JARS v48n4 - From the President

From the President
Dick Brooks
Concord, Massachusetts

As I write this on a torrid July afternoon, it occurs to me that the advent of summer seems to signal a pause in the activities of many ARS chapters. With the frenzy of spring shows, garden tours and plant sales over, the organizers of these events heave a sigh of relief and retire into a well-earned restive dormancy, to awaken at fall's return with a new season of programs and planting.

The unfortunate by-product of this period of inertia is that many new members, who join in a burst of enthusiasm during the spring glut of color and conviviality, lose interest when nothing happens for the next several months, and then fail to renew their membership when dues notices come out in the fall.

It need not be so. A number of chapters have found ways to fill the summer hiatus with programs and activities appropriate to the season. For example:

•  Portland Chapter holds a deadheading party at the Crystal Springs Garden, followed by a potluck supper.

•  Niagara, Tualatin Valley, Eureka, and Victoria chapters organize picnics at members' gardens.

•  Susquehanna Valley, Pine Barrens, and Southeastern chapters sponsor exchanges or sales of cuttings. And Valley Forge, New York, and Princeton chapters combine their cutting exchanges with demonstrations and workshops on summer propagation.

•  Midwest Chapter members staff an information table at the Chicago Botanical Garden on Sundays in June and July.

•  California Chapter combines its annual election and awards presentation with a potluck social.

These summer programs provide great occasions for members, especially newer members, to get together to discuss our favorite genus. In the more relaxed atmosphere of summer meetings, the sharing of knowledge, ideas and experiences flows freely, which, after all, is what this Society is all about.

If your chapter is one of those which close up shop in June and reopen in September, you're missing out on some good opportunities. Speak to your chapter officers about it, or, better yet, offer to organize a summer meeting, even if it's only a social get-together over a bring-your-own sandwich. You'll find the rewards are tremendous!