Hawaii Chapter American Rhododendron Society

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About Our Chapter
Coming Events
  • Next Meeting: Sunday, June 19, 2016
  • Time: Potluck at noon, meeting at 1pm
  • Where: Jim Mitchell’s Hale
  • Agenda: Pot luck lunch, short meeting & garden tour. We will be celebrating what would have been Mitch Mitchell’s 99th Birthday. Please bring your own chairs.
  • Upcoming:
    • June 19, 2016 - Happy Birthday, Mitch (99 years) at Jim Mitchell’s. Noon for potluck... garden tour after.
    • Bonsai with Patty Goodwin of Hawaii Bonzai at Kea’au Community Center.. Noon for potluck, meeting at 1 pm.
Lists and Links

From the Hawaii Chapter ARS

From the June 2016 Viva Vireya Newsletter

President’s Dis & Dat
A big mahalo to Bob & Lucy Moody for hosting our last meeting at their home. This was our first visit and., hopefully, not our last . (See page 2).
The Hilo Orchid Show was held this past weekend. (See page 5).
Reminder to bring your vireya teeshirt designs to the next meeting which will be held at Jim Mitchell’s place in Volcano. We will be celebrating what would have been Mitch’s 99th birthday.
For those not familiar with “Mitch Mitchell”.. you could say he was instrumental in starting our Hi. Chapter ARS and passing the vireya torch on. He befriended many international vireya enthusiasts which our chapter benefitted from as guest speakers for our meetings and seminars. Mitch shared thousands of vireya trusses throughout the past 20 years.
Why do I mention him?
Because he is a large part of our chapter’s history. But, he is only a part. There are many other folks no longer here that played a role in hybridizing most of what we have in our gardens. While they were alive, they were instrumental in vireya being in Hawaii today.
Vireya almost disappeared from cultivation, shortly after being discovered, for about 100 years. We can’t let that happen again. It was somewhere in the 1950’s & 60’s they were reintroduced. In the scope of things, they are still very new.
It is not only through growing them that we can keep them alive but, knowing the history of R.vireya and the people involved,, the history of our chapter and the role we play, and the vireya itself. i.e. what’s it’s cross, who hybridized it and any story behind it’s name. For example: “Jeanhee, Jenna Soojean, Sarah Meejean” are all named by hybridizer Bill Moynier for his grand- daughters. He hoped they would one day visit their namesakes in Hawaii. Knowing that makes me want to keep all three, just in case they do visit here one day.
If you are up to knowing more, we have books to loan and websites to recommend. See you at the next meeting!
Viva Vireya
Sherla Bertelmann

From the April 2016 Viva Vireya Newsletter

President’s Dis & Dat Corner
Aloha, got some things to share with you.
The first has to do with our next meeting at Bob & Lucy’s hale. Here’s an email from Lucy:
"I will have all the plastic ware for everyone. Going with a green theme. I will also have water, coffee, sodas, etc. I plan on making a Sweet & Sour chicken type dish with rice, enough for 25 people. So a meat will be furnished. Maybe you can let people know. I know it is hard to get somewhere with a hot dish”.
Our job is to fill in around Lucy’s main dish. Pupus, side dishes, desserts are alway welcomed.
Next is the vireya t-shirt designs. The t-shirt committee will be accepting designs at this May’s meeting. The final deadline for all designs will be our June 19th meeting.
There was a problem with chickens scratching away the mulch that was applied to the vireya bed at the Kea’au Community Center. Armon Collman has donated and applied another layer of mulch that uses large pieces of redwood. It is hoped this will discourage the chickens.
We had our first board meeting on May 1st. I can assure you that this board has a lot of ideas and energy. One of the main topics discussed was our vireya zoo garden. We are all on the same page as to the importance of this garden to the vireya world and our Hawaii Chapter heritage. Be ready for more work parties with emphasis on the species bed.
I want to thank Richard Rhodes, for conducting a smooth election and for all he does behind the scenes to keep our chapter (and me) on track. (He does a lot.)
I look forward to seeing you at Bob & Lucy's for food, fun, and fellowship.
Till then, Happy Gardening and Viva Vireya...
Sherla Bertelmann

From the March 2016 Viva Vireya Newsletter

President’s Notes: Remember, our meeting is at the Pana'ewa Rainforest Zoo & Gardens in Hilo. We will be removing hybrids out of the species bed and planting species donated by member Pete Adams from White Cloud Nursery. We need shovels, wheelbarrows, rakes, and a few hula hoes(for weeding). The drought is taking a toll on the species bed. At least two of the larger vireyas have died. We will find all the sprinkler heads at the meeting and make sure they all work. Getting someone to turn the water once a week will be the next issue to solve. The new tiger cubs have arrived and the zoo has been packed. John Callahan's Air Layering Class was outstanding and we will miss him while he is in Florida helping his uncle. Thanks John! Be safe and come back soon. Armon has the plans and parts list for the new Kiosk sign complete. Making the sign handicapped accessible has bumped up the price. We will ask for a donation from either Home Depot and/or HPM for part of the Kiosk. April is elections for President, Vice President, Treasurer (to finish off the one year left of Lee’s term. Lee is resigning from the position) and one Board Member position are up for grabs. Also needed is a newsletter editor. Due to personal reasons, Dawn, our newsletter editor has also resigned. Don’t miss this once in a lifetime opportunity to steer the club in a new exciting direction! Viva Vireya Bill Miller
Viva Vireya! Bill Miller President

From the February 2016 Viva Vireya Newsletter

Prez Sez: Hello everyone! What a fun meeting with several new members, guests, and some old members returning to the fold. We auctioned off three plants from Pacific Island Nursery (thanks Sherla and Richard) and Armon Collman donated his plant to the new vireya bed outside our meeting room. Thank you. Our double flowering Moonwood is still going strong and we will take a cutting soon. Keep an eye on your plants, you may just have the next big thing in vireyas and not know it! Our portable speaker system seems to be shot. If anyone can take a look at it that would be great. New batteries in the microphones did not help. Our meeting will be at the normal place and time. If anyone has a speaker you would like to see or hear, send me an email, mariner472000 @yahoo.com. Don't forget we have a few positions open on the board this year. Think about taking on some responsibility for the growth of the Hawaii Chapter.
Viva Vireya! Bill Miller President

From the January 2016 Viva Vireya Newsletter

Prez Sez: Aloha everyone! I hope you have all had a great start to 2016. Please take the time to send Sherla ten pictures of vireyas in bloom in your garden. The pictures do not have to be recent. Our January program will be YOUR gardens. I heard that I missed some outstanding food at the December meeting and the decorations were amazing. Thank you for all your hard work and efforts. Speaking of work, we need to have a work party at the zoo. Pete Adams is cleaning out his greenhouse of some spare species and is donating them to the zoo species bed. We will be removing some hybrids and workers may take them home!
Viva Vireya! Bill Miller President

From the December 2015 Viva Vireya Newsletter

Prez Sez: Many thanks to our November speaker Glen Jameison for his Rhododendrons of New Zealand slide show. He even managed to sneak in a few Vireyas! One thing I noticed was that New Zealand has its own group of hybridizers and I had not heard of the some of the hybrids. They are even hybridizing Maddeniis!
Glen, who is the editor of the Journal of the American Rhododendron Society (JARS), asked us consider receiving the online version of the Journal rather than the paper edition. The cost of printng the JARS is becoming a burden.
Vireya truss challenge - Go through your garden and bring ten trusses to use as table decorations. If you don't have ten trusses, look in your neighbor's gardens! Let's get 250 trusses on the tables. What a great picture that would be for the JARS!
There is a new vireya seed list. More information to follow.
Many thanks to Carol Tanksley for her service on the Board. She is moving back to Florida for a time. We wish her well. Armon Collman has volunteered to be on the Board and has been researching new signage op ons for the zoo. Welcome, Armon!
One of the senior Pana'ewa Zoo gardeners accepted the challenge of weeding the zoo vireya beds for a small remuneration from the Hawaii Chapter. Her name is Teo and over a two month period she laid waste to every weed in the beds down to the new shoots. If you see her, please tell her how much her work is appreciated.
The Vireya T-Shirt Design Contest is open to all Chapter members, foreign and domestic. That's a hint, folks.
If you know of a Chapter member who is ill or injured, please let Marijean Horton know so she can send out a card and/or flowers.
Viva Vireya! Bill Miller President

From the November 2015 Viva Vireya Newsletter

Prez Sez: Thanks to everyone who came to the Zoo Outreach. We gave away a plant or two to everyone who wanted one and had several plants left over. We ended up having a large work party and pruned the Serpentine Beds. We piled up a pickup bed load of dead branches. There are several spaces for new plants if anyone wishes to donate a special hybrid or two. There was also some talk about planting some anthuriums in the deep shade spots where it is just too dark for the vireyas. Everyone was extremely pleased with the work Teo, the senior gardener at the zoo, did in the vireya beds. When we first discussed paying her to weed the grass in the species bed was two feet tall in places and it was discouraging to even look at it. When we were working it was hard to find even new weed sprouts! FYI, we are starting to collect the leftover cuttings at the meetings so we can start them for the Zoo Outreach or the Hilo Public Library Outreach. The easiest way I have found to keep the cuttings alive is to start them in a shady place and leave them alone. Sherla uses Oasis, I use 1/2 inch minus black cinder, Pete uses straight Perlite, for the cutting media. The keys are: don't let them get too dry, place them in dappled shade or darker, and don't MOVE them. The root systems on cuttings are extremely fine and moving them snaps off the roots and the cutting has to start over making new roots. Last but not least, it is dues time again. There are 3 ways to renew. You can re- new online, at the November meeting or send a check in the mail to: Sherla Bertelmann, HC3 Box 4641, Keaau, HI 96749. (Membership $40 and Association $10). http://www.arsoffice.org/member_renewal_form.pdf
Viva Vireya! Bill Miller President

From the October 2015 Viva Vireya Newsletter

Prez Sez: Aloha all - I received a LOT of compliments about the meeting which I thought was pretty disorganized due to our being held hostage by the weather. Many thanks to all the workers who shoveled and picked and weeded and moved old plants between rain squalls. And then we planted all the do- nated vireyas in the black cinder from the zoo! It looks great! Several of the plants are even in bloom! Everyone had the nicest stories about Mitch, some of them were unknown, even to Jim. It just goes to show what a positive influence he had on so many peo- ple. Dennis Rees drove over from Kona and shared some nice stories about Mitch AND Sandy/Betsy/Fang...none of which were her real name! I hope every- one got to watch Sherla's slideshow. It really was a memory lane. We need to start potting up the leftover trusses after the raffle. These would be used for giveaway items at the library and zoo outreach meetings. Speaking of the zoo, don't forget our next meeting is at the entrance pavilion so please bring a comfortable chair unless you don't mind sitting on a wooden bench! The time is also changed from 10 am - 2 pm. Remember, there will be a pruning party in the vireya beds so bring your pruners. We paid a senior gardener (Teo) to weed the zoo vireya beds. I went there today and the result is jaw dropping. THERE ISN'T A WEED IN SIGHT! We all know how much it rained the last month so you know she was out there in a rain slicker weeding. It actually looks like new cinder has been spread it looks so good.
Viva Vireya!, Bill Miller

More Lists and Links!
Some Favorite Vireya Rhododendrons
Cephus - VOY 2013
R. zoelleri 'Decimus' Ivory Coast
Thirtieth of June The Star