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RE: Hosta Ramblings---and milking the AHS membership

Labor Day at Honeysong Farm

Ran and Glen are on the same subject Alex and I were talking about Labor Day
morning. We were discussing how so many hostas are entering the market place
that are not proven garden performers and that many members of the AHS are
"collecting by name only". Glen's analogy to six year olds comparing marbles
rings true. Another subject we discussed is the practice of some hosta
nurseries to introduce a hosta at a high price and then drop the price
rapidly in the next few years. Alex refers to this practice as "milking the
members of the AHS". We have seen this several times with tissue culture
culls of popular cultivars introduced at high prices.

I see many people's yards and gardens every day when giving quotes for tree
care. I do not see very many good hostas even in gardens with impressive
plant collections. I guess the general public is going to have to wait until
Wal-Mart, Lowe's, Kmart etc. gets a hold of good hostas and fulfills the AHS
mandate of promoting the genus hosta. This is happening right now and is a
very good thing for hostas and the gardening public.

The mandate of the AHS is to promote the genus hosta. This means the AHS
should be trying to get as many good hostas into as many peoples gardens as
possible. It does not matter if the seller is a mass marketer like Wal-Mart
or if the seller is a member of the AHS growers group. More good hostas in
more peoples gardens should be our goal.

I know as a fact that many hostas are limited in production in an effort to
keep the price high. Many of these hostas are propagated in tissue culture
labs. I see nothing wrong with nurseries that use this practice. After all,
this is America (for most of us) and it is no crime to make as much money as
possible as long as it is legal. This is OK for nurseries but the AHS should
not be run by or cater to individuals that hold this philosophy.

To truly fulfill the AHS mandate the AHS should be blind to who is making
the profit on hosta sales and only be concerned that the most good hostas
make it to the gardens of the most good people.

There is an obvious conflict of interest when AHS executive board members
are introducers of hostas, own hosta nurseries, sell other executive board
members introductions and also formulate the policies of the American Hosta

I am not suggesting that any wrong has been done. I am only suggesting that
the temptation is there. The preferred growers group and associated AHS
policies was an attempted step in this wrong direction. The present
treatment of people and the hostas they refuse to register as enemies of the
AHS is another wrong direction.

For what it's worth,

Dan Nelson
Bridgeville DE

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