NARGS Home - Quarterlies and Bulletins

Submitted by Mark McD on

With so much focus on issues around NARGS Forum functionality, as there needs to be, I'd like to point out one of the real achievements in the NARGS online presence, that is the scanning and posting of all ARGS / NARGS bulletins and quarterlies from 1938 to present day.  Go to the NARGS Home page, you can't miss it.  The current three years of NARGS Quarterlies are available to members-only, all other quarterlies and bulletins are available free online.


So, I started with the Bulletin of the American Rock Garden Society, Vol.1, No1, Jan-Feb 1943, fascinating, lots of good information.  When reading some of the articles, I'm struck but the number and variety of fine plants mentioned.  I also wonder about named cultivars and selected forms of plants, what ever became of them through the years.


A dwarf form (a micro-dwarf form, relatively speaking) of Magnolia virginiana is shown and discussed, I would love to have such a creature in my garden. Visiting the botanic display beds at Smith College in Central Massachusetts last weekend, the beautiful fragrant blooms of our native Sweetbay Magnolia were present, but one needs room when growing Magnolia, wouldn't a truly dwarf form be a treat for the garden, wonder if such a form still exists.

And then three cultivars of Iris verna are discussed, where are they now? Here's a B&W photo Iris verna 'Vernal Snow' and the text describing it and two other named forms.



And there is fun stuff to see, such as the nursery listings.  Here's one (on the left) that gives some prices, what a different word it was back then.  On the right is an custom binding offering, bind 2 years of bulletins for $1  :-)



There's a wealth of history and information in these bulletins and Quarterlies, previously locked up, now unleashed for all to enjoy. Congratulations to all those involved for accomplishing this task.


Submitted by Longma on Sun, 06/30/2013 - 10:35

What an amazing resource. I'd like to add my thanks to those involved, for what must have been many months, if not years work. Invaluable.

You are right to bring attention to this marvelous  innovation in the NARGS site, Mark .

It is quite some years ago now that the SRGC  provided all our  Journals to that time (Issue 13) on a CD for members and these have been  freely available online on the SRGC Site for quite some time now - and have proved a popular resource. Now all SRGC Journals are available online -  only the most recent are restricted to  holders of an  Electronic Subscription  but the others are there for all to consult.

This type of information sharing online can only be helpful.

Congratulations to  NARGS on this advance.


Submitted by RickR on Mon, 07/01/2013 - 08:41

Even for those of us who have extensive libraries of past NARGS publications, we are always missing a few in the line up.  (And why is it that it is usually that missing one we want to look back on?)  The archive is truly invaluable. 

Whom do we have to thank for this?

Submitted by Ben Burr on Tue, 07/02/2013 - 11:51

Thanks for drawing attention to this remarkable, new resource, Mark.

I am currently working on a new version of the index which should take the reader directly to the issue in which an item appears.  We hope to have this posted shortly.



A interactive index, to issue level , ( if I've understood correctly?).  WOW!, now that is innovative, and for us 'newbies' amazingly useful.

Obviously a huge amount of work involved? Looking forward to seeing, and using,  the results of your work Ben. Thank you.

Submitted by HeLP on Tue, 07/05/2016 - 15:01

The Quarterly arrived in the mail today.  A very nice intro by Malcolm McGregor with a fine argument in favor of belonging to(joining) NARGS followed by the usual interesting and informative articles relating to rock gardening and related topics.

We don't have a national Rock Garden Society in Australia but over 30 years ago a group of like minded individuals who subscribed to the UK's Alpine Garden Society set up the AGS Victorian Group. One of the pre-requisites for membership was to be a member of the AGS in the UK. When we became an incorporated body we retained that as a rule. Part of the reason was that we wanted members who were enthusiast about gaining knowledge through reading the journals and raised new plants from seed from the Seedex.

Recently that rule was changed so that membership was extended to anyone who belong to either NARGS or the SRGC as we felt that they offered the same benefits. (A lot of us belong to two or even all three)

One of our concerns was the expense of belonging to the overseas societies - at one stage the AGS membership cost about Aus$70 - I don't know too many local groups that charge that much to join! Our local membership rate has been maintained at a low cost to offset the overseas expense but most members paid over $80 a year to belong to our group - that's dedication! Now at least with the reduced cost of electronic memberships it is more affordable,

One day we hope to organize an international conference so I'll keep you informed if it ever happens!