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Re: Why Grow Other's Seeds? / Junk Hostas


 I didn't say that there are no bad hostas, only that it isn't much of a
problem.

First of all, Hank's pretty good list of "Bad Plants",  includes Frances
Williams, Patriot, Tatoo, Great Expectations, White Christmas, all white
centered hostas, etc, etc. I understand that Hank didn't pick the plants,
but come on. I was on record long ago as not liking Frances Williams, but
I thought we were talking about plants that shouldn't be sold. Do you
really think these plants shouldn't be sold?  I'll go along with any
plant that drawstrings, and any that won't grow anywhere, but I still
don't think that amounts to much of a problem.  

Catalog language? Keep in mind that the purpose of a catalog is to sell
plants.  If someone is dishonest you shouldn't deal with them, but don't
expect us to stop trying to sell plants.

Chick

Bill Meyer wrote:

  Hi Chick,
          Hank put together a pretty good list of bad ones. There are more
  drawstring plants like 'Creme de Menth' and 'Exotic Frances Williams' and
  'Winning Edge', and more "burners" like 'Queen of Islip' and 'Dupage
  Delight', and more "probably will never grow into a clump even if you live
  100 years" types like 'Snow Cap' and 'Blessings' and 'May T Watts'. Then
  there are the ordinary solid-color TC culls from variegated plants that get
  fancy names and descriptions instead of going into the trash. As you know
  there are plenty of hostas out there that pretty much stink as garden plants
  and that ordinary gardeners will come to regret buying if they do.
          I think part of Ray's point is that nurseries don't bother to
  mention that there are problems with a particular plant. Nurseries have a
  language all their own called "Catalog Description", which is similar to
  English but not quite the same, and this causes a 
  lot of confusion for those
  who haven't taken a course in comparative commercial languages. For
  example -- noxious invasive weeds that you will fight a never-ending yearly
  battle to eliminate (like Houtuynia) in your yard are described in
  nursery-speak as "Carefree" and "Easy to establish" and "Great for those
  'trouble spots'". Plants that will never grow in your area no matter what
  you do (like Lewisias) are described as "Needs the right spot" and "Don't
  let this one dry out" and a "plant for that special place". Biennials
  already in their second year and fated to bloom once and die are described
  as "Short-lived perennials" with advice to "allow to reseed for continuing
  display". Then there are the various sales promotions aimed at clearing out
  an overstock of some plant they bought too many of and nobody is buying
  which can result in some remarkable descriptions too.
           Catalog Description is the language of a happy fantasy world 
  where
  nothing bad is ever said about a plant. In this fantasy world no plant ever
  has any bad traits or problems - it only has positive traits. It's like some
  wacky psychological self-improvement course gone haywire. I suppose you
  could be sued for slander if you ever accused a plant of something bad.
           Some might see these practices as dishonest, mainly because they
  havent learned to translate "Catalog Description" into English. Rather than
  the nurseries stopping the sale of bad plants, which they aren't really ever
  going to do, what we all would like to see is a translation guide to figure
  out what a plant really is by reading the catalogs. With hostas the
  situation has been complicated by the tissue-culture process, which isn't
  always as trouble-free as they would like us to believe. Bad batches often
  go out to the retailers that will never grow into decent plants, no matter
  what care they're given. Good plants end up getting b
  ad reputations only
  because one TC batch went wrong.

  .........Bill Meyer    

    I guess what I'm saying is that, once again, we've come upon a problem
    that sounds like a good issue, something that sellers should be ashamed
    of and buyers should be up in arms about, and so far it turns out that
    we've come up with two plants.  So how big a problem is it really?

    I'll agree that there is not much justification for growing either of
    these. But before we get too upset at the growers and warning buyers to
    beware, I think we really have to come up with more than two plants out
    of all the hostas we offer.

    Boy, it's not easy to stir you guys up.  What's wrong, you all still
    bloated from stuffing yourselves over the holidays?

    Chick
    Stayin' Alive    

        Golden Sunburst is definitely one that should not
        be sold, and probably Lunar Eclipse could be dropped, but frankly,  

  very    

        few people offer them any more.

      Unfortunately, Golden Sunburst is offered by 13 retailers and Lunar  

  Eclipse    

      14 per the 2002 Hosta Finder. It is shocking to me that some well known
      businesses continue to sell these plants. Have they no conscious?

      Only the unknowledgable would buy these hostas.

      I'm not suggesting that anyone should try to restrict free trade, but I
      personally think less of businesses that continue to offer the above two
      hostas. I'm sure there are others.
      Ray Rodgers, Bartonville, IL, CIHS, Zone 5

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