AN AFTERNOON WITH DICK CHADWICK
by David Graham
Epi News, April 1992 (Volume 17, Number 4)
It is time again to visitwith another distinguished member of the society. With our busy schedules, it looked for a time that we would not be able to get together…Finally it is off to La Mesa and a visit with Dick.
After a short chat about the San Diego’s water and sewer problems, it is on to the subject of Epis, and Dick’s start with Epis. As to his first Epi, he received an E. Ackermannii from Florence Anderson. This, coupled with having a large potted and unknown Epi that came with the house Dick and Marie bought. The unknown Epi it turned out is a ‘Padre’.
Dick was introduced into the Society by Frank Granatowski, and is one of our Honorary Life members. Many of his early Epis came from the “chance -table” of the early meetings. Then, for a dollar raffle ticket, you could end up with several cuttings. He said that years ago, members were paid $1.00 for every ten cuttings they brought in. This was needed then to encourage members to bring cuttings in.
It was through George French, Richard Latimer Sr. and Wressey Cocke that Dick was ‘talked’ into hybridizing some of his own Epis. It is only recently that he has begun to register some of his hybrids, and has about 25 plants to his credit. He refers to hybridizing as the “young man’s hobby”, as it takes several years to have a new flower ready to be registered. His formula for success: first grow the seedling in a crowdedenvironment as they seem to like it better, then cut the juvenile roots when transplanting or repotting larger seedlings. This will normally produce faster blooming with the new hybrids.
Time for the tour of the Epis. By the front door is ‘Donald Raymond’, one of his hybrids he likes and definitely an excellent bloomer. In the lower area, we find seedlings in various stages of development, from just sprouting to older plants ready and in need of repotting. There are also several hybrids in bloom, some named, many to be named, others, who knows? Many excellent flowers, but as Dick says, they are often close to others that are already named, and unless they have some excellent qualities, they will probably not be registered and add to the confusion that exists with some of the flowers.
There are Epis crowded into all of the areas around the house and fruit trees. There were not a lot in bloom and only a fair amount of buds, but definitely’ a garden to visit during the blooming season. As with George French, I found Dick to be a wealth of information that has been gained from his love of raising Epis. I may try for a second visit when we both have more time to sit and chat. We talked about how to hybridize to get a better flower, the causes of the variegation showing up in the flowers; items that I, for one, would like to learn more about. As Dick said and I have found out, there is not much material in print about Epis.
Dick can normally be found helping to run the cutting table during the meetings and at the Wild Animal Park taking care of the Epi House.
Thank you Dick for the time and the knowledge that I have been able to pick up.