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Hosta Criticism

  • Subject: Hosta Criticism
  • From: gw1944@vermontel.net (Glen Williams)
  • Date: Sat, 10 Aug 2002 15:21:18 -0500

Dear Hosta Brethren:

It's a hot August day here in Vermont and I have given up for the day
except for watering and some late planting after 7 tonight.  As I look
around the garden I realize that the sports found in TC, as well as some
great  breeding programs have made a number of the old hostas obsolete.
This was ineviItable and I think I need to hasten the process in my garden.
There are clumps marked for oblivion; only they don't know it yet. There
are also far too many hostas being registered or put on the market before
they have proved to be garden worthy. As consumers this is a concept that
we should pay more attention to. GARDEN WORTHY. A  plague on those sellers
pushing dross....just because it is a sport of such and such or has  a cute
name. These hostas and these people are certainly not in the majority, but
the winnowing process for new hostas is not very effective. Word of mouth
is fine, but it means a lot of wasted money. Of course the buyer can always
be blamed, for a fool and his money are soon...... Still, I wish people
would be more candid on the hosta robins about junk they believe they have
purchased. It's understood that nobody has an ideal garden, beauty is in
the eye of the beholder, and anyone can get a bad batch of TC. And our
gardening skills, or lack there of, may be responsible for a hosta looking
ratty, or passing into oblivion. And of course there is always the specter
of taste, cultivated or tilled . Still if a chorus of nays mounts about a
particular plant, at least we hoi polloi are warned.

All the catalogue blurbs would lead one to believe that the vendors are all
selling, SPECIAL, RARE, SPOT-LIGHT-IN-THE-GARDEN, drop dead gorgeous,
unique, radiant, award winning, applause generating, one of a kind hostas.
There is a chance that this may not be true. Just a chance. Even photos can
make an ordinary hosta look great. The TOP TEN Hostas has been a feature of
The Hosta Journal for a long time. Although it is 3 or 4 years behind, it
has always provided a service to the vendor and the buyer. Popularity, as
inegalitarian as it is, serves a real purpose. In   addition to the
popularity poll in The Hosta Journal , I would love to see people send in
their list of hosta disappointments- a list of their least favorites (for
whatever reasons). Nobody wants to put a bell on the cat, but I think
something like this would at least put up a caution sign beside some
hostas. Although it is a negative thing, it's a negative thing that
something positive can grow from. I would hope that the negative poll would
generate some discussions where we all might learn something. It's long
past time for serious and frivilous criticism.

Since I am still grumpy I will add a couple of negatives in person.  I
think that H. Kiwi Black Magic is a waste of money and a waste of the word
black and magic. H. 'Tatoo' is vastly over hyped. It's muddy, must be seen
to close to appear unique and grows badly in some areas of the country.  I
think that there are far too many sports (themes and variations ) of H.
'Strip Tease' (which I love) on the market. Many  are different or unique
only in the eye of the beholder. I have 8 named plants in this series.
Perhaps three may be distinct....with a microscope.  H. 'Great Expectation'
sports may be in danger of heading in the same direction. OK. I feel

"Depression is just the anger without enthusiasm." Steve Wright
Glen Williams
20 Dewey St.
Springfield , Vermont
Tel: 802-885-2839 

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