JARS v56n2 - Kehr Memorial Garden

Kehr Memorial Garden

The life and death of Augie Kehr has been reported in some detail in the Winter 2002 issue of the Journal (Vol. 56 No. 1). Everyone who knew Augie both liked and respected him. The Southeastern Chapter of the ARS has decided to create a Kehr memorial garden which will include many of his plants.

Before Augie's death last year, he had lived in Flat Rock, North Carolina, for about twenty years. Much of his hybridizing took place in this small town, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, where the Southeastern Chapter of the ARS meets.

A committee has been formed to find the best ways to honor Augie. The members include Jim Holmes, John Brown, Ed Collins, David Dethero and Bob Stelloh. Some initial conclusions are to: 1) Create a garden filled with his plants; 2) Collect as many of his introductions as possible; and 3) Encourage wider distribution of these plants.

We plan to create the garden at St. John in the Wilderness Church in Flat Rock, the site of the Southeastern Chapter's meetings. It is a very attractive historical church in a wooded setting on US 25 - the main road in Flat Rock. There are several sites which have been selected. Some initial pictures are available at "www.pbase.com/kehr . Ongoing maintenance will be available. David Dethero is a member of the church and is in charge of their grounds maintenance. Current maintenance meets high standards.

But first things first. Before we create the garden with Augie's plants, we need your help. We have thirty-two azaleas and rhododendrons on the accompanying list to get you focused. Please help by answering any of the following questions:

  1. Do you have any of these plants? If not, do you know a good source?
  2. Are there any plants missing from the list? For example, do you know of any other plants which were grown from seed provided by Augie?
  3. Are there any Kehr unnamed crosses that should be introduced? Do you have them? From your experience growing these plants, can you provide input for their descriptions?
  4. Do you have good photos that can be used on the above web site?

We welcome all contributions to the cause: plants, knowledge, cuttings, money, help planting, etc. Please let us know how you can help! Send your response to:
Jim Holmes
75 Farwood Court
Flat Rock NC 28731
Email: holmes235@mchsi.com

Bob Stelloh has developed a descriptive list from official sources such as ARS registrations and the Magnolia Society. We are looking for information and plants for all Augie Kehr rhododendron, azalea, and magnolia introductions. The following list of rhododendrons and azaleas might help jog your memory.

Known Kehr Crosses
Name Type Name Type
Azaleas Rhododendrons
'Anna Kehr' evergreen 'April Pink' lepidote
'Bob Hill' evergreen 'Augie Kehr' elepidote
'Cream Perfection' evergreen 'Blue Success' lepidote
'Cream Ruffles' evergreen 'Blue Target' lepidote
'Cullowhee'* deciduous 'Carolina Gold' lepidote
'Great Expectations' evergreen 'Double Gem' elepidote
'Harold Epstein' evergreen 'Epoch' lepidote
'Janet Flick' evergreen 'Haag's Peppermint' elepidote
'King's Red' deciduous 'Helen Ring' elepidote
'Mary Lou Kehr' evergreen 'Kehr's White Ruffles' lepidote
'Memory of Fred Galle' deciduous 'McKenzie' lepidote
'Red Rosebud' evergreen 'Pink Elegance' lepidote
'Terry' evergreen 'Pink Magic' lepidote
'White Rosebud' evergreen 'Southland' lepidote
'Waipuna' elepidote
'Wax Red' elepidote
*Name is unregistered. 'Weldy' elepidote