50th Celebration Convention, Portland, Oregon, May 10-14, 1995
Lake Oswego, Oregon
Come to Portland in May and celebrate a special occasion - the 50th Anniversary of the American Rhododendron Society. The Portland Chapter has planned a 50th Celebration Convention that is filled with events to honor, inform, and entertain our members, old and new.
A little more than fifty years ago, a small group of rhododendron fanciers decided it was time to organize a rhododendron association in North America. The group met officially for the first time on July 7, 1944, in Portland, Oregon. The elected officers signed the articles of incorporation there on January 9, 1945, and thus launched the American Rhododendron Society.
Although Portland was the center of the new Society, charter members came from several states and Canada. From the beginning the ARS reached out to whoever was interested in the genus Rhododendron . Several women were among the charter members, as were nurserymen and avid hobbyists. Each member brought their unique perspective to the group and the Society grew and flourished until today we have thousands of members in almost every state and in many foreign countries.
In 1995, Portland will again be the focus of our Society as we gather to share our common interest in rhododendrons. At the 50th Celebration Convention, you'll be able to meet some of the early members of the Society and some who are new to the group. You'll meet members from various states and foreign countries. You'll meet people whose lives are focused around rhododendrons and those who merely enjoy growing a few plants. For all of us, the 50th Celebration Convention is a time to come together; you'll want to be a part of it.
The ARS Board of Directors extends a special invitation to you to attend the annual membership meeting and luncheon on Saturday, May 13. You'll have an opportunity to meet the newly elected officers of the national organization and to thank the outgoing officers for their efforts on behalf of us all.
View of Portland skyline and Mt. Hood from The Japanese Garden
Photo by Ernie Metcalfe
Portland is a convenient city to reach by air. Currently 14 airlines serve Portland International Airport with direct or nonstop service to more than one hundred cities worldwide. The airport is located just 20 minutes from our headquarters hotel, The Red Lion Hotel - Lloyd Center. The hotel provides complimentary shuttle service to and from the airport on a regular schedule.
Driving to Portland is an attractive option, especially for members on the West Coast. You can extend your trip with a visit to the Oregon Coast, a stop over in southern Oregon to visit the Rogue River or Ashland area, or travel to the Cascade mountain range to see the early wildflowers and then continue on to the high desert country of central Oregon.
We have planned three preconvention tours that will allow you to sample some of the scenic highlights near Portland. Register early for a place on one of these tours.
Our headquarters hotel, The Red Lion - Lloyd Center, is close to many local points of interest. The hotel is adjacent to the well-known Lloyd Center, one of the first shopping malls in the United States. Recently, Lloyd Center has undergone a complete renovation with glass enclosed walkways linking the 150 stores and overlooking the indoor ice skating rink. You can enjoy a light meal there as a break from shopping. Just a few steps away from the hotel, MAX, our light rail system, is waiting to whisk you to the heart of downtown Portland. Information and brochures on things to see and do in the Portland area will be available at the convention's hospitality table.
Several private gardens will be open to convention registrants both before and after the convention. You can visit these gardens by private car. If you'd like information on these self-guided open gardens, mark the box on your registration form.
50th Anniversary Plant Introductions
In honor of the 50th Anniversary of the American Rhododendron Society, the Portland Chapter will introduce a new rhododendron and a new azalea at the 50th Celebration Convention. Several years ago, the chapter formed a committee to search for two superior hybrids: one rhododendron and one azalea to name and propagate for this occasion. You can expect to find a good selection of these plants for sale at the 50th Celebration Convention.
The rhododendron 'Anniversary Gold' is pictured with this article. Cecil Smith, Newberg, Ore., made the cross [('King of Shrubs' x 'Crest') x 'Golden Star'] in 1976. Van Veen Nursery acquired the seed from the ARS seed exchange. The ARS plant name registry describes the flowers as moderately fragrant and light greenish yellow with bright greenish yellow throat. The somewhat flat faced flowers reflect their R. aberconwayi heritage. Leaves are matte green and smooth. The plant is nicely shaped, growing to 3.5 feet high by 3 feet wide in 14 years from seed. 'Anniversary Gold' is plant and bud hardy to at least 2°F.
R. 'Anniversary Gold'
Photo by Ted Van Veen
'Nifty Fifty', the azalea selection, is pictured on the cover of this issue Journal ARS . It is the result of a cross [yellow seedling x ('Knap Hill Yellow' x 'Klondyke')] made in 1977 and grown on by Ivan and Robertha Arneson, Canby, Ore. The brilliant yellow ball-shaped truss is quite large, measuring 7 inches wide by 6 inches high. The corollas measure 4.5 inches and have frilled edges. The plant is hardy to at least -15°F. In 17 years from seed it has grown to 4.5 feet high by 4.5 feet wide.
The Pacific Northwest is home to a number of fine specialty nurseries. Many of them will take part in our plant sale at the hotel's Exhibit Hall. The Portland Chapter Convention Plant Committee has also propagated a wide selection of exceptional plants for this sale.
We'll have some brand new hybrid rhododendrons for sale including the 50th Anniversary introductions: 'Nifty Fifty' and 'Anniversary Gold'. You'll find a good selection of hybrids by local Northwest hybridizers. The foliage aficionado can select R. yakushimanum , R. smirnowii and R. bureavii crosses from Dover Nursery. Hardy German and eastern rhododendrons and favorite "do-gooders" will be available from several sources. You can buy choice species rhododendrons propagated by the Berry Botanic Garden, the Rhododendron Species Foundation and other growers. The Bovee's Nursery and Red's Rhodies will feature vireya rhododendrons among their offerings. There will be some great azaleas for sale too including named forms of R. occidentale and some of the Arneson's hybrids.
Several nurseries will sell rare and unusual trees and shrubs. You'll be able to purchase maples, witch hazels, dogwoods, stewartias, magnolias, kalmias, kalmiopsis, dwarf conifers and other interesting additions to your garden. Expect to find some good bonsai materials also.
The plant sale will be the place to purchase those hard to find companion plants that you've always wanted to try. Be sure to check the sales tables of the vendors who specialize in primulas, ferns, heathers, lewisias, pleiones, sedums, sempervivums, penstemons and native plants. Other nurseries will bring a broad selection of perennials, woodland, Asian and alpine plants. There will even be a vendor who offers plants from the Southern Hemisphere. You will find displays from the Primula Society, Heather Society, Berry Botanic Garden and Leach Botanic Garden.
As you can see, this is a connoisseurs sale that you won't want to miss. Check the official convention booklet upon arrival for the plant sale hours. Your registration badge will be your admission pass on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The sale is open to the public on Saturday and Sunday. A shipping service will be available to pack and send your purchases home. On Thursday and Friday Oregon State Department of Agriculture plant inspectors will be on hand to write certificates for our Canadian and other foreign buyers.
Enter your best rhododendron or azalea photographs in our competition. There will be five categories to enter with prizes in each category and a grand prize for the "people's choice." Your opinion of the photographs counts. Each person who registers at the convention will be eligible to cast a vote. For complete details and contest rules, check the photography competition information box on your registration form.
Garden Book Shop
Bring your "want" list of garden books with you. Portland's Timber Press, one of the largest publishers of botanical books in the country, will set up a garden book shop at the convention. Best of all they will offer their books at 20% off list price to all registered attendees.
Arts and Crafts Gallery
Caswell Gallery of Troutdale, Ore., has planned a unique arts and crafts show and sale just for this occasion. They have selected special artwork from the portfolios of their artists to reflect the interests of our Society members. You'll see lovely paintings and watercolors that echo the colors of our gardens. You will admire pieces of sculpture that are in harmony with nature and are suitable for home or garden. Caswell Gallery will also bring choice pieces of functional and decorative pottery and many other surprises. Be sure to visit the gallery during the convention.
The ARS 50th Anniversary quilt will be displayed in the arts and crafts gallery. Paula Cash and Adele Jones, Portland Chapter members and former ARS employees, designed and made this quilt. It is hand quilted and suitable for either a full or queen sized bed. The traditional "Oregon Trail" block design incorporates a bright rhododendron print fabric. You can buy raffle tickets for the quilt at the convention. A free ticket goes to the first 200 people who register for the convention. Register early and try your luck.
Jenkins Estate Evening and Salmon Bake Dinner . The Jenkins estate is a charming English country style home surrounded by acres of gardens. Now the property of the Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation District, we are fortunate to have this as the site of Thursday night's salmon bake dinner and party.
Recently the Tualatin Valley Chapter began creating a rhododendron garden at the estate. You'll enjoy glimpses of the Tualatin Valley in the distance as you walk along the garden paths past the beds of rhododendrons and azaleas.
Our Oregon wines have gained much favorable national recognition. If you'd like to try some, we'll have a no-host Oregon wine tasting area available. Then you might want to look into the old barn where the Jenkins Estate annual quilt show will be ready for viewing.
The catered dinner will feature Northwest style baked salmon and other treats. We'll all eat together in a large tent and then after desert is served we'll relax and delight in the evening's music and entertainment.
Gala Celebration and Dinner: "Fifty Years of Dedication."
This gala event will officially celebrate the 50th Anniversary of our Society. We have planned a special evening for all of us. We especially want to recognize each member for the contributions they have made to the Society. To help us do that, we ask that you fill out the "Gala Celebration Checkoff Coupon" in the insert opposite the registration form. Then send it along with your registration. Please make additional copies for each person registering.
The evening will begin with a gourmet dinner, followed by a sparkling dessert and champagne to toast the past, present and future of our organization. Our band "Tall Jazz" will keep the evening lively. You'll be treated to music and some "eye-popping" entertainment.
What does "Fifty Years of Dedication" mean? Our Society has quite a history and Ted Van Veen and others will share some of the highlights with us. Not too many of us were around for the founding of the Society fifty years ago. Not too many of us will be here for the hundredth anniversary, but we can be here for this anniversary. You won't want to miss the party!
Programs and Speakers
WEDNESDAY. Herb Spady , ARS Western Vice-President and active Portland Chapter member, opens our Celebration Wednesday evening with "Focus Oregon," a slide show that will bring you face to face with many of the scenic areas of our beautiful state. Herb has gathered slides from several fine local photographers to bring you this introduction to Oregon.
THURSDAY. Thursday morning begins with Dick "Red" Cavender sharing his interest in "Occidentale - A Thirty Year Love Affair." Although Dick and his wife Karen grow over 400 varieties of rhododendrons and azaleas in their garden and over 100 varieties of vireya rhododendrons in their greenhouse, Rhododendron occidentale , remains one of Dick's favorites. He has gone on many treks seeking R. occidentale in the wild and has registered a selected form, R. occidentale 'Frank Mossman'.
Scott Gregory Veraga's great enthusiasm for horticulture began as a boy and is evident today in his role as director of the Rhododendron Species Foundation. Scott, an accomplished lecturer and teacher, will bring us his views on a subject close to his heart: "The Future of Rhododendron Species."
Magnolias make a stunning focal point when grown with rhododendrons. Roger Gossler is a partner in a nursery specializing in this beautiful and stately tree. He will answer the question, "What's New in Ancient Magnolias?" as he shows us some of the newest developments in magnolia hybrids and reminds us of the abundance of lovely magnolias commonly available for our gardens.
FRIDAY. On Friday, Gordon Collier will lead off the morning programs with slides and a talk about "Gardening at the End of the Earth" centered around his garden Titoki Point at Taihape, New Zealand. Gordon will share design ideas and gardening practices that have worked well for him and will do the same for you and your garden no matter what the location. Copies of his new book, Titoki Point , will be available for sale at the convention.
How many of us wish we had a water feature in our garden? Eamonn Hughes , speaking on "Naturalistic Water Gardens," will show us how we can design and build one that will blend into the natural surroundings. Eamonn has been designing water and rock gardens for many years and also operates a native and wetland plant nursery.
Robert Murase , speaking on "Between the Shadow and the Light," will describe the influence of Japanese garden design on our landscapes. An eminent landscape architect, Robert has designed many exciting gardens that reflect the Japanese view of man and nature. You'll learn how the principles of Japanese landscape design can apply to your home garden.
Although Sikkim has long held an attraction for rhododendron fanciers as one of the most remote sources of our favorite genus in the wild, few of us will ever have the opportunity to visit this part of the world. On Friday evening, we are fortunate to welcome Sonam Lachunga from Sikkim to share some of the wealth of rhododendron species that are native to his country. His subject is "Rhododendron Species in the Land of Hooker." Sonam has studied the genus extensively and is the co-author of the book, Sikkim-Himalayan Rhododendrons .
SATURDAY. A well-known hybridizer himself, David W. Goheen , will begin Saturday's programs with a discussion of "Some Hybridizers I Once Knew." It's probably safe to say Dave has known almost all the hybridizers in the Northwest. He will tell us of the rich legacy we have from hybridizers of the past. These people were truly pioneers of the rhododendron world, often working on their own to achieve admirable results.
Harold Greer , another notable Oregon hybridizer, takes up the cause of modern day Northwest hybrids as he discusses "Current Area Hybrids and Hybridizers." Harold is the author of Greer's Guidebook to Available Rhododendrons and co-author of Rhododendron Hybrids: A Guide to Their Origins . The owner of Greer Gardens in Eugene, Harold is known for his exceptionally beautiful rhododendron slides, so his show will be special indeed.
One of the Portland Chapter's two rhododendron gardens, Crystal Springs Garden, has provided many Portlanders with their first exposure to the beauty and diversity of rhododendrons and azaleas. Landscape architect Linda Royer brings us some glimpses into the garden's past and a peek into its future as she describes "Crystal Springs History in Bloom." After this program, shuttle busses will be leaving the hotel for Crystal Springs Garden and the Portland Chapter Annual Flower Show.
"Fifty Years of Dedication," a talk by Ted Van Veen , is one of the highlights of the Gala Celebration on Saturday night. Ted's father was one of the early members of the ARS, and over the years Ted has been acquainted with many of the men and women who have worked to make our Society the thriving organization it is today. Ted himself is a fine example of those people who have dedicated much of their lives to the ARS.
SUNDAY. The Sunday Lecture Series provides three program choices in each time period or you can opt to attend Diane Johnson's workshop that will last for the entire morning. An accomplished floral designer, Diane Johnson will lead the workshop, "Designing with Rhododendrons." Diane will demonstrate imaginative and traditional uses of rhododendrons and azaleas in floral arrangements. She'll cover flower preparation and conditioning, suitable containers and other tricks of the florist's trade so that you too can produce professional, long-lasting seasonal arrangements.
If you attend the short lecture series, you'll choose among three talks for the first session. Kathy Van Veen gives us a glimpse into the "Fascinating World of Rhododendron Names." Who names rhododendrons? What is the origin of some of the names? Was there a 'Sir Charles Lemon'? What's the story of the 'Saffron Queen'? Kathy's interest in rhododendron names goes back many years. You'll enjoy learning the results of her research in this field.
A long time special interest of Ann and Jay Lunn , "Primroses: The Finishing Touch," will open your eyes to the diversity of this genus. Many primulas make fine companions to our rhododendrons. Ann and Jay have had much experience growing both in their home garden. Jay is an excellent photographer of primulas growing in the garden and the wild.
Learn the latest on "Rhododendron Diseases and Their Control" from Dr. Robert Lindermann . Bob has a PhD in plant pathology and has conducted research on diseases of ornamental and nursery crops for twenty-six years. One of his special interests is the study of flower, foliage and root diseases of rhododendrons and azaleas.
The second session of short talks brings three more choices. "Kalmia - Rhododendron's June Blooming Cousin" is Lori Eichelser Gangsei's topic. How close a cousin is Kalmia ? How can kalmias extend the blooming season in our gardens? Lori has her own nursery experience, plus that of her late father, hybridizer John Eichelser, to draw from as she tells us more about the beautiful genus Kalmia .
E. White Smith moderates a world wide "round table" of vireya information, the Vireya Vine newsletter published by the Rhododendron Species Foundation. He grows many tropical rhododendrons in his greenhouse and travels up and down the West Coast as well as across the Pacific to meet with fellow tropical rhododendron fanciers. From E. White, we'll learn about "World Wide Tropical Rhododendron Distribution."
On Friday morning, Eamonn Hughes shared his expertise in designing and building naturalistic water features. This morning, he speaks about "Construction Techniques for Rock Outcrops." He stresses the natural look in his rock work and will instruct us in techniques for achieving this look.
Finally, you have a choice among these three talks. Just what are the "Confessions of a Species Addict?" If you have read the series of articles in the Journal ARS , "Watts with the Species," by Lynn Watts or have been to his nursery, The Greenery, you have an idea of what is to come. Listen and learn what there is about species rhododendrons that fascinates so many people.
Evergreen azaleas are a special passion for Eleanor Stubbs . She has been active in the Azalea Society of America and the ARS. Along with her husband, Art, she has grown numerous varieties at their nursery, Stubbs Shrubs. You'll see examples of some of the finest azaleas and learn that these plants are indeed: "The Versatile Azalea."
Many of us have heard about "Using Nematodes to Control Root Weevil" but know little about the subject. Kathy Hewstt is an expert in the field. With a B.S. in plant pathology, Kathy has worked with beneficial nematodes in several commercial agricultural programs. Find out how this technology can be applied to your home garden.
Garden and Nursery Tours
Bishop's Close Garden . The Bishop's Close garden, situated on a cliff above the Willamette River, is the former 13-acre estate of Peter Kerr. Historically named Elk Rock, legend tells that the Indians ran elk over the cliff here as a means of slaughtering them. Peter Kerr employed landscape architect John Charles Olmstead to pattern the six acres of garden after the stately gardens of England. In 1957, Peter Kerr's two daughters, Lady McDonald and Jane Kerr Platt, gave the estate to the Episcopal Diocese of Oregon.
As you leave the parking area and make your way around the end of the large stone house you suddenly see the garden. Giant redwoods, maples, oaks, and madrones border a large expanse of flawless lawn. A maze of footpaths winds around the garden through mature shrub beds and past mass displays of bulbs and herbaceous perennials. Water flows into pools of waterlilies, bordered by iris and Japanese maples, then cascades to the Willamette River some 200 feet below. There is an outstanding collection of magnolias (35 varieties) and a formal Hamamelis walk guarded by towering Irish yews and diminutive boxwood. On a clear day, Mount Hood looms spectacularly in the distance.
The Bishop's Close Garden
Photo by Peter Kendall
Lady McDonald's Garden
. The 1-acre garden of Lady McDonald lies just down the street from the Bishop's Close Garden. Lady McDonald moved to this location and started developing her outstanding garden over 55 years ago. Her plant knowledge came from her father, Peter Kerr, who nurtured a love of gardening in both of his daughters.
Lord and Schriber, landscape architects based in Salem, originally designed the garden in true English style. This type of garden uses masses of color instead of emphasizing individual plants. There are, however, many mature specimen species rhododendron plants. Some of these were raised from seed acquired by Peter Kerr, who subscribed to the Rock expeditions.
A lovely grove of Acer griseum graces the back lawn. You will also find a magnolia collection and many woody ornamentals. An unusual garden of Chilean plants is in an enclosed area next to the house. According to Lady McDonald, "the rarer the plant, the better."
Jane Platt Garden
. Peter Kerr's younger daughter, Jane, married John Platt in 1939. During their 50 years of marriage Jane's quiet burning passion was to create a garden out of the old 2-acre farm that John had purchased several years earlier. Jane had studied art in the east and in Paris but used her garden as a canvas. The garden plan was simple; Jane wanted it to "flow" and look as natural as possible. She was generous in sharing the wealth of her garden with others and in return received many rare plants from the gardeners, growers and nurserymen who visited her garden.
Although the garden begins and ends with trees (many uncommon), plants of all sorts add variety to the tapestry. Epimediums, hardy geraniums, species rhododendrons, an Austrian copper rose, Potentilla atrosanguinea , species tulips, willow gentians, erythroniums, primulas, camellias, corylopsis, and sarcococca are just a few of the hundreds of varieties of perennials and shrubs, each one adding color and texture to the garden and creating a feast for the eyes. Near the house the scarlet color of Acer 'Beni Komachi' draws you to the rock garden where many other small wonders are tucked into the landscape.
In 1984, the Garden Club of America awarded the Mrs. Oakleigh Thorne Medal to Jane with the following accolade: "For the establishment of an exquisite garden incorporating rare and difficult botanic material into a design of incredible harmony, beauty and distinction." Horticulture magazine featured the garden in November 1989; the Journal ARS in Fall 1994.
. Bob and Gertrude Bovee established The Bovee's Nursery in 1952 when they retired from the advertising business and moved their collection of plants from northeast Portland to the current location in southwest Portland. Bob was one of the early rhododendron growers in the Portland area. He hybridized many well-known rhododendrons: 'Kristin', 'Mardi Gras', 'Bob Bovee', 'Exotic', 'Gertrude Bovee', 'Fluff'* and 'Kevin' are but a few. The small nursery became home to many rhododendron species plants as well as a number of rare trees, vines, and shrubs.
The Sorensens and the Watsons, who realized that Bob's exceptional collection should be preserved, purchased the nursery several years after Bob's death in 1970. They have since concentrated on growing Bob Bovee hybrids, those of Art and Maxine Childers, hard to find woodland perennials and small shrubs, vireya rhododendrons and native Japanese and American azaleas.
The display garden, which covers about half of the nursery area, includes many large specimen plants from the original collection. Displayed both outdoors in the landscape and in the greenhouses is the vireya collection of over 300 different clones.
The Japanese Garden
Photo by Ernie Metcalfe
The Japanese Garden
. Crowning Washington Park, in the scenic West Hills of Portland, is a haven of tranquil beauty, acclaimed by many as one of the most authentic Japanese gardens outside Japan. Professor P. Takuma Tono, an internationally renowned authority on Japanese landscaping, designed the gardens in 1963.
Five traditional gardens and a genuine Japanese Pavilion combine to recapture the mood of ancient Japan. Visitors stroll over 5 acres to discover: the Flat Garden (Hira-niwa), the Strolling Pond Garden (Chisen-Kaiyui-Shiki), the Tea Garden (Roji-niwa), the Natural Garden (Shukeiyen), and the Sand and Stone Garden (Seki-Tei). The pavilion overlooks the Flat Garden on the west and a beautiful vista of Portland and Mt. Hood (our own Mt. Fuji) to the east.
Supported and managed by the Japanese Garden Society of Oregon, a non-profit group, this garden is outstanding in both design and maintenance and beautiful in all seasons.
Louis and Molly Grothaus Garden . In 1950, Louis and Molly Grothaus moved from a city lot in California and purchased a 2-acre lot "in the country" in Lake Oswego, Ore. Although they started without electricity or water, their mutual love of gardening has created a large established garden in a now residential area.
The Japanese Garden, Heavenly Falls,
through the new leaves of the
Photo by Peter Kendall
Their collection of more than 3,000 plants includes over 400 different species and hybrid rhododendrons and 900 different bulbs. Here you will find the
x 'Mars' cross, 'Tokatee', and a George Grace hybrid, 'Mount Mazama'. The electric blue color of
'Blue Panda' towards the rear of the garden will catch your eye at once. Near the entrance to the home a rock wall brings to mind a seawall covered with sea urchins and barnacles; in reality it is planted with a massive collection of colorful sempervivums.
Molly and Louis are no strangers to the rhododendron world. They joined the American Rhododendron Society in 1955. Louis served as garden chairman of Portland Chapter's Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden for approximately 13 years. Molly was editor of The Quarterly Bulletin of the ARS for five years. She also was a founding member of the Berry Botanic Garden organization and is currently a Berry Botanic Garden board member.
Anemone nemorosa floreplena .
Photo by Peter Kendall
Berry Botanic Garden
. Noted plants woman and collector, Rae Selling Berry, established the six acre Berry Botanical Garden in 1938, when she moved her eclectic collections of primulas, rhododendrons, alpines, and rare native plants to their present home among the towering Douglas firs just southwest of Portland. It was to be a personal sanctuary for her internationally recognized plant collection.
Through her financial support of European and Asian expeditions, she had obtained seed from many of the noted plant explorers: Kingdon-Ward, Ludlow and Sherriff and Joseph Rock. Few other gardens at that time matched her collection of species rhododendrons. Now more than 50 years old, the rhododendrons form a mature forest under planted with trilliums and other woodland plants.
Her own treks to the mountains of the American West, British Columbia, and Alaska helped her to build a fine collection of alpine plants, many of which are in the renowned rock garden. Water-loving primroses, including the exquisite, elusive Primula rosea follow natural water courses around the lawn. The garden is now home to more than 100 of the approximately 400 wild species of primulas and over half of the world's 100 species of lilies.
After Rae Berry's death in 1976 the garden became a non-profit botanic garden. Today, the Berry Botanic Garden's Seed Bank for Rare and Endangered Plants of the Pacific Northwest works to preserve native plants nearing extinction.
Ivan and Robertha Arneson's Nursery is the result of almost a lifetime of hybridizing and growing deciduous azaleas. Acres of fields hold named azaleas being grown on to saleable size and seedlings being watched for quality and variation. A large woodland garden area is home to selected named azaleas and choice seedlings as well as some specimen rhododendrons.
The Arnesons have traveled to almost every continent looking at plants and gardens and meeting people interested in plants. Their collection of unusual conifers, deciduous trees and shrubs from all over the world grows around the Arneson's house and barns. Many of these plants have been in place for years and tower over the low buildings. Ivan's early interest in fruit trees is reflected in the rows of dwarf apple rootstock still being evaluated.
To read more about the Arnesons and their azalea hybrids, turn to the article in this issue of the Journal ARS , "Hybridizing for Superior and Unique Azaleas."
Cecil and Molly Smith Garden
. The Portland Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society purchased the Cecil and Molly Smith Garden in the spring of 1984. This garden, with its charming woodland setting, is the fruit of 40 years of work by Cecil and his wife, Molly.
Cecil's sensitivity to horticultural requirements is evident in the placement of each plant where it will best thrive. He had a unique sense of design and considerable flair for naturalistic planting. Fallen trees, rotting logs, and ancient stumps are deftly woven into the plant settings. This natural garden of rare beauty features superior forms of over 600 species and hybrid rhododendrons.
The over story of second growth Douglas fir shelters birch, flowering cherries (including Prunus serrula with its beautiful bark), maples (both native and exotic), pink flowering dogwood and laburnums. The under story consists primarily of rhododendrons with a variety of native plants and ferns. Trilliums, anemones, primulas, cyclamen and bleeding hearts carpet the ground in the spring.
Many of the rhododendrons are unique to the garden, hand-crossed hybrids from Cecil Smith, Halfdan Lem, and other prominent hybridizers. Many gardeners will recognize Cecil's crosses when they hear names such as: 'Yellow Saucer', 'Noyo Brave', and 'Noyo Maiden'.
The Cecil and Molly Smith Garden Committee works year around to preserve and maintain this unique garden. They have improved paths, constructed benches, moved plants, added plants, created new planting areas and enlarged the garden along the edge of the woods. The garden isn't static, but always changing and growing. A parking lot and new garden entrance and sales area now create a better flow of visitors to the garden. The Committee also has a group of members propagating some of the garden's treasured plants for visitors to purchase. You'll find something special to admire every time you visit this garden. For more information about the garden see the article elsewhere in this issue.
Van Veen Nursery
. Portland is home to Van Veen Nursery, one of the oldest rhododendron nurseries in the country. In 1926, Theodore Van Veen started his nursery on a tract of land formally used by an internationally known pansy hybridizer. Innovative and progressive, Theodore established an excellent name for himself as a rhododendron grower and hybridizer. During the '30s and '40s he developed two applications now widely used in the nursery trade. The first was the use of heating cables in the propagation beds and the second was the use of overhead misting.
Ted Van Veen, Theodore's son, worked with his father in the nursery until his late teens. He returned to the nursery business when his father died in 1961. In the '30s azalea seedlings were the principal catalog offerings; now the nursery offers hundreds of varieties of hybrid and species rhododendrons and supplies over 200,000 plants to people all over the country.
The propagation area of the nursery covers four acres. The nursery display garden is home for hundreds of specimen hybrids and species. Many of these varieties are well known in the trade, but some are plants on trial awaiting their debut in a future catalog. Van Veen's has an additional 50 acres in Monitor, Ore., for growing on larger plants.
Ted and his daughter, Kathy, have maintained the tradition of excellence started by his father. Many people own a Van Veen rhododendron - come and see where they begin.
Stanley & Son Nursery
. In 1976, Merle Stanley and his son, Larry, established Stanley & Son Nursery. Larry is now the sole owner of the nursery and operates it along with his wife, Marlene. After spending a few minutes with Larry, you can tell that he is excited by his business.
The main emphasis of the nursery is growing 300 varieties of Japanese maples. They also have over 1,000 varieties of dwarf and grafted conifers. The nursery, which covers 15 acres, has two acres in greenhouses, eight in containers and five in field grown material.
Larry energetically pursues his hobby of collecting rare and unusual conifers and maples from all over the world. He recently traveled to England, Holland, and Germany and while there he gathered conifers and maples not seen in our country. He is now working on making these varieties available here. He has also brought back 40 new subtropical conifers from a recent trip to New Zealand.
The nursery display area holds many of these "never before seen" conifers and are a feast for the eyes. As you view the container section of Larry's nursery you can understand the statement made in his catalog: "Who said color was spelled p-e-r-e-n-n-i-a-l-s?"
Herb and Betty Spady Garden
. Herb and Betty Spady established their garden east of Salem in 1972. That was the year that they experienced a record 50-year low temperature and discovered that the climate wasn't like Puget Sound or Portland.
The garden is a collection of approximately 1,000 spaciously arranged rhododendrons on about four acres. It contains hardy rhododendron hybrids and species and some "temporary" not-so-hardy plants.
Most of the garden lies to the north of the house. Paths lead you around the beds of rhododendrons surrounded by large plantings of primulas and other companion plants. As you round the side of the house a large pond meets your gaze with another portion of the garden on its far edge. Sheep grazing on farmland bordering the garden create a lovely pastoral setting.
Bashor Garden - Maplethorpe
. Maplethorpe, the 3-acre garden of Noble and Willetta Bashor, is just a few minutes drive down the road from the Spady's garden. Given its name by Willetta's grandfather, this garden has been Noble and Willetta's labor of love for over 30 years. It is home to over 3,000 varieties of plant life.
The many rhododendrons in the collection are mainly species, grown from seed obtained from the American Rhododendron Society Seed Exchange. The garden is divided into two main sections: the first contains the woody plants and perennials; the second is an arboretum. The recently enlarged arboretum collection displays a mixture of younger specimens along with older ones. There you will find exotic oaks, pines and over 100 species of maples. They also collect tropical plants.
The Bashors have a small nursery and provide plants at Hardy Plant Society of Oregon and Berry Botanic Garden sales. Some of their plants will be for sale at our own convention plant sale.
Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden and
Fred Paddison Memorial Fountain
Photo by William Robinson
Crystal Springs Garden
. You'll have several opportunities to visit Crystal Springs Garden during the convention. Shuttle buses will run between the hotel and the garden on Thursday, Friday and Saturday afternoon. On Saturday you can also see the Portland Chapter Flower Show, staged annually at the garden.
The founders of the ARS dreamed of a public rhododendron garden. With the assistance of the Portland Park Department, they set about achieving that dream. They selected a suitable park property surrounded by water and a golf course in the Eastmoreland area of Portland. Since 1950, the ARS and now the Portland Chapter has worked to develop a world class rhododendron garden on the site.
Some of the original rhododendron plantings have reached tree like proportions. Other, newer plantings allow visitors to see recent hybrids and selected species rhododendrons. Throughout the garden, specimen trees, many of them rare, and companion plantings create additional interest.
Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden
Photo by William Robinson
Recently, the Portland Chapter Crystal Springs Garden Committee has drawn up a master plan for the garden and begun to make many improvements to this already lovely garden. An article in the Journal ARS , Summer 1992, describes some of the recent work done there. More refinements to the garden design are evident since then with plans for a new gatehouse, better handicapped access and an additional waterfall soon to be implemented. Linda Royer will present a program about the garden on Saturday. You'll want to take advantage of the daily shuttle bus runs to stroll through the garden and see its beauty for yourself.
The approach to the new bridge at Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden
Photo by William Robinson
Thanks to Ann Clack, Garden Tour Co-Chairman, for the assistance with garden descriptions and information.
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