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21 January 2021
Dear Society Member,

I wanted to give you an update on what’s happening in the society. COVID continues to have an impact on the society and our chapters. While many activities have been cancelled, others have been modified to comply with Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines. I hope that all of you are doing well during this difficult time.

National Convention – planning for the National Convention in Charlotte began well before the emergence of COVID. Upon the cancellation of the convention in Houston, the planning committee for the Charlotte convention regrouped and changed the operations for the convention to conform to CDC guidelines. This included limiting attendance, eliminating bus transportation, and canceling indoor events such as banquets and speakers. Those plans for the convention are published in the Winter issue of The Azalean (currently in the mail). There were still a number of issues to be resolved with a promise for more information early this year.

Some of the major venues for the convention were operating under a “wait and see” approach to supporting the convention. Unfortunately, given the current COVID situation, the two largest venues, R.A. Bartlett Research Arboretum and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte Botanical Gardens decided that they could not support attendance by groups. With their withdrawal from the convention, it was decided that the live convention could no longer be supported. We hope you understand that decision and we thank Kevin McCorkle and his committee in the Central Carolinas Chapter for all of the work and planning which went into the convention.

We have decided to try a virtual convention. This convention will be held online and will consist of virtual garden tours, speakers, and an annual meeting. We are looking for participation by our members in providing content for the convention. Specifically, we are looking for you to submit video walking tours of your private gardens or public gardens. Further information and guidelines are at the end of this message. To allow more members to video their gardens at peak bloom and to allow time to put the convention together, we are planning to hold this virtual convention over the weekend of 21-23 May. I know that many of you miss the chance to physically get together with other friends in the society. We are looking at possibly holding a regional event later in the year, however no firm plans are in place at this time. Updates will be posted on the society website, through email or in The Azalean as appropriate.

The Azalean – The Winter issue of The Azalean is currently in the mail. It is also currently posted online. This is the last issue produced by Barbara Stump and designed by former editor Pam Fitch. We thank them for their combined service of over 17 years. I’m happy to welcome Kathy Jentz as our new editor. Kathy has years of experience in horticultural publishing. She is currently the editor of Washington Gardener magazine and the Water Garden Journal as well as making contributions in other media. More background on Kathy is in the Winter issue of The Azalean. We welcome her to the society and look forward to working with her to continue producing our excellent journal.

MembershipThe society relies upon the dues of its members to support the society’s programs, most importantly the publication of The Azalean. We still have members who have not renewed their memberships for 2021. We hope that this is merely an oversight. If so, renewals are easily accomplished online at Alternatively, you can call Paul Beck at (703) 860-5676 and renew over the phone with a credit card. If you are planning on renewing, please do so now so that we don’t have to continue bothering you with reminders. If you do not wish to renew, please inform us and we will remove you from our reminder list.

We understand that this is a difficult period for many. If you are unable to renew or have otherwise decided not to, we thank you for your membership and wish you the best. Hopefully, we can welcome you again as a member in the future.

I hope that you and your family are doing well. If you have any comments or suggestions, please email me at


Richard F. Bauer
Azalea Society of America


Garden Tour Videos

Garden tours are virtual walks through public and private gardens.

Videos are solicited from all members.

Preference is a narrated video presentation in standard format .wmv, .mp3, .mp4. Other formats - get with Paul Beck (703) 860-5676 or as to supportability.

Slide shows are also acceptable. Formats are the same as for the video presentations.

All tours should be narrated to explain what is being shown as you walk through the garden. Background (color) commentary is also desirable (e.g., any background on the collection). An alternative to a voiced narrative could be labeling of slides or providing explanation slides embedded in the video.

Videos should not violate any copyrights.

Videos will be transferred electronically. Procedures will be provided separately. If you are planning on submitting a video or have questions, contact Rick Bauer at

Videos need to be submitted no later than 9 May. If this is a problem, contact Rick Bauer.

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