JARS v56n1 - Convention 2002: A Family Reunion, ARS/ASA

Convention 2002: A Family Reunion, ARS/ASA
Roger Duvall
Atlanta, Georgia

Broadleaf evergreens have long been among the most popular plants in southern gardens. Magnolia, camellia, gardenia, and azalea all conjure up romantic images of the landscape and history of the south; rhododendron and mountain laurel are the best-loved native plants of the southern Appalachian mountains. All can be grown in and around Atlanta. South Georgia summers are too warm for broadleaf hybrid rhododendrons; winters north of Atlanta are too cold for many hybrid azaleas, but Atlanta is happily located where gardeners can and do grow all of the broadleaf evergreens.

According to an aphorism making its way around gardening circles, "If you want your garden to look Southern, plant evergreen azaleas, but if you want it to be Southern, plant native azaleas." The 2002 convention will focus special attention on the many species of deciduous azaleas native to Georgia, which is home to no fewer than thirteen species of deciduous azaleas. Though they have not yet become as popular as the broadleaf evergreens in our gardens, they are not the rarity that they once were. In many of the gardens on our tours, they are, in fact, the featured plant.

The headquarters of the convention is the Atlanta Marriott, Century Center. The Marriott is a full-service hotel with an outdoor swimming pool, health club, coffee shop and restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A shuttle from the Atlanta airport is available. From the Marriott, it is 7 miles to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, 6 miles to the Atlanta History Museum (where the Azalea Chapter, ARS, maintains a chapter garden), and 3 miles to Lenox Mall, recently voted Atlanta's "Best Mall," and Phipps Plaza.

The convention is sponsored jointly by the Azalea Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society and the Oconee Chapter of the Azalea Society of America. Many gardeners are members of both organizations. The Azalea Chapter was chartered in 1968, under the guidance of Ralph Pennington, a local hybridizer. The Oconee Chapter of the ASA received its charter in 1991. Jim Thornton, past president of the national organization, was also the first president of the Oconee Chapter. Both organizations publish a newsletter.


EARL SOMMERVILLE. Earl Sommerville's collection of more than 3,000 azaleas and rhododendrons looks as if it grew naturally on his forest-like lot. But the natural look did not come easily because originally the property was mostly soggy swampland. He drained and filled in the swamp, tamed a number of small springs and created a brook and small waterfall. The plants are displayed on gently sweeping slopes, interspersed with wide stone paths and a wooden bridge that crosses the brook.

Mr. Sommerville's first love is native azaleas. Of all the plants in his collection, only a handful have come from nurseries. Many he has transplanted from the woods; others he has grown from seeds; still others he has grown from rooted cuttings. He also gets great pleasure and spectacular results from cross-pollinating plants. He does most of this work in a state-of-the-art greenhouse he designed and built. For more information and pictures of this garden, visit Earl's web site: http://www.mindspring.com/~earlsommerville .

R. austrinum, an open pollinated seedling
R. austrinum , an open pollinated seedling from Earl Sommerville's garden.
Photo by Earl Sommerville

WALTER LIGON. When the present owners took residence on this property in 1972, there were two or three native azaleas ( R. canescens ) and a few native herbaceous plants present. Building on that modest beginning, Dr. Ligon has created a gem of a garden, designed to feature native species of shrubs as well as native herbaceous plants.

The first additions to the garden were seven native azaleas (two R. canescens , four hybrids of R. canescens x R. flammeum and one R. flammeum ) and a Magnolia macrophylla , removed from Fulton Co., Georgia, to this property. These are thriving in the garden, giving magnificent flower displays each year. The R. flammeum is 15-17 feet (4.5-5 m) tall and sports a beautiful bicolor bloom truss. The M. macrophylla is about 30-40 feet (9-12 m) and flowers well.

Other native deciduous azaleas have been added both from nursery stock and from the wild where development would have destroyed them. Special emphasis has been placed on the reddest blooms available. Two R. austrinum were acquired from a nursery near Mobile, Alabama. Several R. prunifolium came from Callaway Gardens. Rhododendron cumberlandense ( R. bakeri ) and R. serullatum are also represented in the landscape along with five species of magnolia ( M. macrophylla , M. fraseri , M. tripetala , M. virginiana and M. grandiflora ) and several rhododendrons ('Anna Rose Whitney', 'Anna H. Hall', 'Roseum Elegans', etc.).

This garden shows how native plants can be used effectively in a garden designed in a relatively formal, Japanese style. Two of the garden's focal points are a spectacular granite Japanese lantern and a covered garden seat. Both the garden seat and a summer house are built of Western cedar and have slate roofs. A koi pond with a cascading stream has been installed to take advantage of overhanging hemlocks and leggy rhododendrons.

TOM CARAS. Some people have a home in civilization and a retreat in the mountains. Tom and Carol Caras have created a treasury forest in a suburban area in an oak-hickory climax forest adjacent to Kennesaw National Battlefield Park. Patches of native rhododendron, Carolina rhododendron, mountain laurel and azaleas serve as an understory to native trees. There is a smattering of dogwoods, redbud, silverbells, sassafras, and hollies adding shade, and at ground level, native wild flowers, sedges and ferns.

No North Georgia forest would be complete without a host of Eastern hemlocks, white pine, and Carolina hemlocks. There is a small, designated perennial garden that adds color most of the year.

A thicket of blackberry and privet has been transformed to a grove of quaking aspen and spruce along with a larch. Space has also been found for Western red cedar, arbor vitae, Douglas fir, incense cedar, deodara, Engelmanns, Colorado, and Sitka spruce, along with cypress and Chinese fir. This is all shared with local birds and migratory feathered friends.

HUBERT JONES. Herbert and Glenda Jones have been collecting native azaleas, rhododendrons and evergreen azaleas and planting their woodland garden since 1978. Their scenic 1.3-acre site partially wraps around a 3-acre pond. The garden features over 600 native azaleas, most of which were personally collected in the wild from Georgia and adjoining states. Some have unique forms and colors. Wildflowers, including pink ladyslippers, trillium and spider wort are interspersed with mountain laurel, camellias, hemlock, and some woods. A small bog garden is a visual joy.

Wood decks, partially shaded by Japanese cherry trees and wisteria, overlook the pond for tranquil sitting and eating.

Hubert also finds time to maintain more than 100 bonsai, ranging in height from 2 inches (5 cm) to 4 feet (1.5 m) and representing over twenty species.

BOB GILBERT. Bob Gilbert, a recently retired periodontist, and Richard Smith, a CPA, began landscaping their 13-acre estate near the base of Kennesaw Mountain thirty-one years ago. Both avid birdwatchers, their initial plantings were flowering and seed generating species such as dogwoods, viburnums, maples, hollies, etc. Their interests also included rhododendrons and azaleas.

The property, now a virtual arboretum, surrounds an 1860s house which has been completely restored. Walking paths crisscross the grounds through over 2,500 taxa. The collection of plants is complemented by an equally impressive collection of modern outdoor sculpture in metal, wood and stone scattered throughout the garden. This connoisseur's garden also features a series of ponds, a 20-foot (6 m) waterfall and a koi pond. Bob's bonsai collection is one of the finest in the southeast.

Bob Gilbert's garden
The pond, waterfall, and one of many sculptures in Bob Gilbert's garden.
Photo by Hubert Jones

PICADILLY FARM. Since 1981, Carleen and Sam Jones have been developing gardens and a retail/wholesale nursery on a 20-acre site with wooded hillsides and gently rolling open areas. Nursery production on 4.5 acres centers around lenten roses ( Helleborus x hybridus ), hostas, shade perennials, hardy ferns, conifers and unusual shrubs. Picadilly Farm has been the largest producer of lenten roses in the country.

Carleen is in charge of the display gardens, which cover 2.5 acres and include: an informal Southern shade garden featuring hostas and companion plants; a winter garden with camellias, hellebores and other favorites; a conifer garden with over 300 species and cultivars; a sunny perennial border; and Sam's working landscape, a vegetable garden. A stroll through the well-marked paths throughout the property will reveal hundreds of unusual plants tucked in here and there.

Picadilly Farm specializes in Hosta and Helleborus .
Photo courtesy of Picadilly Farm

VINCE DOOLEY. This is the garden of Vince Dooley, legendary football coach and current Director of Athletics at the University of Georgia. The Dooley house and property consists of about 2 1/2 acres of which a little over an acre comprises the planted garden. Walking down the driveway, there are several varieties of Camellia sasanqua . At the edge of the creek, which crosses the front yard, is a 'Dura Heat' river birch, and past the creek on the left are several groupings of Lorepetalum , primarily the pink foliage variety. On the right adjacent to the house is a big leaf hydrangea labeled 'Dooley' by Mike Dirr because of his fascination with this unique, cold hardy cultivar.

On the left is the newest addition to the garden, a meadow area leased to the Dooleys by the late Mrs. Bill Mathis. The arbor entrance to this area consists of recycled ironwork featuring an oak leaf and acorn motif covered by Confederate and Carolina jasmine vines. The new garden is planted primarily with native azaleas, deciduous magnolias, hydrangeas and Japanese maples.

There are approximately thirty-five varieties of Japanese maples in the entire garden, and several are noted upon entering the pool area. Looking into the patio from the pool, there are two 'Alee' Chinese elms that frame the house. On the other side of the pool, there is a gate entrance which features a variety of butterfly bushes, but the separate garden room consists mainly of native azaleas crossed with Exbury known as the "Confederate Series." On the far side of the house, accompanied by a path and a shade garden, there is a water feature and a rock stream that flows into the creek. In this garden are a variety of Clethra , Fothergilla , and Itea along with a specimen crape myrtle.

A rustic bridge crosses the creek along which are planted several native evergreen rhododendrons. This leads into a camellia walk that also ushers into an area planted with a variety of viburnums. The complete circle in the upper garden toward the street leads back to the house and across the creek forded by two Japanese bridges. Directly in front of the house, there are a variety of evergreen azaleas, both Southern Indica and Satsuki hybrids, one blooming early and the other later in the spring. There is also a large grouping of boxwoods in front of the house. There are several groupings of Kurume hybrid azaleas throughout the garden.

There have been several articles written about the garden as well as four video shows including three national shows - A Gardener's Diary, Rebecca's Garden, The Victory Garden, and a statewide televised show, Landscape Central.

GIBERSON. The garden began in the fall of 1990 with a general concept of three woodland gardens and an arbor with a waterfall to arise from the dense woods and thickets extending from the back door to the property line.

Large curving areas were set aside for the central gardens and well over 100 tons of boulders were brought in and distributed throughout the garden. Dry streams were created to handle potential erosion problems and work began on the arbor and waterfall. The waterfall tumbles into a koi pond that encroaches into an arbor designed as an outdoor living space, replete with swing.

An arbor covered with Lady Banks roses overlooks some of the back garden. Wood decks with copper-topped posts form a gentle path past 'Bloodgood' and filigree Japanese maples to a covered swing and then into the garden itself. The first woodland path is centered on azaleas. There are three water features on this path and a reflection pool is set apart for quiet times. Roses, rhododendrons, cherry trees, purple plum trees, maples and an extensive array of ground covers are found here. The central woodland gardens contain low-growing bamboo, corkscrew willow, filigree and coralbark Japanese maples, roses, and a pink stelleta magnolia.

The third woodland garden, set off by a curving stackstone wall, has a mountain-crafted bird feeder and features many varieties of roses, a smoke tree, and the cinnamon bark Natchez crepe myrtle. Also contained there are a river birch, paper bark birch, pussy willow, various junipers and irises. Wax myrtles form the current boundaries of the garden.

Tom Giberson's garden
Tom Giberson's garden is well planned and equally well executed.
Photo by Tom Giberson

LAMBERT. This woodland garden was developed around the large old oaks, beeches, sycamores, maples, sweet gum, and pines on this 2-acre river front lot. The brick paths that lead from the house to the koi pond are lined with a wide variety of ferns and native perennials. The pond is surrounded by Japanese, Robin Hill and native azaleas, a mature contorted filbert, royal ferns, northern maidenhair and Japanese painted ferns. On the perimeter, rock gardens are filled with shade loving perennials (pulmonaria, hostas, a number of different trilliums and primroses). A long slope covered with wood poppies leads to the Oconee River along which there are large collections of native and cultivated azaleas and collections of spirea, and viburnum. There are over 350 azaleas scattered throughout the garden. This garden, which was featured in Susan McClure's book on free spirited gardens and is used as a study garden for UGA horticulture classes, also has a wide variety of Japanese maples and other woody plants.

STEVE YEATTS. Spread over 2 1/4 acres, this garden features plants native to the Southeastern United States. The intent of the garden is to grow plants in a woodland setting that mimics, as closely as possible, their natural setting.

Over forty species of azalea, both evergreen and deciduous, can be found on the property. Bloom times usually range from early March to late September. Another focus of the garden is its large number of native woodland perennials. Over thirty species of trillium are growing in the garden as well as many other favorite native plants such as Erythromium , Dodecatheon , Arisaema , and many different species of fern.

Also featured is a bog, which includes numerous species of Sarracenia as well as many other perennials found in Southeastern wetlands.

JOE COLEMAN. Joe and Donna Coleman have been gardening their 10-acre wooded lot for twenty years. They tend over 4,000 azaleas and 2,000 rhododendrons occupying about 5 acres. The garden borders the Yellow River on the Stone Mountain side of Atlanta, and includes huge granite outcroppings. This is probably the most extensive collection of hybrid rhododendrons in the Atlanta area. The Colemans have not limited themselves to ericaceous plants, however. They also grow viburnums, hostas, daylilies, perennials, wildflowers, and over 100 types of Japanese maple. The pink lady's slippers, which have naturalized here, are especially eye catching. The conifer collection is another of the garden's many outstanding features.

Joe is a truly complete gardener. His mastery of the various gardening arts can be seen everywhere in this spectacular garden. Many of his plants, both azaleas and rhododendrons, are the result of his own efforts in hybridizing. He is a compulsive propagator who generously supplies plants for plant sales. He has designed and constructed extensive pathways with hundreds of steps between levels. Water gardens have been incorporated into the granite out-cropping. His garden always inspires visitors to become more complete gardeners themselves. (See the fall 2001 issue, p. 219, for an article with photos of the Coleman garden.)

FERROL SAMS. Dr. Ferrol Sams' philosophy of gardening is to "find the way that nature is going and go with it," which helps to explain the emphasis on native plants in his 30-acre woodland garden. Mature specimens of Rhododendron flammeum and R. austrinum , grown to the size of small trees, are accompanied by an abundance of other native plants: Tiarella , Aquilegia , Galax , Asarum , Trillium , Florida anise, and Dicentra . Hundreds of Atamasco lilies thrive in a boggy place. But the garden is not exclusive; many of the plants are not native. One of the focal points is a large dove tree, Davidia involucrata , imported from China.

Dr. Sams, who has written a trilogy of highly acclaimed novels about life in the South, is a fifth-generation Georgian. His knowledge of plants and his love for them (as well as his appreciation for the distinctive virtues of cow manure vs. chicken manure) were taught to him by his grandmother. He believes that it is important that we learn to identify our native plants by name, and to teach them to our children. Make it a point to meet at least one new native plant on this tour.

MIKE VUOCOLO. The garden of Dr. Mike Vuocolo is located just south of Atlanta in Fayetteville, Georgia. It occupies approximately 15 acres, was started in 1984 and is still under development.

Today it is host to rhododendrons, camellias, and azaleas, both evergreen and native, with many varieties of each. It is also home to many Japanese maples and a growing collection of conifers. Complementing the trees and shrubs is a wide variety of companion plants. Everywhere you turn, you will find a surprise!

BEN REID. Dr. Ben Reid's garden sits on a farm with approximately 4 acres planted in azaleas. Ben can boast of 20,000 plants, with about 1,500 varieties. He has a very large collection of Glenn Dales and a good collection of the natives. Ben was formerly a retail grower of azaleas and other plants.

CAROLYN DEAN. The garden of Carolyn Dean in Opelika, Alabama, encompasses several acres bordered by many native azaleas including Rhododendron canescens , R. austrinum , and R. flammeum . Ms. Dean, one of the foremost authorities on wildflowers of the Southeast, has made a specialty of bog plants, and her collection, which grows in nine bogs, includes exquisite displays of most species of Sarracenia as well as such plants as Helianthus florida , Melanthium virginicum , Marshallia mohrii , and Iris virginica . Of particular interest to rhododendron lovers will be her collection of R. cumberlandense ( R. bakeri ) which came from an area that was to be flooded by a dam on the Tallapoosa River in Randolf County, Alabama.

DAN SPEAKE. Dan and Ruth Speake maintain a 5-acre garden surrounding their home in Auburn, Alabama. Dan, a wildlife biologist, has been interested in growing native plants for over thirty-five years, and his collection is one of the most varied and unusual in the southeast. Primarily a woodland garden, with an overstory of large trees, the garden has been planted with a wide variety of mid story flowering trees including most species of native magnolias, three species of silverbells, various dogwoods, sourwoods, yellow-woods, fringe trees, and viburnums.

The main feature is the deciduous azaleas, mostly natives, including many rare and unusual native hybrids. Included are several lovely hybrids of Rhododendron flammeum x R. canescens and R. alabamense x R. austrinum . Some very late blooming R. flammeum (possibly R. calendulaceum ) and a tremendous example of R. alabamense from south Georgia are among the many wonderful plants on display. There are also many plants which are crosses between native azaleas and R. mollis or various Exbury azaleas. These are grouped in beds with their large flowers putting on an outstanding show. Other shrubs include Stewartia malacodendron (very rare and beautiful, and likely in bloom for the tour) Symplocos , Osmanthus , Nevinsia , Croton , Lindera , Kalmia , Ilex , Itea , Illicium , Fothergilla , Cyrilla , Crataegus , and Cresculus . Scattered throughout the garden are stands of spring wild flowers such as trilliums, mayapples, bloodroot, iris, and pink and yellow ladyslippers.

ROBERT GREENLEAF. The Greenleaf Garden is an intimate setting on approximately one acre surrounding Robert and Elizabeth Greenleaf's private residence. The overall contour of the property is in the shape of a bowl, with landscaping generally following the curve of terraces. The garden is designed in rooms with trees such as dogwood, Carolina silverbell, Magnolia macrophylla and Styrax americana , along with 100 varieties of evergreen rhododendron and rare selections of Kalmia latifolia providing the backdrop for some 300 deciduous azaleas and numerous herbaceous perennials, including over twenty species of trilliums. With the exception of Rhododendron canadense (rhodora), all species native to the eastern United States are represented, and even R. occidentale is represented in hybrid form.

The deciduous azaleas have been carefully selected for flower form, color, plant shape, and bloom time from thousands of plants grown from seed by Greenleaf. Many of these came from crosses made by Greenleaf and R.O. Smitherman. There are also superior selections grown by cutting from other gardens. Plantings occur in groups and in layers, organized by color and bloom time with the design calculated to best display vistas and sweeps of color. A focal point of the garden is a screened gazebo, which appears to float on a bed of evergreen azaleas and rhododendron. The garden is in bloom from mid-March until mid-May with sporadic bloom continuing throughout the summer from such plants as Rhododendron arborescens , R. prunifolium , and hybrids such as R. prunifolium x R. alabamense .

Of particular joy to Greenleaf are the fifty-four Rhododendron flammeum selections which run from the deepest crimson to pure yellow in color range and most of which form voluptuous ball trusses. He also savors those plants with intense fragrance such as native hybrids such as R. alabamense x R. austrinum . (The Greenleaf garden will be featured in the Spring 2002 issue.)

GENE ROBINSON. Helen and Gene Robinson's garden is located on a corner lot of about 2 acres. The majority of the many hundred rhododendrons, evergreen and deciduous azaleas, and camellias were planted in the mid 1980s. These are shaded by a canopy of tall pine trees with an understory of dogwoods. Several large plants of Rhododendron austrinum provide a golden glow to the garden in early April.

In addition, the garden features on its sunny periphery a very large collection of Hemerocallis . Many recent introductions are being grown, as are various crosses of these cultivars. Among the most avid of gardeners, Helen and Gene also tend a collection in excess of 200 roses. Scattered throughout the entire garden are numerous wildflowers. As Gene says, "Any plants that seem unusual quickly find a home in our garden." Though dazzling from the street, the garden is even more beautiful when one wanders the maze of paths among the very large rhododendrons with another beautiful plant always beckoning.

TOM CORLEY. The garden of Tom and Mary Corley is located five miles west of Auburn, Alabama, on the edge of the quaint village of Lochapoka, Alabama. The 18-acre garden is entered by a single lane country road bordered by 1,000 camellias, 475 rhododendrons, and over 1,500 native azaleas. At the end of the road is a 160-year-old, beautifully restored log home. Standing on the back deck of the cabin, one can look down into an ancient Rhododendron canescens over 20 feet (6 m) tall and look out over a creek fed pond which is bordered with azaleas (native and deciduous) which reflect in the water.

The stunning collection of seedling azaleas includes many outstanding examples of the various species and native hybrids between species. There is an amazing example of a deep red, huge-flowered Rhododendron calendulaceum , many fine pink hybrids of R. flammeum x R. canescens , and wonderful examples of R. 'Chetco' x R. austrinum to name but a few. The 200 seedling evergreen rhododendron which are over twenty years old tower in an awesome display and the collection of very rare dogwoods includes ten varieties.

Tom Corley's garden
Dogwoods, azaleas and pine trees. Tom Corley's garden looks like an impressionist painting.
Photo by Tom Corley

CALLAWAY GARDENS. Your imagination cannot come close to conceiving the beauty of spring at Callaway Gardens, especially since the opening of the Callaway Brothers Azalea Bowl. Featuring more than 4,000 hybrid and native azaleas, this new 40-acre garden is larger than the average 5- to 7-acre azalea garden, and it continues to fulfill founder Cason Callaway's goal of creating a place "prettier than anything since the Garden of Eden."

The majority of the hybrid azaleas, propagated from cuttings from the original Overlook Azalea Garden, are arranged in a progression of colors. Continuing Callaway Gardens' traditional use of water reflection, the azaleas are planted in masses around the 1-acre Mirror Pond creating breathtaking reflection during any season. (See the Fall 2001 issue, p. 199, for an article with photos of Callaway Gardens.)

Early azaleas in Callaway Gardens.
Early azaleas in Callaway Gardens.
Photo courtesy of Callaway Gardens

HAMILTON GARDENS. The beautiful Hamilton Rhododendron Garden lies sprawled on a hillside sloping to Lake Chatuge near Hiawassee, Georgia, on the Georgia Mountain Fair grounds. Started by Fred Hamilton it has now grown to more than 3,000 plants. Fred Hamilton developed the yellow azalea, the only domestic yellow azalea in existence, which he named after his wife, Hazel.

A botanical paradise fairly bursting with dogwoods, tulip magnolias, native azaleas, lady slippers, trillium and rhododendron awaits your visit. This is a truly enchanted spot. Stroll tranquil pine bark trails as they wind through lush foliage. Feel your cares drift away on the gentle breezes. Remember what peace and quiet is all about.

Convention goers can become native azalea experts if they choose to attend all the lectures concerning the natives, but the convention schedule offers a variety of expertise and subjects for those with a broader scope. Lectures on hybrid rhododendrons, evergreen azaleas, kalmia, and companion plants will make for some difficult decisions. There will also be practical advice on landscape design, pest control and how computers can help us in the garden. Our speakers are academics, landscape designers, authors, nursery managers, hybridizers, and amateur horticulturists; many of them are also the people who keep our gardening societies going; all of them are practical gardeners just like the rest of us. We feel certain that attendees will go away loaded with new ideas and eager to apply them in their own gardens.

Plant Sale
Around 5,000 plants will be offered at the plant sale, which promises to be one of the highlights of the convention. All of the Georgia native azaleas should be available, including seedlings from locations famous for their hybrid swarms. Named hybrids will also be for sale, including a good selection of those developed by Dr. Aromi (see article in this issue). A large group of outstanding evergreen azaleas will be included, and for those who are interested in evergreen rhododendron species, the sale will include Rhododendron maximum 'Red Max'*, standard R. minus var. chapmanii , Gene Cline's dwarf R. minus var. chapmanii , and a ball truss form of R. minus .

Many of the plants will be in 3-4-inch pots for easy transport and so that conventioneers can assemble a good collection. Payment must be by check or cash; unfortunately, we cannot accept credit cards.

Mini Trade Fair
Nurserymen, landscapers, and others who would like to advertise their goods and services at the convention are being invited to participate in a mini trade fair. We will supply tables and chairs; participants can bring catalogues, brochures, etc. to promote their business. There is no fee, but participants must be registered for the convention. We believe that this will be an excellent way for horticultural businessmen, particularly those who do business by catalogue or the Internet, to make contact with their customers.

Special Events
FLOWER SHOW. The flower show will be a judged competition with categories for all varieties of rhododendrons and azaleas, both evergreen and deciduous. We believe that guests from other parts of the country will be surprised at the variety that can be successfully grown here.

PLANT AUCTION. The auction, to be conducted by Maarten van der Giessen, should be a lively affair. The plants will include many prize one-of-a-kind deciduous azaleas.

BONSAI DEMONSTRATION. The president of the Azalea Chapter, Hubert Jones, is also a devotee of the art of bonsai. Hubert's is one of two outstanding bonsai collections included in the North Georgia tour. To see how it is done, plan to attend the demonstration, which will be conducted by Hubert.

PHOTOGRAPH SHOW. A judged photography show is currently in the planning stages.

HYBRIDIZERS' ROUNDTABLE. Anyone who is especially interested or curious about producing worthwhile hybrids should plan to attend the hybridizers' roundtable, which will be moderated by Fred Minch. The Atlanta roundtable should be an especially good one for new ideas, since we are sure to get cross-fertilization from the two national organizations.

PROPAGATION ROUNDTABLE. The propagation roundtable promotes the best practices and encourages innovation. Anyone who has too many singleton plants should attend and get inspired to propagate. This year's moderator will be Ed Collins.

Please plan to attend this joint convention. We believe that you will leave Atlanta envious of our spectacular spring display and we will do our best to live up to our reputation for hospitality.

* Name is not registered.

Roger Duvall has been a member of the Azalea Chapter, ARS, since 1988. He is webmaster for the Azalea Chapter home page on the Internet and maintains the convention web page too.