Rhododendrons Love the Comox Valley

The North Island chapter of the American Rhododendron Society is based in the beautiful Comox Valley.  Serving the surrounding communities of northern Vancouver Island,  this ARS chapter is a welcoming place to enjoy rhododendrons and azaleas.  Our regular meetings occur on the second Tuesday of each month (except May thru August) at the United Church in Comox – 250 Beach Drive.


Bill McMillan

Our March 13th guest speaker will be Mr. Bill McMillan of the Victoria Rhododendron Society. Bill is a past president of the VicRS and has served many years on their executive in one capacity or another.

A retired geologist, Bill now propagates and grows rhododendrons, alpines and other plants from seed and cuttings. He shares his considerable knowledge and experience through presentations to various garden clubs. Bill describes himself as an enthusiast, rather than an expert.

For our meeting, Bill will be presenting the topic “Five Must See Gardens of the Victoria Area.” This presentation is sure to fire up a lot of members to take a tour of Victoria during the spring growing season.

Doors open at 7 PM and the meeting begins at 7:30. So be on time, as the presentations begin the evening program.


Rhododendron of the Month:

‘Lord Roberts’

It seems appropriate to feature ‘Lord Roberts” this month, as it is the banner Rhodo for our February newsletter which pays tribute to the recent passing of one of our dear members, Roberts Smith.

A distinctive shrub with an upright shape and deep green leathery leaves. It grows to 5 ft. (155 cm) in 10 years and produces spectacular dark red funnel-shaped flowers with distinctive black throats. Blooms in mid-summer.

Hardy to -15°F (-26°C) this hybrid rhododendron can be planted in beds, borders, or any informal garden setting. It can be located in full sun or partial shade. Just remember to protect the flowers from frost damage. Hybridized by B. Mason in the late 1950’s.