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What Are you gonna do with it?


In Hosta lingo, commonly used by nurserymen, hosta propagators with tc
labs, or hosta gardening friends, this question means nothing or a lot
of things, depending upon the circumstances.I HATE this question.!It's
so dumb. But I patiently listen to it and answer it the best I can to
make the answer more intelligent than the question.

This question is used north, south, east and west, directed to you and
me to determine what are the plans for further selection, propagation,
naming and registering , introducing,  distributing and perhaps
marketing the wonderful seedling or sport  you or I have just shown or
perhaps given to them as a gift.

The question is maddening. It infers that I haven't done anything with
it yet; that if it were theirs, they would do differently with it than I
They overlook the fact that I have grown thousands of their brothers and
sister seedlings through dark winter months under lights,  paid huge
electric bills, grown it on for a few years, weeded it, watered it,
along with other seedlings and finally selected it  out, re-planted it,
and propagated it via bud cuttings and have shared it with about 6 or 8
other people.

By this question they may be asking, "What are the terms under which I
take possession of this plant? Can I propagate it and sell it?  Are you
going to propagate it and sell it? How many people have it already? Are
they going to sell it? Under what arangements? If I can't sell it, am I
just supposed to look at it for ten years? WHAT? WHAT? WHAT? Do you see
what I mean when I say the question is maddening?

If it were theirs, they would simply send a plant to so and so who has a
tc lab; they would have 100 liners propagated for them for about 300
dollars, they would give it a sexy name, register it and sell them a
year later for 100 bucks or so to the "hungry for something new" crowd
of hobby hosta gardeners always on the lookout for something different,
rare, special, etc. so they can be one-up on their hosta  gardener

But what do I do? I gave one each to 6 or 8 friends, they grow it on and
soon they have more than I have of the darned thing.They ask if they can
sell it? I say "OK, but under the name I have given it,OK?  but it's not
even registered yet...wait till it's registered."

In the meantime the darned thing has sported. Someone else has a
reversed form of it, so mine is not quite as unique as it was before the
sport was found. We are off to the races again to see who can propagate
it first, grow it to mature size, get a photo of it, get it registered,
named and shown to the public and create more demand for it...all the
while holding off other friends who want it and want it NOW!!!What a rat

I think Herb had it right.He gives his wondeful plants away to friends
and lets them run the rat race. He is able to say..."I have never sold a
hosta plant in my life."

So far, I can say the same. I don't want to get into the hosta  selling
rat race. Thank God I am too old to run...otherwize, I would be
propagating everything in sight. In my Golden Years, I will let my
younger  friends figure out the answer to the question..."What are you
gonna  to do with it?"

Jim Hawes

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