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Preserving Our Treasures

Hi Everyone,
         Last year something happened that got me thinking about what we should be doing that we would regret not doing later. After the death of William Lachman, his wife Eleanor decided to move into a managed care facility and sell their house and garden. I never managed to get up there for a visit, so I will never see the place where so many fine hostas were born. The Lachman garden was one of the many truly important hosta gardens I had on my list of places I wanted to see. I talked to a few people last year about this and found that some would be interested in doing something. Two local societies decided to fund the photographing of Alex Summers' fabulous garden in southern Delaware. For $500 or so we will be able to take 1000 pictures of this huge private garden and scan them in for use on the internet. I don't know where they will end up, but as Bob has shown us with the wonderful HostaLibrary, a website nowadays can easily hold 1000 or more color photos. If these are shot initially with slide film, they can be used in the future for talks as well. We have 40 rolls of slide film for Alex's garden.
        Other famous and important gardens are reaching their last few years of existence around the world, and I would like to ask you all to stop and think about whether you can work with your local societies to build a photographic record of these gardens before they disappear forever. The Lachman garden is gone forever, with only a few pictures taken there to show what it was like, the beds which once were home to the young seedlings that grew up to be 'Cascades' and 'Galaxy', 'Robert Frost' and 'Sand Pebbles', and so many more have been flattened and seeded with grass or planted with marigolds and impatiens. It's too late to preserve it for those of us who never saw it, or those who will come along after us, but there is still time to record some of the others. It's up to us---------can we do it, or will they slip away too?
                                                                                                       .........Bill Meyer  

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