Portland Chapter ARS – General Information

Portland Chapter Meetings

Portland ARS chapter meetings are held on the third Thursday of each month, September through May.

Meetings are held at All Saints Episcopal Church, 4033 SE Woodstock Blvd, Portland, Oregon. The location is one-half mile east of Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden.

Meetings begin with an informal social half-hour at 7:00 PM. There is short business meeting at 7:30 PM, followed by our featured presentation.

Programs for the 2018 – 2019 season

September 20th, 2018

Bruce Palmer, Eureka Chapter-ARS
"What's in a Name II"

Bruce Palmer taught science and math for over three decades. He began his career in 1960 at Ferndale High School in Humboldt County, California, before moving in 1968 to start the biology program at the University of Hawaii’s new Maui Community College. Bruce taught lower division biology courses there for 25 years, retiring in 1993 as Chief Academic Officer (Dean of Instruction) of the college. Bruce and his wife, Nelda, then moved back to Humboldt County. He has remained active in his field by volunteering at the Humboldt Botanical Garden, being an active member of the Eureka Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society, and by writing a column on biological terms for the Eureka Chapter’s monthly newsletter, and quarterly word articles for both the Journal of the American Rhododendron Society and the Botanical Guardian of the Humboldt Botanical Garden. Bruce was the recipient of the University of Hawaii Regents’ Medal for Excellence in Education in 1975. He received the Gold Medal from the American Rhododendron Society in 2015.

His talk this evening begins with a brief history of plant classification, beginning in 1300 BCE and ending with the modern system of classification. Bruce will then discuss a series of questions directly pertinent to rhododendrons: the characteristics of the family Ericaceae; the members of the family; the origin of the name Rhododendron; the characteristics of the genus; and a brief discussion of the subgenera within the genus.

October 18th, 2018

Dave Eckerdt, Willamette Chapter-ARS
"Deerly Missed, a Pangram Garden"

A pangram is a single sentence that makes sense, has as few letters as possible, yet uses each letter of the alphabet at least once; ‘A quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog’.  A pangram garden might then be a collection of plants with at least one genus beginning with each letter of the alphabet.  Surprisingly this is not as easy as it sounds.

Dave and Pat Eckerdt live in Salem in a home begun in 1891 and now surrounded by a two acre “collector’s garden” that has become a regular stop for touring garden groups.  Dave’s writing and photography has been included in several horticulture publications including the Journal of the American Rhododendron Society.  Dave is currently president of the Salem Hardy Plant Society.  His presentation will provide a visual tour of their garden.  He will introduce plants that you may not have met before, each with its own story.  His tour will feature critters, art, and hardscape that contribute to the beauty of the garden that he and Pat have named Deerly Missed.

November 15th, 2018

Kristin Faurest, Portland Japanese Garden
"The Preservation of Fire: Teaching the Japanese Gardening Tradition in the 21st Century"

How to interpret something ancient and specific to one country – the art of the Japanese garden – to teach it in the 21st century to learners outside of Japan. Using some of the Garden’s recent new developments as a context, Dr. Kristin Faurest will explain how the design and maintenance principles of this ancient art form are powerfully relevant in the here and now.

Kristin’s career has focused on teaching and research concerning the connection between culture and landscape.  She completed her studies in landscape architecture at Corvinus University in Budapest, Hungary.  She then worked and studied at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, England, where she helped maintain the garden’s Japanese landscape.  She managed her own design firm for thirteen years, designing educational gardens, private urban gardens and corporate landscapes, during which she taught students of landscape architecture at the University of Applied Sciences in Nurtingen-Geislingen, Germany.  She joined the Portland Japanese Garden in 2016 as director of its International Japanese Garden Training Center. Under her supervision, the Training Center received the American Public Gardens Association Award for Program Excellence in 2018.

December 20th, 2018

Portland Chapter Winter Solstice Party

Potluck Dinner and Gift Exchange

Members' Presentations

January 17th, 2019

Jason Martinez, San Francisco Botanical Garden

The Rhododendron Garden of San Francisco Botanical Garden @ Strybing Arboretum.

Jason Martinez is the Horticulturist who cares for the Rhododendron, Mediterranean, and Ancient Plant Gardens at the Strybing Arboretum in the San Francisco Botanical Garden. He will share some of the garden's statistics, facts, and current developments pertaining to the SF Botanical Garden, and highlight some of the rhododendron specimens that make the garden unique, as well as changes and additions to the Rhododendron Garden as a whole. He will conclude by sharing photos of Rhododendron Country that have inspired him over the years, contributing to his understanding of how to care for them as well as expressing his admiration for the genus Rhododendron.

Jason is a native Californian, born at Fort Ord in Monterey County. He was raised in the town of Martinez, which is unrelated to his name. He attended college in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada where he studied Fire Science. Jason’s love for the outdoors and travel led him to the US Forest Service doing fire suppression for 4 years, before moving to San Francisco to pursue a career with SF Fire. He started gardening there, and decided to start his own landscaping business. In 2005, he was hired with San Francisco's Recreation and Parks Department, and then at Strybing Arboretum, now SF Botanical Garden. Jason’s interests include traveling and enjoying nature with his wife in the U.S. and abroad. He enjoys studying the flora and fauna of a particular region as well as being immersed in other cultures. His travels in search of plants have taken him, among other places, to China, Sikkim, and Costa Rica.

February 21st, 2019

Steve Krebs, David G. Leach Research Station
"Form Plus Function: Building Better Adapted Rhododendrons"

Steve Krebs points out that breeding rhododendrons has emphasized attributes like flowers and foliage, without as much concern for consumer or commercial success. Steve’s focus in hybridizing at Leach has emphasized resistance to disease and pests, tolerance to heat and drought, and adaptability to alkaline pH. Steve will update us on his evaluations of experimental and commercially available rootstocks that can protect against root-rot (Phytophthora cinnamomi), for instance, while offering a broader array of ornamental traits.

Steve is one of the most prominent and accessible currently active investigators of rhododendrons. After completing his Ph.D. in the Department of Horticulture at Michigan State University, he joined the David G. Leach Research Station at the Holden Arboretum in Holden, Ohio. Well into his third decade there, he is Director of the Research Station. His research currently focuses on stress adaptations, both to continue David Leach’s commitment to breeding rhododendron for continental climates, but also because of anticipated environmental changes.

March 21st, 2019

Steve Hootman, Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden
"Rhododendrons on the Edges"

Steve will discuss and show images from his most recent expeditions These have been focused on locating some of the enigmatic outlying species that occur far from the main concentration of rhododendrons in the Himalayas and western China. In addition to the amazing scenery and interesting ethnic minorities, he will focus on some of the exciting new species that have been introduced including R. shanii and R. dachengense of Subsection Taliensia as well as many of the new Subsection Fortunea such as platypodum, yuefengense, faithiae, maoerense and the true cardiobasis.

April 18th, 2019

Harold Greer

May 16th, 2019