David Ballantyne – “Botanical Gardens on the Big Island of Hawaii”

David Ballantyne – “Botanical Gardens on the Big Island of Hawaii”
by Sherri Wretham, 23 May 2009

Dr. David Ballantyne has spent his entire life working with plants, beginning in his parent’s greenhouse business in Victoria.  After completing graduate work in horticulture at Washington State and the University of Maryland, he worked at the Agriculture Canada Experimental Farm at Saanichton.   In 1963 he obtained a teaching and research position at the University of Victoria, a position that evolved into a career lasting 33 years.

Most of his teaching emphasized plant physiology, while his research was involved in investigating plant hormones, and latterly, the effect of air pollutants on plants.  He has always been interested in rhododendrons and azaleas, and also in using greenhouses.  Since retiring in 1996, he has been involved in investigating the flowering, water relations and flowering of azaleas and rhododendrons.

He spoke to us about his recent travels to the Big Island of Hawaii, where he visited several botanical gardens…and continued to marvel at the azaleas and rhododendrons!