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Re: The Unwritten Code

At 08:41 AM 7/9/99 -0400, you wrote:
>Open Robins,
>To begin, I am not a lawyer, but I have a lot of practical experience in
>fairness, ethics and moral conduct in dealing with people in many
>situations. I write the following as a personal opinion which I think
>will pass the test of logic, legality and common sense. If I am wrong,
>please let me know. I value the opinions of others when it is sound. If
>I am right but have expressed views incompletely, please let me know
>this also.
>In the world of horticultural commerce there are written contracts,
>there are orders, there are invoices, there are spoken agreements, there
>are handshakes and there are promises....all based on exchange of money
>for things. Business is usually conducted in an atmosphere of
>confidence, of goodwill and faith that the quality of the product
>involved is equal to the price and that the purchaser's credit and check
>are both good.
>In the world of  hosta gardeners, hobbyists and hybridizers, there are
>exchanges likewize based on confidences and specific conditions. These
>exchanges do not involve money or written documents but they may involve
>values and agreements. I give you a plant , for example. You give me
>your friendship that may last a lifetime. No money changes hands. No
>contracts are signed, no invoices are submitted. Notes are kept perhaps
>because memories often fail. Oftentimes,  certain understandings  and
>unwritten conditions accompany the plant. These are accepted as part of
>the exchange of the plant and the friendship. Sometimes it is spoken or
>perhaps even written. Sometimes it goes like this:
>   " In giving this plant to you, I prefer, in fact,  we understand that
>you will not allow this plant
>     to leave your garden and enter into the commercial horticultural
>trade. If there is money to be
>     made, it is I who will benefit from its sale to recover costs of
>its development"
>Both giver and recipient understand that the plant is intended for the
>enjoyment and use of the recipient in his garden. He may use the
>germplasm and may develop other plants from it (through hybridization or
>from sports) which are not subject to conditions agreed upon,  but he is
>not to enter  into commerce of the original plant without the permission
>of the original owner.
>Is this so unreasonable a  condition to accompany a gift plant...or even
>a plant being traded for another of equal value? In my opinion, if
>conditions are agreed upon, this agreement is as valid as any business
>agreement. Often both parties are equally obligated to abide by similar
>agreements. It is a matter of understanding and good faith agreed to by
>This unwitten code which accompanies the gift of a hosta to a hosta
>friend continues throughout life or until circumstances change which
>would affect the unwritten agreement. Changes in marriage status,
>illnesses, sale of property, changes in jobs or residences, death or the
>end of the friendship can affect the agreement. The status of the
>original agreement may be altered in ways to invalidate the original
>unwritten agreement and ownership of the plant in question. If new
>possessors of the plant material are not in agreement with conditions
>associated with the original gift ( for example, not abiding by the
>original prohibition regarding its entry into the horticultural trade) ,
>it seems to me that the original owner  has a claim for return of his
>gift plant material to prevent such use.
>I know of no such case in which such conditions change to such a degree,
>that problems have arisen...but I can conceive of situations where this
>might occur....where gifts intended for one use may  actually end up in
>another  use. Let us hope and manage our gifts or exchanges of the
>Friendship Plant in ways that it will not become the subject of discord,
>greed and acrimony between friends and associates..........and even
>their heirs.
>Please help improve upon this description of an unwritten code of
>agreement of use of gift plants. What have I forgotten? Or included,
>that is incorrect???
>Jim Hawes
>To sign-off this list, send email to majordomo@mallorn.com with the
>Hi all,   The first guest plant was given to me by Leo Sharp; I didnt have
a clue what guest  plant was. Here is how it was explained to me

Aplant is given in trust
U cant sell it
U cant register it
U cant give it away
U can hybridize on it  and use the pollen
any seedling should be ofered back to the owner as a guest(optional)
ownwer should be given first right of refusal  on sports
guest gets to keep two divisions  if owner wants plant back, sell register
rules still apply.

I have many guest plants  with my friends for evaluation and safety, never
had a problem.  Indianabob

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