Archive for April, 2007

Club History

The Evergreen Chrysanthemum Association (ECA) welcomes your participation during the 60th Anniversary. The ECA, established in 1947, patterns its classification of blooms and show judging after the National Chrysanthemum Society of England. Most mums grown by our group are of English origin, though an increasing number of our cultivars originate from many parts of the world including the United States, France, Australia, Japan, and China. The Club presently has approximately 200 different cultivars circulating among club members. These varieties are seldom available at garden nurseries or in flower shops. New stock is perpetuated from cuttings taken each year by our members and supplemented by specialty nurseries such as Kings, and other clubs including the Point Grey Chrysanthemum Association and the Tacoma Chrysanthemum Society.
Over the years ECA members have been active and recognized on a national and an international basis in our hobby. A past member and his wife (Ed and Maudie Hodgson) had cultivars named for them and listed in the British National Register. In March 2007, Jim McFarland had an article published in the American NCS magazine on the origin of the cultivar Lili Gallon. Others have attended or participated in the national shows in the UK and US and had the opportunity to meet the best of those growers and share those experiences with other ECA members.
In the 30s and 40s some prominent Seattleites cultivated English Exhibition Mums as a hobby. Many large chrysanthemum shows were staged during the period in the Seattle Armory. The Seattle Chrysanthemum Society was organized during the 1930’s along with clubs in the Vancouver B.C. area following the growing methods suggested by Jack McGlashan. Women outnumbered the men in the Seattle organization. This situation led to a conflict of interest over the kinds of blooms allowed in the shows and who should govern the Society. The men frequently lost in these issues. Eventually, the men decided to form their own group, The Evergreen Chrysanthemum Association in 1947. The ECA mandated in their constitution women would not be allowed into the organization. Monthly meetings were held in the President’s home for many years with smaller meetings held on weekends to teach members how to grow chrysanthemums. Many social events brought members together and the association enjoyed a high espirit de corps and camaraderie. Eventually a club member allowed the Association to have free monthly meetings at night in his place of business on First Avenue South. This was the meeting place for many years, until the business was sold.
ECA went on a search for a new meeting place mid way between the north and south end of Seattle for an easy commute by its members. Sears, the Odd Fellows Hall, the Senior Center in the University District, and a nursing home in West Seattle were all meeting sites for short periods of time. ECA began to pay rental fees for meeting places, which was a drain on the financial resources. Ultimately the host organizations discovered ECA restricted membership to only men, and disallowed use of their facilities on the grounds of discrimination.
Times change. Faced with an aging membership base, ECA had many debates over the years about allowing women into the organization, some of them very heated. Finally in 1998 the membership voted to amend the club constitution to allow women to join the ECA. This change allowed ECA more flexibility in selecting meeting sites and has helped revitalize membership. Currently the ECA has almost as many women as men in its membership. The women, not surprisingly, have proven to be hard workers, good growers and made outstanding contributions to the club. After the change, meetings were held in the City Water Building, and briefly at Trinity Episcopal Church, before moving to the present location at The Seattle Police Athletic Pavilion on E. Marginal Way South in 2001.
Since inception in the 1930’s, Chrysanthemum Shows have delighted the Puget Sound population in a number of locations including The Olympic Hotel, Seattle East Side locations, historic meeting and exhibition halls, The Seattle Center, Southcenter Mall in Tukwila, and The Old Doces Furniture Building in Tukwila. In recent years Sky Nursery, and Furney’s Nursery have hosted the annual fall ECA shows. ECA has staged several smaller shows and exhibitions in the past decade in such locations as Bell Square in Bellevue, Bellevue Botanical Gardens, Japanese Tea Garden in Seattle’s Arboretum, and at the Bellevue Community College.
Members of the ECA participate in other chrysanthemum competitions including the Point Gray Chrysanthemum Club in Vancouver, B.C., Tacoma Chrysanthemum Society, and the Puyallup Fair. The ECA has had a long association with the Point Gray Chrysanthemum Club in Vancouver B.C. Experienced members of the ECA have helped judging when the Point Gray Club had their flower show and visa versa. Even now the flower shows of both clubs are always scheduled to be at least one week apart, so members can attend both shows.
This is only a partial history of the ECA. There are many other stories to be recorded and or expanded for future reflection in the ECA secretarial archives and from our senior club members, including the switch to soilless mix, the stories of the cultivars Vicki Pond and Evergreen #3, and of others. The future of the ECA lies in the interest and curiosity of its members in growing chrysanthemums as well as in the camaraderie of the Club. The challenge for present and future leaders is to keep these goals alive and flourishing.

Mums Varieties Grown by ECA

These are the mums we have grow, some in the past tense only. 🙁
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