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Re: Awards and Credits


>It would be nice to have some sort of organized award system like 
>other socities.  They may not always indicate the best plants for 
>every area, but they are a starting point.

If the hosta society doesn't have an awards system, then hosta people 
should consider themselves very fortunate.  I can't speak for the iris 
society, but I've been a member of the daylily society for over 20 
years and very active for a good number of those years - now retired 
because of all the idiots that took over our region some years ago.  

In the daylily society there are a whlole lot of awards and the one 
big award - the Stout Medal.  These awards are voted on by "garden 
judges."  Up until recently it didn't take anything special to be a 
garden judge other then to be a member of the society and apply.  
Anyone could become a judge.  Since then things have changed and now 
you have to take some "judges training" from so called judges 
instructors.  While this helps in some respect, there are few people 
who are denied their judgeship, but what is worse, it assumes that a 
certain small group can dictate what is acceptable.  For example, tall 
daylilies are out, small flowered daylilies have to be on short 
scapes, rhizomatous daylilies are a no-no and on and on.  What then 
happens is that hybridizers start breeding so their daylilies meet the 
expectations of the judges.  What in effect happens is that 
hybridizers start hybridizing so they can win awards rather then 
produce daylilies that are garden worthy.  The Stout Medal is suppose 
to be given to an outstanding daylily, but for the most part it gets 
given to daylilies that happen to be popular, for whatever reason, and 
gets the votes of the judges.  Some of these Stout Medal winners are 
quite beautiful, but they will only grow if you live in Florida or in 
the deep South.  

If the hosta society sets up an award system what you will see happen 
is that hybridizers will start introducing hostas that meet the 
expectations of the judges so they can win awards and pat thenselves 
on the back.  What you will get is even more ungrowable hostas then 
you have now.

The best awards system is the free market place.  Look at the catalogs 
from the big mail order nurseries and look at what hostas are being 
sold.  Those are the winners.  They are winning because they can be 
propagated and grown and customers find them attractive.  

Joe Halinar

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