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With the May 'Mother's Day' Rhododendron Show and Sale still to come, here's what's now past

RITA A. LEONARD - Woodstock resident George Armantrout won several ribbons for his daffodils on display. Again this year, April's early Rhododendron Plant Show and Sale was combined with the Oregon Daffodil Society's Show, at the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden on S.E. 28th Avenue, just west of the Reed College campus. The wettest week of the year to date did not deter the many who came.

Free admission and spring colors lured visitors from near and far to explore the scenic views throughout the famed Rhododendron Garden and the spectacular displays in the Exhibit Hall. A small new graveled beach at the west end of the low bridge provided new access to visitors and waterfowl.

The April 6-7 event showcased specimens of rhodies and daffodils under a display of colorful umbrellas hanging from the ceiling of the Exhibit Hall. Daffodil Show Chair teve Vinisky, owner of Cherry Creek Daffodils in Sherwood, entertained visitors with a constant patter of humorous comments.

"The Oregon Daffodil Society is about 32 years old, but this is our 8th or 9th Show combined here with the Rhododendron Show and Sale," he commented. "We judged about 450 specimens in 13 divisions of daffodils this year. We're happy to have the entire display under cover, since high winds wreaked havoc with our displays in other years."

Judge Theresa Fritchle smiled, "This has been an excellent show, with good quality flowers. We look for form, flower condition, and color among the different divisions. 'Best in Show' this year was awarded to Elise Havens for Euphonic Bells, an unusual type of daffodil with three pendant flowers on one stem. To learn more about daffodils, go online – www.daffodilsusa.org".

Cindy Emery, one of the six certified judges on site, helped sell dozens of multicolored daffodil species at the front table. She remarked, "There are thousands of different varieties of daffodils around the world, but new ones are constantly being developed. One variety, Telemonius plenus, was recognized in 1620. Woodstock resident George Armantrout, who won several ribbons this year, develops daffodils locally. Steve Vinisky, who is internationally famous among daffodil growers, regularly introduces new varieties."

Volunteers from the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden assisted shoppers in a display down the path from the Exhibit Hall, transporting larger specimens by electric car up to the parking lot. All proceeds from the sale will benefit the garden. Apart from the main event in the exhibit hall, visitors roamed the paths, appreciating waterfalls, waterfowl, and blooms of magnolias, anemones, bulb flowers, and Christmas roses. Still to come, on May 11 and 12 at the Rhododendron Garden, is the annual "Mother's Day Rhododendron Show and Sale" presented by the Portland Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society. Sale hours are 9 to 5 both days; show hours are noon to 5 Saturday and 9 to 5 Sunday. For more, go online – www.rhodies.org

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