JARS v46n3 - From the President

From the President
Gordon Wylie
Eugene, Oregon

We have just returned from a week spent on Long Island enjoying the 1992 ARS annual meeting and convention. A week which has once again affirmed the vitality of the American Rhododendron Society, its members, and their many contributions to bettering our environment. All districts of the ARS, including the at large district for those chapters outside the United States and Canada, were represented by members in attendance. Many thanks are due our New York Chapter hosts whose efforts made this an outstanding event.

Howard Phipps estate on Long Island
Convention goers stop to look at the original Phipps #32
at the Howard Phipps estate on Long Island.
Photo by Sonja Nelson

This was my first visit to Long Island and I was impressed with the scope and scale of gardens and other features enjoyed during the week. The long sea-coast naturally results in many recreational and working boats, but agriculture plays a prominent role as well. Vineyards, nurseries and other farming activities are in abundance. Woodland gardens are cultivated in virtually every residential area and there are many vast estates displaying a fine variety of landscape material. Examples of both were included in the tours offered by the convention. One garden even offered a fish pond with trout, salmon and koi of up to eight or ten pounds!

It was also interesting to note how the season varies across the continent. The Pacific Northwest has experienced an extremely early bloom this year, with some varieties as much as a month in advance of their usual display. The Northeast, on the other hand, is having a later than ordinary season. Those differences aside, the mild winter in both areas left plants and trees in excellent health.

Touring the Howard Phipps estate.
On tour at the Howard
Phipps estate.
Photo by Sonja Nelson

The usual daylong Board meeting covered many subjects and issues. The director in each district will share with you a more detailed report of actions taken. For now I am pleased to report that the ARS financial condition appears reasonably secure for this year. Continued effort, however, will be needed in the longer term for our Journal and other services to remain at the present level. I am also delighted to welcome a new chapter accepted by the Board - Cascade Chapter of Bellevue, Washington - and to note that other new chapters seem likely by the time of our fall Board meeting.

We were saddened to learn of the passing of Don Kellam during the convention week. Don was a recipient of the ARS Gold Medal, and continued active with the Sandwich Club studying the Dexter hybrids up to the time of his death. Jud Brooks and Jack Cowles were recognized for their many contributions to genus Rhododendron by the announcement of Silver Medal awards at the annual meeting Saturday evening. Their accomplishments are detailed elsewhere in this issue.

Many excellent speakers rounded out this always informative segment of the conference. Some of the highlights included hybridizing activities in Germany, the on-going search for species in China, and tantalizing previews of gardens we can look forward to seeing at our 1996 convention in Scotland.

I wish you all an enjoyable summer.