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new kid on the block

HI all,
 While I have been a member of the AHS for slightly more than a year, this is the first time I have taken the opportunity to make contact via this remarkable medium. I have been reading all the messages but haven't added to the conversation until now. Intimidation is a factor. It is obvious that my knowledge of hostas in particular and shade gardening in general are on a much more modest level than most of you.   I suspect that there are probably a lot more like me who use this open (and the previous hosta-robin) for a wonderful source of information on hostas but who don't put in their own  2 cents worth. It certainly was fascinating (and bewildering) "watching" the events near the end of the hosta-robin.
It is apparent that many of you have friendships and acquaintances of many years duration and know each others gardening involvement. So---by way of introduction--- I moved into my home, located on a forested bluffside overlooking the Mississippi River, in of June 1992 and was a completely happy guy until I tried to mow the weed patch that passed for a front lawn. Within minutes I realized the damn thing was way to steep to mow and, after some thought, decided to cover the area with a few ground covers and just let them take over like the catalogs said they would. (by now you know how totally ignorant I was). You know the rest of the sordid story: first I added a few flowering plants, just to class things up a bit; somewhere along the line I came to realize the shade from all those trees meant most plants wouldn't grow there ( I really was really ignorant); decided to check some books out of the library for winter reading; my friend (now significant other) Betty
gave me a few divisions of some plants called hostas (lancifolia) in 1993 and by 1994 the obsession started to take over when I got a group of 12 hosta from Jung Seed; in 1997 , when the number of varieties reached 100
some of my friends started to look at me strangely--you all know the look I mean---and now my wish list of 50 varieties will take me up to around 200.
I might consider myself as stark, raving, mad if it wasn't for the knowledge that you folks seem at least as bad off and even worse in some cases. Thank you. Your similarly bizarre behavior gives me solace in the middle of the night when I contemplate how life has taken me to such a place.
See ya around.
Hank Zumach
Stoddard, WI
zone 4

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