This is a special one hour program on rhododendron cutting propagation, presented by the late Ed Collins in his home to a joint meeting of the Southeastern Chapter ARS and Vaseyi Chapter ASA, in 2002. It offers an in-depth discussion of cuttings and is reminiscent of Ed's engaging personality.
Ed was chairman of the ARS National convention in 1976 when it was held in Valley Forge, PA. He served as president of the Philadelphia Chapter beginning in 1977. Ed founded the Pine Barrens Chapter in 1980 and was president for five years. He served as District ‘8’ Director for six years. Ed propagated and distributed Tyler Arboretum Wister Hybrids and was considered to be the regional authority on hybrids produced by Jack Cowles at the former Dexter Estate. Ed was awarded the President’s Award in the Pine Barrens Chapter, also the Bronze Medal in both the Philadelphia and Pine Barrens Chapters. Ed was awarded the ARS Silver Medal in May of 1994. Ed was active in the North Carolina Arboretum, the Botanic Club and was a member of the Rock Garden Society. Ed was speaker at both ARS and ASA Conventions and Regional Meetings. Ed and Mary lived in Hendersonville since his retirement in 1990 from RCA in Camden, NJ. and have been members of the Southeastern Chapter of the ARS since they moved here. He was presented with the Bronze Medal in 2000. He recruited many members for our chapter. He served as president and vice president as well as the District ‘10’ Director and served on the Board of Directors. He started the SE-ARS Native Azalea Study Group and led many field trips. He started a rhododendron and azaleas display garden at Blue Ridge Community College. He chaired our annual plant sale many times. Ed and Mary hosted many of our meetings. He was also instrumental in organizing the Vaseyi Chapter of the ASA. He was awarded the ASA Distinguished Service Award in 2008 and the Vaseyi Chapters Augie Kehr Award in 2009. He served as president, served on the Board of Directors, managed the drawings for the gift plants and most important of all he always brought his famous German Potato Salad to our yearly luncheons. He grew one of the largest collections of Cowles Hybrid Rhododendrons in existence. He also loved dwarf conifers, Japanese Maples, wildflowers and native azaleas. He was always sharing plants with friends. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Mary in 1996. He is survived by Mary his wife of 62 years; two sons, Edward “Rusty” Collins, Timothy Collins; daughter, Eileen Collins; five grand-children, Collin, Logan, Ryan, Meaghan, and Bailey. - Submitted by Jean Pace for the Blue Ridge Review, 2014.
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