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WalMart hostas


I've been reading all this Wal-Mart hosta stuff with interest. I have to
admit I bought a Wolverine for $2.50 and would have bought some of the
others if they had had them but they didn't. I have bought more hostas
from local nurseries and from mail order nurseries than I've ever bought
at Wal-Mart or K-Mart or Lowes though.

I was first really introduced to hosta when we moved into our current
house about 15 years ago. There were two huge erromena in a corner under
some bushes. Each year, it seemed like I would split them and plant the
divisions and the things would be huge by the next summer. When I was
looking to find something to plant under the maple trees (before I knew
about maple tree roots), I thought of hosta. I got a Francis Williams
and an Elegans at a local discount store. I loved how they grew and
bought a Halcyon and Honeybells. When I read about Sum and Substance, I
wanted one and started searching the nurseries. I knew the discounters
wouldn't have that. It took me several nurseries before I found one but
that hooked me. In my search, I saw all sorts of other hosta I liked and
haven't looked back since.

The point I'm trying to make is that the discounters have always been
there for the beginners but once people get hooked, they will seek out
the local nurseries and the mail order ones. Not everyone who plants a
hosta will become a collector, but those who do won't be satisfied with
the random selection at the discounters or the poor care and quality.
Yeah, I could get a Sum and Substance at a K-Mart now probably (well,
not mine since they have as lousy a selection as my Wal-Mart), but not
Spinach Patch which I ordered last week. And the Wolverine I bought
wasn't a sale that a mail order nursery lost as Wolverine wasn't on my
list of have-to-haves. I got it because it was a great price and went
ahead and ordered the ones I've been wanting from a mail order nursery
(since I had already checked all my local nurseries and they didn't have
them). You have to remember that many of the people who buy Wal-Mart's
$10 or $2.50 hosta wouldn't spend $25 or $65 for one. It takes someone
who really loves them to pay more. But then collectors of anything have
always been a different market from the casual buyer and I think there's
a place for both.

I hope that all the specialty nurseries have enough business to stay
alive but if they don't, I don't think it's because Wal-Mart is stealing
their customers. Maybe there are just too many of them for the collector
market. 
-- 
Anne

Anne.M.Kolaczyk.1@nd.edu
229 DeBartolo
University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, IN 46556 
219-631-8679
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