JARS v44n3 - In Memoriam: Roy L. Hudson

In Memoriam: Roy L. Hudson

Theo Smid
Hayward, California

Roy L. Hudson's career in horticulture was a model of versatile attainment. Born in Fresno, in 1931 he was hired byJohn McLaren, the formidable developer of Golden Gate Park, a rich cultural complex built entirely on sand. During his rise through the ranks Hudson designed and supervised the landscaping of the zoo; greatly expanded the John McLaren Memorial Rhododendron Dell, which now contains more than 500 species and varieties (early on he adopted the British scheme of building a shelter of R. ponticum to thwart the westerly, salt-laden winds); designed the Rose Garden and the Tulip Garden. For one the Hudsons were invited by Lord and Lady Loder as guests at Leonardslee and for the other by Queen Wilhelmina (1880-1962) to be her guests in The Netherlands.

Avery Brundage acclaimed him for his disposition of a plant collection in the Japanese Tea Garden and for his planning of the Oriental vista outside the Asian Art Museum, whose contents were his bequest. Before retiring, Hudson served as Director, Strybing Arboretum (1969-1971) and created the Succulent Garden.

Sunset's Handbook of Pruning by Hudson, 1952, went through more than 20 printings and was produced intact in London by Blandford Press.

In 1988 the Hudsons moved to Oceanside, between Los Angeles and San Diego, where he collected bromeliads and orchids and built a garden in Oriental style. His widow, Lori, says that she intends to maintain his work as well as she can, "but not as well as he could."

Roy Hudson was a life member of the California Chapter.