I have sent this out to another smaller group I am in and so I know that a
number of you have already seen it. Please forgive the repetition but what
I was going to post about blue hostas will not be finished until next week.
I have been comparing the leaves of 30 blues against a single standard-
both with and without wax -back and front. More of that next week. Now to
Gentle Readers & Gardeners:
I wanted to share a recent trip with you people. Of course the rain
outside and the promise of more for the weekend is an excellent incentive.
Three days ago I had the pleasure of spending a few hours with Mildred
Seaver at her home in Mass. And of course her garden. It is with good
reason that she is called Queen of the Hostas. At 85 she is amazing. For
that matter I expect she was amazing at 55..... The garden is a jungle of
wonderful hosta genes. Giant hostas have claimed certain paths and in a
least one spot she has a hole which is 3x5x6' covered with a piece of
plywood. I never asked what it was for. It seemed better not to. She has
some incredible pie-crusted hostas. She also has a beauty called 'Humpback
Whale' which has some of the largest blossoms I have ever see. I saw the
blue pie-crusted plant which won best in show last year, and a pair of
'Dorothy Benedict' off- spring which would make your mouths water. Without
looking, I think she has introduced 60 some different cultivars and one of
my favorite hostas which is 'Lucy Vitols' . Her's too.
We talked hostas, taste in hostas, color in hostas, Japanese ferns
(which she raises from spores) .She is not without strong opinions, a
strong will, and years of hosta insights. In the front yard I saw 2 'King
Michaels' like I have never seen before( I will be changing the location
of mine immediately). She had 2 plants of 'Lunacy' with no apparent
spread of any virus. And she has golds. If anyone is going to come up with
the perfect pie-crusted gold- it is she. I am glad that I have pictures I
took for I will never remember it all. A beautiful 'Spilt Milk' specimen,
a look alike to 'Kryptonite but with red dots on the stems, and a parade
of wonderful blues. Amongst the things which registered in my head is that
some of us may be missing out on wonderful hostas that are spectacular at
10 years old- but boring at 5 . Maturity has its virtues. Although I know
there is not room for the thousands of rejects each year- "character" is
not always evident in a seedling. I guess I will have to settle for the
serendipitous event. It was wonderful day with a special person.
Other wanderings. I had been down to Mass. the week before on a trial
run where I went to Weir Meadow Nursery owned and run by Kurt Tramposche,
Seawight Nursery run by Bob Seawright, and the nursery of Leo Blanchard.
These were all nice experiences and I saw some wonderful unbuyable
things. A pale grey-green pie-crusted volunteer I would have killed for.
Two heavily streaked 'Blue Wedgwoods' (wonderful), and 20 or 30 'Gold
Regals' with all sorts of variegation on them.
Visits like this are a good thing. Humbling but encouraging. They are
out there. All we have to do is find them.
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