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Collectors Mentality Vs. Great Valued Garden Hostas

  • To: "Hosta" <hosta-open@mallorn.com>
  • Subject: Collectors Mentality Vs. Great Valued Garden Hostas
  • From: "Daniel Nelson" <sussextreeinc@ce.net>
  • Date: Fri, 3 Dec 1999 14:35:42 -0500
  • References: <002b01bf3d0e$bcfb8560$2d0c61d1@MMM01.SPEAR> <3847F660.DEE3D708@atl.mediaone.net>

Judy Burns wrote:
"As you can see, I really don't go too much for the new introductions.
like what I like, and only add a very few hosta each year."

     I agree with your philosophy concerning hosta. So many of the old
hostas are such great performers. With T.C. and now BAP 10 we are going
to see cheaper and cheaper hostas. This is as it should be. In my line
of work I see 25 or 30 home landscapes per week. It is dismaying to see
so few hosta cultivars in my clients and prospects yards.

      I think the high price of some hosta cultivars is very confusing
to new hosta gardeners(and many old ones too!). People tend to relate
price to quality, and this is not the case with hostas. Many of the
expensive cultivars are not any better looking or any more vigorous than
the more affordable standards that have been around for years. I would
get into specifics but I don't want to risk breaking the rules of this

     Those with the "collectors mentality" can support $100 hostas. In
most cases it's not the plant they long for anyway, it's the feeling
they get by having something others don't have. Most collectables
increase in value over time. The opposite is true of hostas. The fact
that hostas plummet in price so quickly is good reason for patience. If
a hosta is truly great, the major labs will have them for sale shortly
as liners for $5 ea. I have bought liners for 4 years now and am
impressed with how they grow, and how group plantings of a single
cultivar look. I learned this from Alex Summers, who uses multiples of
single cultivars very effectively.

     I'll take good garden plants at realistic prices. It's what the
public needs and wants, too. I feel this fact is somewhat overlooked by
the AHS. After all, our purpose is to promote the genus hosta. I take
this to mean we are for more hostas, in more yards, everywhere!

     How many of you have bought a $100. hosta only to see it for sale
for $35 the next year. To me this is taking advantage the "collectors
mentality" by hosta nurserymen. If informed adults are doing the buying,
everything is cool. If mis-information and Madison Avenue hype are the
major causes of these purchases, education is needed.

Caveat emptor,

Dan Nelson
Bridgeville DE
zone 7

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