JARS v59n3 - From The President

From The President
Len Miller
Grove, Oklahoma

Len Miller
Len Miller

In my first column, I would like to tell you about my relation with the ARS and the people who have been a part of my association with the Society.
I have to first say it is the plant, the rhododendron, and its presence in my garden that stimulates me to work on its behalf and the organization that extols its benefits. Hey, I just love it! I am sure you do too.
It was Betty Spady who recognized that passion and persevering I had for the azalea and rhododendron. She grew up in southern Missouri, not far from my home. She asked me to speak about my botanical garden, Lendonwood, at the Newport, Oregon, regional conference. I have not said no to any job in the ARS since then. Those who have helped me and still are, are Gordon Wylie and Bud Gehnrich. I hope to not disappoint these two fine past presidents. Others, unknown on my part, have seen my passion for the rhododendron and the ARS.
Being successful in growing rhododendrons in Oklahoma has not been all down hill. Using natural selection (letting nature chose the winners), reading and applying scientific research, and finding others who had the same problems all played a role in my success. It helps to have a positive attitude.
My history is that I have served as Alternate Director at Large, District Director of District 11, founded the Ozark Chapter and served as its president for five years, and Eastern Vice President for four years. I have been a member for thirty years.
I want to thank your Board for our fine meeting, and all those who had part in the Victoria Convention. You can be proud of your city and its many beautiful gardens. All of us in leadership rolls strive to make this the finest plant society and, remember, rhododendrons make the most beautiful gardens.