Convention 2010

  2010 convention || overview | how | tours | talks | plants | schedule | weather || related pages


what . . . the Louisiana Chapter of the Azalea Society of American invites you to come experience Louisiana lagniappe 2010, the 2010 Azalea Society of America national convention and annual meeting during March 14-17, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Lagniappe (say lan’-yap) is an old Louisiana French custom of giving customers a little extra. And we plan to show you how it works!

when . . . the convention dates of March 14-17, 2010 are usually peak bloom time for azaleas and rhododendrons in New Orleans—and most of you will still be able to see your own gardens in bloom, later!

who . . . the 2010 convention is open to everyone with an interest in azaleas. If you are not yet a member of the Azalea Society, just add $25 to your registration fee for membership for 2010, including membership in a local Chapter of your choice.

why . . . top 10 reasons (besides the obvious ones for all our conventions):

10. New Orleans is the destination!
9. ‘Big Easy’ is spicy and different!
8. Hotel is located in historic French Quarter.
7. Walking distance to restaurants, historic buildings, museums—even voodoo shops.
6. Good food is everywhere and anywhere!
5. Tour of New Orleans historic gardens.
4. Visit with Margie Jenkins in her nursery.
3. See one-of-a kind plants at Buddy Lee’s nursery.
2. Tour Margie Y. Jenkins Azalea Garden.
1. Get to say “Hi ya’ll”.

where . . . Louisiana . . . New Orleans . . . French Quarter . . . Iberville Suites hotel . . . ’nuff said!


registration . . . to encourage you to register early, if you register online by February 1, 2010 or mail your check and registration form by then, you can use the early $15-off registration fee.

accommodations . . . we will be staying in New Orleans’s historic French Quarter at the Iberville Suites. This historic Vieux Carré all-suites hotel shares a building and staff with The Ritz-Carlton of New Orleans and is located one block off famous Canal and Bourbon Streets.

We got a terrific rate of $99/night—including a hot continental breakfast—and the hotel is offering 1 night prior and 2 nights after our convention for the same rate. Plan to stay a few days extra to enjoy the sights and sounds and food of New Orleans!

Room reservations can be made either online or through Central Reservations at 1-866-229-4351 or through the group link listed below.
You must make your reservations by February 12, 2010 and mention the Group Name to get the $99 rate!
Group Name: Azalea Society 2010 Conference
Group Code: AOY
Group Link: (to make reservations online at $99)

note . . . this is a suites-only hotel. The majority of rooms have one king/queen in bedroom and sofa sleeper in living room. A limited number of rooms have double beds. If you require a room with double beds, you should book early and call the hotel directly at 504-523-2400.

parking . . . there is very little street parking in the French Quarter. Plan to park in the hotel lot for the discounted rate of $20/night (usual charge is $32).

flying here . . . New Orleans International Airport (MSY) is serviced by most major airlines. An airport shuttle is provided by Airport Shuttle New Orleans. Cost is $15/person one way. Taxis are available and price is comparable if 2 or more people share a cab.

questions . . . please contact Regina Bracy • 985-543-4125 • Hammond Research Center / 21549 Old Covington Hwy / Hammond LA 70703


We have great tours planned! With a little something extra
…all tours will be guided tours! You will be free to wander on your own, but if you want to learn about each garden and its plants from its caretaker, follow along on the guided tour.
…Monday tours include lunch and dinner.

Monday, March 15, 2010: Global Wildlife Center, Margie Jenkins, Bracy; Buddy Lee, Hammond Research Station

On Monday, we will stop briefly at the Global Wildlife Center to mingle with over 4,000 exotic, endangered, and threatened animals from all over the world. Global Wildlife Center is the largest totally free-roaming wildlife preserve of its kind in the country. Camels and bison and giraffes! Oh my!

Bracy Garden; Bracy’s Nursery in background
Next, we will be visiting the nurseries of Margie Jenkins, Randy and Regina Bracy, and Robert “Buddy” Lee. Ms. Margie and Buddy are long-time members of the Azalea Society of America and both have received the ASA’s Distinguished Service Award in recognition of their career contributions to the nursery and landscape industry. The increased use of Robin Hill azalea cultivars and other azalea hybrid groups in the southeastern United States is attributed to Ms. Margie’s interest and persistence in growing and distributing these plants. She will give us a guided tour of her Jenkins Farm and Nursery, with many unusual and one-of-a-kind plants.

The Bracys operate one of the premiere wholesale nurseries in the south. read more…
After touring Bracy’s Nursery we will have lunch across the street at the grounds of their home.

Buddy Lee, a past president of the Azalea Society, is the developer of Encore® azaleas with 24 cultivars released in the trade. Although azaleas are his first love, his breeding efforts have not been limited to azaleas. An avid breeder for over 30 years, his nursery is packed with interesting and one-of-a-kind plants including some unique azaleas, magnolias, hollies, and lorepetalums. Guided tours will be provided by Buddy as he describes how he developed Encore® azaleas and points out a few of his favorite plants
Buddy Lee in his garden

Ms. Margie Jenkins
Monday’s tour will end at Louisiana State University AgCenter’s Hammond Research Station. The newly established (2006) Margie Y. Jenkins Azalea Garden is located here. We plan to stroll through the garden with Ms. Margie on a guided tour to learn about her favorite azaleas and native plants. We will also view a complete collection of Encore® azaleas, Robin Hill and Southern Indica azaleas, and native shrubs and trees. read more…

The Hammond Research Station is the center for Landscape Horticulture research in Louisiana. Each year the station hosts the largest herbaceous ornamental plant trials in Louisiana. Expect to see over 300 different cool-season blooming plants during the visit. You will have plenty of time to view all the gardens as we will have our evening meal and speakers on the grounds.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010: New Orleans Botanical Garden, Besthoff Sculpture Garden; Longue Vue
On Tuesday, we will be touring gardens in the New Orleans area.

The New Orleans Botanical Garden opened in 1936 as New Orleans’ first public classical garden. It is one of the few remaining examples of public garden design from the WPA and Art Deco Period, remaining today as a showcase of three notable talents: New Orleans Architect Richard Koch, Landscape architect William Wiedorn, and Artist Enrique Alferez. The Park is home to the largest collection of mature live oaks in the world, some several hundred years old. The McDonogh (estimated at 600 years old), Dueling, and Suicide Oaks are among the remnants of this ancient forest that started long before Iberville and Bienville first scouted the area for a site to build the city and port that became New Orleans. Devastated by Hurricane Katrina, the garden is making an amazing comeback.

New Orleans Botanical Garden
Besthoff Sculpture Garden is located to the rear of the New Orleans Museum of Art and adjacent to the New Orleans Botanical Garden. The 5-acre garden features 60 sculptures by major 20th Century European, American, Israeli and Japanese artists. The sculptures, valued in excess of $25 million, are on view amongst meandering footpaths and pedestrian bridges, reflecting lagoons, Spanish moss-laden 200-year-old live oaks, mature pines, magnolias and camellias. Among the artists represented are Antoine Bourdelle, Gaston Lachaise, Henry Moore, Jacques Lipchitz, Barbara Hepworth, Seymour Lipton, Arnaldo Pomodoro, Kenneth Snelson, George Rickey, Elizabeth Frink, Masayuki Nagare, Siah Armajani, Lynn Chadwick, Louise Bourgeois, Tony Smith, George Segal, Deborah Butterfield and Joel Shapiro. read more….
Besthoff Sculpture Garden
Longue Vue‘s 8-acres of gardens are an idyllic and tranquil oasis in the lively pulse that is urban New Orleans. Created beginning in 1934 by Ellen Biddle Shipman, known as “the dean of American women landscape architects”, Longue Vue has an important place in the history of garden design in this country. At the time of Longue Vue’s creation, a bold new garden movement was in effect. The Country Place Era, as it is termed by scholars of landscape history, was a period during which a unique set of conditions combined to create some of the most breathtaking garden estates in America. In 2006, Longue Vue was designated a Preservation Project of the Garden Conservancy. read more….
Longue Vue

  pre/post tours . . . a little something extra!

A “Secret Garden Tour” of 12 private gardens in New Orleans is available as a pre-convention tour on Saturday, March 13, 2009. It is a real treat to see these “hidden” gardens and homes in this area, and enjoy music, food and art in a very nice old neighborhood. It will be lots of fun for the gardener, and historian and architect buff.

As exciting as our scheduled convention tours are, they don’t even begin to scratch the surface of the many different attractions New Orleans has to offer. If at all possible, come a day early and maybe stay a day or two later (at the same low $99 hotel rate), and experience more of these unique New Orleans attractions as on-your-own pre-convention tours or post-convention tours: the Garden District, St. Charles Streetcar, Audobon Nature Institute, National World War II Museum, Mardi Gras World . . . and Music!

Buddy Lee is also making arrangements for a post-convention tour of Jim Campbell’s River Camellias Nursery, and John Thornton’s Pushepetappa Nursery to view his breeding work on rhododendrons, and other possibilities. If you are interested, please contact Buddy Lee directly. There is no charge for this tour, but you must provide your own transportation.


Your immersion into azaleas continues each evening with talks and slide shows. Click their names for more information on the speakers.

Sunday, March 14, 2010
Although Louisiana hybridizers are relatively young in the history of azaleas and may not be as well-known to the industry, they have made significant contributions to the azalea world especially in the South. Dr. Allen Owings will examine these contributions and highlight some of Louisiana’s own in Louisiana’s Contribution to Azaleas.

In just over 6 months after Hurricane Katrina, the New Orleans Botanical Garden reopened to the public, becoming an encouraging symbol of hope for a city in recovery. Paul Soniat, founding director of the Botanical Garden, will share the story of the destruction and rebuilding of a botanical garden entitled How to Recover a Garden After a Hurricane.

Robert “Buddy” Lee, the owner of Transcend Nursery, will take us on a Walk Down Azalea Lane.

Monday, March 15, 2010
Dan Gill holds the Consumer Horticulture state-wide position with the LSU AgCenter in Baton Rouge. Dan is the spokesperson for the LSU AgCenter’s Get It Growing project, a statewide educational effort in home horticulture utilizing radio, Internet, TV and newsprint. He will speak to us about Gardening in South Louisiana – What Makes it Unique.

Dr. Steve Krebs, Director, Holden Arboretum’s David G. Leach Research Station, shares highlights of his work in his presentation North Meets South: Breeding Rhododendrons and Azaleas with Broad Temperature Adaptations.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Dr. David Himelrick is a horticulture professor at LSU AgCenter and an entertainer. What our brain “sees” is influenced by our past experiences, imagination, and associations. Dr. Himelrick explores the fascinating aspects of our minds in Illusions of the Mind. He will keep you guessing as he uses the power of imagination to draw an image that exists only in someone’s mind!

  plant sale

We will have a variety of unique azaleas and companion plants to take home with you—and to remember us by as they grow and bloom for you.


Sunday, March 14, 2010
  Registration Open 1:00 pm – 7:00 pm
  ASA Board Meeting 2:00 pm – 4:30 pm
  Dinner on Your Own
  Reception/Cash Bar/Plant Sale 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
  Welcome and Speakers 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm
      Dr. Allen Owings   Louisiana’s Contribution to Azaleas
      Paul Soniat   How to Recover a Garden After a Hurricane
      Robert “Buddy” Lee   Walk Down Azalea Lane
Monday, March 15, 2010
  Registration Open 7:00 am- 8:00 am
  Breakfast (complimentary in hotel)
  Tour Departs 8:00 am
      Global Wildlife • Jenkins Nursery • Bracy’s Nursery & Home (lunch) • Transcend Nursery
      Hammond Research Station
            Reception/Dinner/Plant Sale
                Dan Gill   Gardening in South Louisiana – What Makes it Unique
                Dr. Steve Krebs   North Meets South: Breeding Rhododendrons and Azaleas with Broad Temperature Adaptations
  Return to Hotel 10:00 pm
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
  Breakfast (complimentary in hotel)
  Tour Departs 7:45 am
      Longue Vue Gardens • New Orleans Botanical Garden (lunch) • Besthoff Sculpture Garden
  Return to Hotel 3:30 pm
  Reception/Cash Bar/Plant Sale 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
  Banquet 7:30 pm – 10:30 pm
      Business Meeting
      Dr. David Himelrick   Illusions of the Mind
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
  Board Meeting 7:00 am – 9:00 am