Hristmas Potluck Dinner - Victoria Rhododendron Society

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The Victoria Rhododendron SocietyNewsletter4821 Townsend Drive, Victoria, BC V8Z 5P2Thirty-Ninth Year of Publicationhttp://victoriarhodo.caDecember 2019tkmcmillan@telus.netChristmas Potluck DinnerMONDAY, December 2, 2019 starts at 5:30Couvelier Pavilion at the HCP Gardens505 Quayle Road, VICTORIA, B. C.Jacq BradburyIn This Issue Upcoming Events -------------------------- 2 Christmas Dinner Invitation ------------- 3 President’s Remarks ---------------------- 4 Editor’s Notes -------------------------- 5-6 New Members and Announcement -- 7 ARS Annual Convention ------------------ 8 Joe’s Jottings---------------------------- 9-10 Board Members ------------------------- 10 Key Contributors ------------------------ 10 2020 VicRS Calendar-------------------- 11 Membership Form ---------------------- 12Is hosting the making of theChristmas Centerpieces & swagsagain this year,@ 3132 Albina Street @ 9:30 -11:30 A.M.Dec. 2,same day of the Christmas Potluck DinnerPlease RSVPAnyone wishing to come and help for an houror two to make Swags, Centerpieces andcreations for the dining tables and rafflewould be greatly appreciated.Dress warmly as we work outside and bringyour own gloves and secateurs.Jacqueline does supply greens, cones,ribbons, wire and containers, but if youhave something you would like to workwith please bring it along. Even if younever have done this before but wouldlike to give it a go - please come.Page 1

Upcoming Events2019Dec 25:30 pmJan 67:30Jan 20NoonFeb 37:30Feb 177:30Mar 97:30Mar 237:30SPRINGApr 67:30Apr 19EventChristmas Potluck DinnerGeneral Meeting Bernie Dinter - Spring BulbsPropagation Group MeetingCall Ken Webb 250-744-1745General MeetingMargaret Cadwaladr – Dart’s HillPropagation Group MeetingCall Ken Webb 250-744-1745General Meeting & AGMDoug JusticePropagation Group MeetingCall Ken Webb 250-744-1745SPRING GARDEN TOURSIf you would like to show your garden,please contact Brenda MacdonaldGeneral MeetingRosemary PruferPLANT SALE at the Webbs’10-2Apr 207:30Apr 29May 3May 47:30May 910-2May 187:30June 28NoonPropagation Group MeetingCall Ken Webb 250-744-1745ARS Annual Convention - 75thAnniversaryGeneral MeetingPLANT SALE at the Marquardts’Propagation Group MeetingCall Ken Webb 250-744-1745Sunday VRS Summer BBQ Picnic atPage 2PlaceGardens at HCP505 Quayle RoadGardens at HCP505 Quayle RoadTBAGardens at HCP505 Quayle RoadTBAGardens at HCP505 Quayle RoadTBATBAGardens at HCP505 Quayle Road5008 Old W. Saanich RdTBAPortland, Vancouver,WATBD4640 Cordova Bay RdTBATBA

InvitationThe VictoriaRhododendron Society’sAnnual PotluckChristmas DinnerThe Couvelier PavilionMonday, December 2nd@ 5:30 p.m.Members A to L, please bring a savoryor a saladMembers M to Z, please bring a dessertThe Club will provide a cooked ham & turkey,punch, serviettes, tea, coffee, sugar, milk & cream.Please bring your own dishes, cutlery and cups.Raffle donations of crafts and plants would bemuch appreciated, as well as a non-perishablefoods. All proceeds will be donated tothe Mustard Seed Food Bank.Page 3

President’s Remarks, December 2019I must admit that somehow I have yet to achieve the level of “living in the moment” that current lifecoaches deem necessary for a fulfilled life. Here we are, only in the middle of fall, and I am already lookingforward to the great daffodil explosion, which occurs every year on a rocky outcropping close to where welive. I am not sure this is an effective way to live one’s life. Surely, as one embraces the point in one’s lifewhen there are far fewer days to come than have already passed by, one should stop making the time passeven faster by always looking forward to what will come rather than what is now.Be that as it may, and even if you all are able to realize a much better balance than I have, here are somethings to look forward to.The Annual Victoria Rhododendron Society Festive Christmas Potluck – Monday December 2, with anearly start at 5:30 pmThis is a time to celebrate our club and the people in it, as well as a chance to give back tothe community.Bring something for the (extensive!) raffle table. Plants, handicrafts, homemade preserves,bottles of festive cheer, wee gifts of any sort – anything and everything someone elsemight like to find under the tree. All raffle proceeds are donated to a local charity. Inaddition, please consider bringing in foodstuffs and/or cash donations for the Food Bank.There will be turkey! There will be ham! There will also be a yummy collection of potluckdishes brought by you, the participants. You will also need to bring your own plates andthe cutlery needed to enjoy all this bounty.Full Rules and Regs are outlined on page 3 of this newsletter.Membership RenewalJust a reminder that all those joining/renewing their 2020 membership before the end of November will beeligible for the draw for a free membership for 2021.Our annual fees for 2020 remain the same as the past few years:Full Membership (including ARS Journal) 35.00Local Membership (without the ARS Journal) 25.00Associate Membership (primary member of another ARS Chapter) 10.00And of course, in the spirit of Christmas, we will extend that deadline to the end of the ChristmasPotluck meeting on December 2nd.CodaAfter a delayed but most enjoyable Indian summer, the rains have reappeared with a vengeance. Hopefullyeveryone else’s garden is far more “put to bed” than ours is. Why didn’t I do more when the days weredry? Heave, sigh.Hope to see everybody at the December potluck. It will be a swell time all around.Happy gardening Brenda MacdonaldPage 4

Editor’s Notesby Theresa McMillanOurspeakeronNovember 4 was LoisBlackmore, describingher and Roy's trip toSingapore in January ofthis year, before thetroubles in Hong Kong.Singapore in South-EastAsia is a City-State, likeMonaco in Europe. It isan independent city,which is self-governedandiscompletelyseparate from nearbycountries. Singapore isconsidered South-EastAsia's "Silicon Valley",and is very wealthy.It is an enlightened city, a democracy with awoman president. The housing in Singapore ismostly concrete, often in tower form. It is 80%publicly owned and filled with people with varyingincomes and occupations. This leads to a moreharmonious mix of society.Singapore is noted for being extremely neat, clean,and having numerous restrictions, such aschewing/disposing of gum and smoking. There aresigns everywhere, which people seem to adhere toquite nicely. Roy had taken several picturesshowing so many signs that the effect was comical.Many of the features, such as hydration stations,are very helpful. Singapore is on the equator andpeople can get dehydrated very quickly.Throughout the city, decorative plantings softenthe outlines of the concrete buildings andinfrastructures, making it truly a city of gardens.Of course, Lois and Roy visited the famous RafflesHotel, part of Singapore's British past and sampledtheir Singapore Sling. As well, they visited the verylarge Singapore Zoo, one of the best in the world.Throughout Singapore are statues and figurines ofPage 5

the city’s symbol, the Merlion; acreature with the head of a lionand the body of a fish.The rhododendron gardeners andlovers were transported to anotherworld, away from a cold dark nightfar to the North of Singapore.MerlionPATTY CAKE PATTY CAKE A BAKER’S MAN BAKE ME AGINGERBREAD AS FAST AS YOU CANBy Lois BlackmoreDid you know that our club’s rhododendron hybridizer is also baker,and for several years, he has made and then entered a gingerbreadhouse at the Parkside Hotel and Spa? Yes that is our current Vicepresident of the VicRS, Lloyd Gilmore. The gingerbread house displayis an annual event for Habitat for Humanity Victoria. This fundraiser isopen to the public from November 16 until January 5. We invite youto come and view these edible creations and vote for your favouriteone by making a donation to this wonderful event. All proceeds gotowards supporting Habitat’s affordable homeownership.20172019Page 6

Everyone, Please WelcomeAaron Brice and Tyler HartfieldCassidy AshAmelia BarbinSean BatemanCarmen BerlinLana EllisNathalie EmondLisa GilesSpencer GrantChris HeadRiley KenlerRachel LavrisaStuart MacleanMaddy PaulsDarlene RiceGareth RichardsFareeha SiddiqueIan SilbernagelAlexandra SpaldingErin WeckworthOur newest members of theVictoria Rhododendron SocietyAnnouncementOn Friday, November 15th, Ian Duncan represented Victoria Rhododendron Society atthe Pacific Horticulture College (PHC) students’ graduation ceremony in the CouvelierPavilion at HCP.Our Society presented the nineteen Graduates with a one year local membership with theVictoria Rhododendron Society, along with a copy of 'Rhododendrons on a WesternShore' and 'The Complete Wit and Wisdom of Norman Todd'. Many of the students hadhad the opportunity to work in our Rhodo & Hosta Garden, along with Bill McMillan andCalvin Parsons during the student work experience periods in the various gardens at HCP.All of the students were involved in general garden maintenance though the year, so all hadsome experience of our garden. Our hope is that we may engender some new members.Page 7

April 29-May 3, 2020, Hosted by ARS District 4Heathman Lodge, Vancouver, WA.20/20 Vision international speakers to include: Kenneth Cox from Glendoick in ScotlandLionel de Rothschild from Exbury in EnglandJens Nielsen, plant explorer from DenmarkSteve Krebs and Juliana Medeiros from the Holden ArboretumSteve Hootman from the Rhododendron Species Botanical GardenValerie Soza from the University of Washingtonand more.Garden tours to include: Crystal Springs Botanical GardenCecil & Molly Smith GardenPortland Japanese GardenLan Su Chinese GardenIseli NurseryWoodburn NurseryThe Stewart Garden (formerly Dover Nursery)Sebright GardensPlant sale, photo contest, poster session, special clinics, plus:Around the Sound pre-tourWillamette Valley and Oregon Coast Excursion post-tourars75.orgRegistration opens December 2, 2019Page 8

JOE’S JOTTINGS,MISCELLANEOUS THOUGHTS FROM A LIFE WITH PLANTSBy Joe Harvey#2 Eat Ice Cream – Root CuttingsThe leaves of plants are solar panels, absorbing energy and transferring it to energy-richsubstances such as glucose, which the plant then uses to grow. But leaves differ from solarpanels in that they have air conditioning to prevent overheating. The AC is a simple buteffective evaporative system using water supplied by the roots.So “taking a cutting” does not in itself damage the leaves but it does cut the water supply,risking overheating and death of the leaves. This is particularly a problem in plants with thinleaves. My particular worry is with deciduous trees.Now, with some plants you can cut a shoot, stick it into a glass of water and it will root. I am notdiscussing these. My initial concern was a new cultivar of Magnolia I have bred and which Iwant to register under the name ‘Bella Bella’, but there is no point in registering a name unlessyou can propagate it. (The double name is chosen because I doubled the chromosomenumber). I find shade in my greenhouse results in few cuttings rooting; sunlight kills themrapidly. What to do?One method is used by the Victoria Rhododendron Society Propagation Group. This is anenclosed mist system on a timer using fluorescent tubes to root Rhododendron cuttings. Thefluorescent tubes give a medium light intensity and this system works well with tough evergreenleaves, which most Rhododendrons have. A particular development of this idea was displayedat a commercial nursery at an American Rhododendron Society conference in Scotland. Theironly product was low-cost flowering plants for impulse purchases at supermarkets; theyachieved a cutting-to-flowering plant in one year. For rooting they used high-pressure water toproduce a fog (in Scotland!), and to amuse us they turned the system on; it was barely possibleto see the person next to you, but your clothes were scarcely moistened.So, bright light, 100% humidity, with no overheating – can you do this at home withoutexpensive equipment? Here is my take:The set-up1. Obtain a plastic container. I use 4 litre ice cream tubs. Eat the ice cream, rinse.2. Put a couple of inches of damp Perlite, or Perlite-peat mix into the container.3. Stick the cuttings into the above rooting medium.4. Spray with water from a mister bottle.5. Cover the container tightly with transparent film (food wrap, such as Saran wrap), andsecure with a rubber band.6. Position an LED lamp an inch or two above the container.7. Turn on the lamp.Notes1. Do not use garden soil as the rooting medium.2. Select and prepare the cuttings at the propitious time; many plants will only root in aparticular season, e.g. softwood deciduous azalea cuttings root well shortly afterflowering – later, good luck. Trim leaves as required to fit, wound (shave a thin stripoff) the stem and dip into the appropriate rooting compound.3. The lamp I use is a 60-year old desk lamp with a flexible stem about 16 inches high,no springs, no angles - they still make them, I bought another recently from Walmart.(Continued on page 10)Page 9

(Continued from page 9)The Big Bang Tree – The Mount Etna Broom- cont’dThe LED bulbs, which have replaced the old 60-watt tungsten-filament ones, are now about 2each on sale in packages of five. They consume about 8 watts and hence get only slightly warmwith most of the heat coming from the electronics in the base. This is the heart of my system andallows the bulb to be inches away from the cuttings without burning them. The package will saysomething like ‘lasts 13 years with normal use’. I got about a year from my first LED with it onabout 16 hours a day – that is good.I am now trying hard-to-get rarities such as the Chinese quince, Pseudocydonia sinensis; a lovelyimproved version of Styrax with large pink bells, Melliodendron xylocarpum; and the tiny evergreenshrub Philesia magellanica from Chile. But this set-up will work with most things you put into it,seedlings for example, give it a try. VIRAGS members may want, with lower humidity, to try togrow the high altitude rosulate violets from the Andes, the ones which look like Sempervivum untilthey flower.Chocolate works really well.VICTORIA RHODODENDRONSOCIETY BOARDKEY CONTRIBUTORSR. ‘Lois Blackmore’PresidentBrenda Macdonald 778-528-3647victoriarhododendron@gmail.comAudio & Video Equipment &HCP Meeting Room StewardIan Duncan 250-479-0820Robert BurkeVice PresidentLloyd Gilmore 250-642-2256MembershipBrenda Macdonald 778-528-3647Carrie George 250-642-3176Past PresidentLois Blackmore 250-478-6615Newsletter CommitteeTheresa McMillan, Editor 250-478-3515Joyce Whittle 250-656-7313Linda Gilmore, Production 250-642-2256Madeleine Webb 250-744-1785Bill McMillan 250-478-3515TreasurerBill Gordon 250-479-0210Secretary:Sharon Joseph 250-383-1756Refreshments OrganizerBetty Gordon 250-479-0210Members-at-LargeCarolyn Marquardt 250-477-8387Carrie George 250-642-3176Ian Duncan 250-479-0820Lynne Ferrie 250-478-1100Theresa McMillan 250-478-3515WebsiteCalvin Parsons 250-590-0489http://victoriarhodo.caPage 10

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More information at: www.victoriarhodo.caPage 12

Steve Hootman from the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden Valerie Soza from the University of Washington and more. Garden tours to include: Crystal Springs Botanical Garden Cecil & Molly Smith Garden Portland Japanese Garden Lan Su Chine

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