Eugene Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society

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Content copyright 2016. ARS Eugene Chapter. All rights reserved.

Welcome to the Eugene Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society

Here you will find information about our chapter, who we are, and what we do.  Of course, there is also plenty of information about Rhododendrons, one of our favorite garden plants.  

Please look around our website where you will find lots of information about our activities, favorite plants, membership opportunities and our meeting location. To find out more, come to one of our meetings and check us out. We are easy to find and would love to meet you!

 What’s New & Happening

O. HOWARD HINSDALE GARDEN SPRING,  April 15, April 29 and May 13, 2017


Searching for words, I gaze out the window at the snow and ice coating streets and sidewalks. Feeling a bit of cabin fever I conclude, albeit reluctantly, a mind-clearing walk would be a foolish risk. It’s definitely not a day to test Luther Burbank’s observation: “Flowers always make people better, happier and more helpful;

they are sunshine, food and medicine to the mind.” The late nineteenth and early twentieth century hybridizer, perhaps best known for developing the Burbank russet potato, went on to work with hundreds of food crops. Ornamental plants were also among his efforts, doubtless prompted by the quoted sentiment.


Despite today’s gloomy outlook, the earth will continue orbiting about the sun. Longer daylight hours and warming will soon trumpet Spring’s re-awakening, and our days will be cheery while enjoying fresh new growth and flowers. A not to miss place in that quest is the O. Howard Hinsdale Garden on the lower Umpqua River. Located a short five miles east of Reedsport on Scenic Highway 38, it’s a pleasant day’s outing from virtually anywhere in western Oregon.


Mark your calendars now for April 15, April 29 and May 13, 2017. Yes, we know there will be many other garden events and visits competing for attention, but don’t miss out because you overlooked the date. And we promise no hiccup as occurred last year, when unforeseen events led to cancellation of public open garden days. There’s now both a footbridge to the east garden and an ADA path throughout, so everyone may enjoy the entire garden. Those who have visited before will also notice the former Hinsdale home has been removed. We’re excited about the opportunities that will present in continuing improvements to the garden and facilities for visitors.


The open hours will be from about ten in the morning until two in the afternoon. Parking will be available at the Elk View Kiosk about a mile west of the garden, with complimentary transportation to and from the garden. That service is provided by the Friends of Hinsdale Garden, who will also man an information booth in the garden. Your voluntary donations to their generous support of the garden will of course be welcome. Visits by groups of perhaps ten or greater on other than these dates may also be possible by prior arrangement.


The O. Howard Hinsdale Garden, likely the oldest rhododendron centric garden in the State, contains a stunning collection of rhododendrons intermixed with many fine magnolias, camellias and other companions. Publicly owned and maintained via the Bureau of Land Management, that agency’s assistance also plays a vital role in making open garden days possible.


Do take time to enjoy this very special “…food and medicine to the mind.”


Gordon Wylie

Meeting & Personal Invitation


April 11,

Willamette Valley Hardy Plant Group meeting

2017 6:30pm @ Campbell Community Center, 155 High Street, Eugene, OR

Speaker Jack Olson - “How to Grow Rhododendrons from Seed.”


April 13, 3 - 5pm

Personal Invitation from Jack Olson, Vice President of the Eugene Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society, to visit Rocky Knoll Farm: For me, there is nothing more exciting than growing rhododendrons from seed. I have now been growing seedlings for over 25 years. It takes lots of time, but it is well worth it. At this time, I have thousands of seedlings.  I have named and registered four plants. They all have won trophies at shows. I have nine more to register.

I have invited our Chapter, and anyone who shows an interest, to come out to Rocky Knoll Farm 84953 Renegade Lane, Fall Creek OR 97438. When you first arrive, let us know if you wish to have pizza ($5 per person) and please bring a chair and your favorite beverage.  


We will be evaluating seedlings. It will be a chance to see what I have been doing the last 17 years here at Rocky Knoll. I have no idea how many plants will be blooming, but it should be a good experience. You will have a form to fill out for each seedling, and your comments will be read and accepted. I think this is a first for our Society chapter.

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January - Eugene Chapter Meeting

Mike Bones from Florence, Oregon gave a talk and demonstration on how to create bonsai using potted rhododendrons and azaleas. Checkout the February Newsletter for more pictures!             _______________

Check out the latest updates to our website

Don’t miss taking a look at the Calendar page. There have been a few changes.

If this is your first visit to our website, we hope that you will look around. We are a diverse, fun-loving group that loves Rhododendrons and all garden plants. Come to one of our meetings to learn more about us! Find information about our meetings here.  Contact a Board member or the Webmaster.