, also teaches a course in photography at the university. He is a frequent speaker and is interested in hybridizing, particularly the lepidote rhododendrons, several of which are available from specialty nurseries.

We are most fortunate to have our friend and neighbor from Canada, Mr. Al Smith, speak on "Canadian Cousins: The Vineland Hybrids." Mr. Smith, who has been growing rhododendrons for thirty years, joined the staff of the Horticultural Research Institute of Ontario in 1974 and was affiliated with them until his retirement last year. He is a Past President of the Rhododendron Society of Canada and Honorary Life President of the Niagara Region Rhododendron Society. Although breeding of rhododendrons has been halted at the H.R.I.O., existing plant material will still be evaluated. Al continues his own breeding program and plans to release some hybrids from his garden in Niagara Falls, this year.

Sunday morning will provide an opportunity for participants to hear the latest views on hybridizing at the Northeast Breeders Roundtable to be chaired by Dr. Philip Waldman of Roslyn Nursery. Concurrent workshops will offer expert advice on - Home Propagation: Richard Gustafson; Basic Culture: C.J. Patterson; Problem Diagnosis and Remedies.

The conference will conclude with a talk by Dr. Jon Valigorsky on "The Hachmann Hybrids," recently featured in his article in the ARS Journal . Dr. Valigorsky, an active member of the Massachusetts Chapter, is director-chairman of the Western Massachusetts Display Garden, author of articles in "The Rosebay" and the ARS Journal , traveler, and authority on German. His frequent visits to the Hachmann Nursery in Germany, keep him abreast of the new hybrids being developed there.

A plant sale of great scope and diversity has been planned by Peter Leslie and his committee. They have a number of newly released plants and older favorites from which to choose. A foliage show offers us an opportunity to appreciate the diverse character and form of rhododendron leaves, many of which rival the beauty of the blooms.

We invite all members and friends - any lovers of rhododendrons and plants - to join us for a weekend of fun and information. You may also be the winner of one of our fabulous door prizes. For Information contact: Jay and Bob Murray, Registrars, Colts Neck, NY.