Lake Oswego's Rogerson Clematis Collection will join a select group of public gardens across North America next week when it receives full accreditation from the American Public Gardens Association.
The Luscher Farm garden, which is recognized as the most comprehensive clematis collection in North America, includes more than 1,800 different clematis plants from all over the world, representing more than 800 varieties.
"It is a big deal," said Linda Beutler, the collection's curator. "The Pacific Northwest doesn't have a lot of accredited plant collections where a whole genus of plants is basically in one garden. This connects us with a network across America of public gardens that have important collections of plants."
The Rogerson collection will be designated an official Plant Collection Holder by the APGA at a ceremony scheduled for 2 p.m. on Wednesday, May 2, at Luscher Farm (125 Rosemont Road). The event, hosted by Friends of the Rogerson Clematis Collection, will also include the unveiling of new interpretive signage installed with grant funding from Travel Oregon and the Stanley Smith Family Horticultural Trust.
The public is invited to join the event to see the new signage, receive walking tours and learn more about the prestigious collection of plants.
"It's great because this started out as one person's passion — Brewster Rogerson, who was fascinated by these plants. He was actually a founding member of the International Clematis Society," Beutler said. "This accreditation links us into a much larger network of plant collections, so we can share ideas about marketing and education with a lot of big collections from all over North America."
The Friends of the Rogerson Clematis Collection (FRCC) was formed in 2005 to ensure that Brewster Rogerson's amazing collection of clematis would be maintained and nurtured over time. Since 2005, the collection has grown from a group of beautiful plants in pots to a beautifully designed garden.
"Your (Friends) organization stands among a prestigious group of gardens and arboreta that have committed themselves to the conservation and care of specific plant collections curated at the highest professional level," wrote Pam Allenstein, plant collections network manager of the APGA.
Accreditation goes hand-in-hand with the FRCC's mission to preserve and foster the collection in a permanent home, assemble and maintain the collection for the advancement
of botanical and horticultural research, and educate and please all who visit.
"We're really over the moon," said Beutler, who is the author of three gardening books, president of the International Clematis Society, a frequent speaker worldwide and an instructor of horticulture at Clackamas Community College. "Especially since, in addition to announcing the accreditation, we'll also be unveiling the interpretive signage, which is permanent, beautiful and explains why we have paired certain clematis in certain places.
"Some reasons are geographical, some reasons are political, and it's really fascinating because these plants have been hybridized all over the world," she says. "It's really fun to watch people read the signs and understand the influence that plants can have."
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