Report To The American Rhododendron Society by Tacoma Chapter
Carl P. Fawcett, President
The Tacoma Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society is now completing its third year and looking back over the past twelve months we feel that considerable progress has been made. Our membership has increased by 30% and naturally our financial balance has increased accordingly.
Interest is at a high level and we feel that this has been brought about largely through the entertaining meetings that we have been able to conduct. We were extremely fortunate in having a number of very fine guest speakers with us at various times during the year. Pat Cummings, of the U. S. Forestry Service, gave us a very interesting evening with pictures and comments on vegetation as he found it in Olympic National Forest. Mr. Brian O. Mulligan provided us with colored slides of the University of Washington Arboretum. Mr. Halfdan Lem and Don McClure told us of the various Rhododendron crosses found in Mr. Lem's garden Mr. Carl English of Seattle gave us valuable data on Rhododendron Species, of which he is extremely well versed. Mr. Herb Ihrig of Bainbridge Island discussed his thirty years as a collector and grower of species and hybrids and high-lighted his remarks with comment on Japanese gardens as he saw them on his recent trip to the Orient. Dr. Gould of the Western Washington Experimental Station spent an evening with us explaining various diseases that may attack Azaleas and Rhododendrons and how best to combat them. At a special meeting during the fall season we were favored with a talk by Dr. Rock, whose knowledge of Rhododendrons covers a life time of travel and study. Our good friends of the Seattle Chapter extended the Tacoma group an invitation to join with them for dinner and hear a talk by Dr. Cox of Scotland. A number of our local members availed themselves of this opportunity and were rewarded with a very enjoyable evening. The climax of the year was, of course, the annual show held in the lobby of the Bank of California, during the third weekend of May. Weather conditions at that time caused us some anxiety but we were able to put on what we think was an excellent exhibition, which was attended by huge and enthusiastic crowds on both days.
Nurserymen in our area agree that these annual shows have not only helped them to increase their sales but have gradually educated the individual buyer to the point where he asks for a specific plant or type of plant, rather than just a red or pink rhododendron.
Our chapter feels honored to have had three of its members chosen to help judge other rhododendron shows in the Northwest.
All in all we feel that our Chapter has made excellent progress during the year just past and are looking forward to 1955 with even greater enthusiasm.