The Tacoma Rhododendron Show of 1952
by Carl H. Skoog, Secretary
Despite a belated and unexpected cold front, severe frost, and a newspaper strike, the members of the Tacoma Chapter are happy to report that a successful show was held Saturday and Sunday, May 10th and 11th in the lobby of The Bank of California, N. A., Tacoma, Washington.
The cold front retarded plants which many exhibitors had expected to display. The frost damaged the blossoms on many more, and the newspaper strike made it impossible to adequately publicize the show or announce a postponement to a later date. However, a spirit of cooperation and helpfulness among the members resulted in the lending of plants by the more fortunate to those who had suffered most through the vagaries of the weather. Other plants were substituted for those which had been retarded or damaged, and the result was the most beautiful display ever produced in the Tacoma area.
The feature of the show was a patio scene arranged by Mr. Gordon Richards, a Tacoma landscape gardener. He, with the assistance of a volunteer crew, laid a floor of sandstone and moss in a corner of the auditorium. The floor was surrounded by a low stone wall behind which he massed rhododendrons and azaleas supplied by Mr. Fred Robbins, Mr. Edward E. Johnson, Mr. Endre Ostbo, Mr. Carl P. Fawcett and others.
Other major displays were arranged or supplied by Mrs. A. R. Heineman, Mr. Lester Brandt, Mrs. Teresa Coen, Mr. and Mrs. Elwood Budil, Mr. J. Herbert Bowen, Mr. T. S. Broxson, and Firth Nursery, all of the Tacoma area, and Mr. Roy W. Clark of Olympia with the cooperation of a group of members of the American Rhododendron Society residing in the Olympia area.
Fortunately, we had determined that the show should be non-competitive since it would be impossible to single out any plant or any display for special comment.
A cut truss display supplied largely by the University of Washington Arboretum, Mrs. Clyde Magill and last, but certainly not least, by the American Rhododendron Society and delivered personally by Mr. Sersanous, was a center of interest throughout the show.
The counters in the center of the lobby contained flower arrangements procured and placed under the direction of Mrs. Robert Lowery while the floor beneath and around the counters was banked with dwarf Rhododendrons, Azaleas, and Primroses arranged under the direction of Mrs. Kenneth Janeck. A beautiful and interesting exhibit of Rhododendron corsages, prepared and mounted on plaques by Mrs. Albert Guy, completed the display.
In spite of the handicaps under which we labored, we take pleasure in the fact that our efforts were enjoyed by almost five thousand people and, in retrospect, the burdens placed on unaccustomed muscles were still worthwhile.
In conclusion, I deem it proper to express the gratitude of the Society to the officers and staff of The Bank of California, N. A. who, for the fourth consecutive year, have made possible a Rhododendron show in Tacoma; to Mr. Richards and Mrs. Guy and many of the ladies who submitted flower arrangements, non-members who gave generously of their time; and finally to Mr. Fawcett, the general chairman, who neglected his private affairs and worked unceasingly for the success of our venture.