Rhodies & Azaleas

May 24, 2001

For spring flowers we usually think of Portland and the Willamette Valley, but this trip took us south into Douglas County to some less well-known parks and gardens. The Azalea Gardens are sited in a compact woods about two miles east of I-5 on Starveout Road. Their attractive home is surrounded by beautiful plantings, large incense cedars, walking trails, even a water pond - all the result of 20 years of dedicated hard work. Our hosts, Charles and Ruth Amos, led a tour of their property. We then ate our lunches inside in their dining area. Throughout this sunny, pleasant day we enjoyed nice scenery both on I-5 and on back roads. In Roseburg we stopped at Riverside Park and at Stewart Park, which is on the banks of the South Umpqua. On to the Sanders Nursery in Melrose where again our hosts, Merle and Belva Sanders, showed us many varieties of rhodies and other plants. This place is on a steep hillside in nice timber. The blooms are past their prime, but are still very nice. Then to the River Forks County Park at the confluence of the North and South Umpqua Rivers. Another beautiful spot. Outside Christmas lighting displays are shown here in December. We will visit this place at that time. Ewart enlightened us (as usual) with things geologic and historic; many thanks, Ewart. (He got us lost only once, by the way!) The driving skills of Larry Edwards was severely tested at both gardens. He maneuvered the big bus with in-out zig-zag up-down and earned our applause. Larry returned us to Eugene at about 5:30.

Riders were: Ewart Baldwin, Ingrid Carmichael, Nicole Chase, Florence Douglas, Jeannette Forsman, Bette Hack, Dora Harris, Marjorie Jackson, Jean Jensen, LeRoy Klemm, Dodie Leppmann, Cleora Mersdorf, Tom McArthur, Mary Millman, Joyce Mixer, Liz Reanier, Edna Robertson, Dick & Janet Speelman and leader Ray Jensen.

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