Celebrating Silver 1976–2001: Silver Wrappings

By: Richard G Turner Jr

Richard G Turner Jr is the editor emeritus of Pacific Horticulture. After receiving degrees in architecture and landscape architecture from…

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Pacific Horticultural Foundation’s mission is to stimulate and inspire gardeners in the art and science of horticulture on the West Coast through quality publications and related activities.

A Pacific Horticulture destination for 2002: the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain—a building seemingly wrapped in silver. Author’s photograph

A Pacific Horticulture destination for 2002: the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain—a building seemingly wrapped in silver. Author’s photograph

Pacific Horticultural Foundation represents more than a magazine. Through the committed involvement of its board members, its editors, and the many individuals who contribute to its content, the foundation connects to the larger world of horticulture, in both public and private arenas, on the West Coast and beyond. A quick review of the contributors’ biographies in each issue shows the breadth of involvement of those who write for the magazine. The same can be said of the volunteers, staff, and participants in our occasional symposia. In the following pages, we have invited the five sponsoring societies that make up the foundation to tell about themselves, for those who may not be aware of the role that these organizations play in their communities and in the advancement of horticultural knowledge.

As we wrap up our year-long celebration of Pacific Horticulture’s silver anniversary, there are still individuals and organizations that must be acknowledged for their contributions to the Pacific Horticultural Foundation and to the success of the magazine.

Behind the scenes in the assembling of the magazine have been assistant and associate editors who have helped maintain the accuracy and high editorial standards of our publication. Nora Harlow worked tirelessly with George Waters, from the early years of the magazine until his retirement, aiding particularly in the transition to the computer era. Following in that role of assistant editor has been John Kadel Boring, providing the current editor with a sharp eye and professional wit in reviewing each of the manuscripts. Dr Robert Raabe, now retired from the plant pathology faculty at UC Berkeley, has steadily contributed the Laboratory Report for nearly twenty years; his column is often quoted as the “first page I turn to” by our readers.

Readers also regularly comment on the limited but appealing selection of advertisements that fill the back pages of Pacific Horticulture. We are indebted to those individuals and companies who have helped defray our publication costs over the years, and to Carole Vossen (and her several predecessors) for so carefully managing our advertising program.

Working closely with circulation director Olive Rice Waters has been our office staff: Donna Rolls, now retired after seventeen years and succeeded by Shirley Breese. Mike McKeever now manages the circulation office, monitoring the often worrisome ebb and flow of our finances and keeping our operation running smoothly.

It is unusual for a magazine to remain with the same production team for twenty-five years, but that is the case with Pacific Horticulture. In the first year of publication, George Waters chose wisely and carefully a team of designers, color separators, and printers. Laurence Hyman designed a format for our magazine that was at once readable and affordable. Sharyn and Walt Gayton, working initially on the advertising pages, took over the design of the entire magazine when Laurence moved on to other projects; they have since worked closely with George and with the present editor to maintain the simplicity and clarity of the magazine’s appearance.

Preparing photographs and text for delivery to the printer, a process now summarized as “pre-press,” has been the domain of only two companies in the history of Pacific Horticulture. Gregory and Falk, of San Francisco, began in the earliest years of the magazine and continued until the early 1990s when Bay Area Prep, now Image Direct, also of San Francisco, took over the task. Over the past twenty-five years, the technology of this process has advanced radically, and we appreciate the attention given to bringing us “up-to-speed.”

Suburban Press of Hayward, California was asked to print our magazine with its second issue in 1976, when the first printer proved unable to meet our needs and standards. Through changes in management and ownership, in paper costs and availability, and in the technology of printing, Suburban Press has maintained the highest quality at a price the foundation could afford.

It has been a pleasure, an honor, and a profound learning experience to serve as editor of Pacific Horticulture for the past four and one-half years. Among the many highlights has been the opportunity to work with so many talented and professional individuals, and with such enthusiastic garden lovers.

We are actually one full year into our second quarter-century of publication. Finances are never as stable as we would like, but we are determined to reach the golden fifty. We thank all the writers, artists, and photographers who have donated their time and talents to fill the pages of the magazine over the years and look forward to a continuing relationship with them as well as, we hope, many new contributors. Most of all, we thank you, our readers, for your dedication to Pacific Horticulture and sincerely hope that you will still be with us—at least in spirit—when we reach fifty.

Happy gardening…happy reading…and happy holidays from everyone at Pacific Horticulture.