JARS v64n1 - George Fraser Project Honors Mount Arrowsmith Chapter

George Fraser Project Honors Mount Arrowsmith Chapter

Mount Arrowsmith Rhododendron Society (MARS) was honored this past summer with a Certificate of Appreciation from the George Fraser Project of Ucluelet, British Columbia. As well as contributing funds to the annual George Fraser Day celebration held every May to honor the pioneer rhododendron grower and the gardens that bear his name, MARS members have provided plants and sweat equity to the area.

Many chapters contributed plants and labor 10 years ago so that now about 200 rhodos line the highway along the rugged waterfront entering Ucluelet and MARS member Terry Richmond has been instrumental in seeing them through an annual fertilization program.

George Fraser, a Scottish immigrant to Canada, settled in Ucluelet in 1894 where he practiced his passion of hybridizing on all kinds of plants but he became particularly well known for his work with rhododendrons. In 1991 the ARS honored his name with the posthumous Pioneers Achievement Award, the first Canadian to be so recognized.

Fraser, who died in 1944, lay in an unmarked grave for almost 50 years, before various groups in Ucluelet came together to recognize the talent of this horticulturist. In 1990 the George Fraser Garden was born. The project has been growing ever since.