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Re: Curves of Beauty


Jim,
Interesting topic..Now you have me thinking too.

As a personal measure for comparing your hostas (or even judging how one cv
 behaves under particular environmental conditions) this seems like a
valuable tool. But I see two problems with its general use.

1) As Diane points out, this is a highly subjective measure as described.
if your index was comprised of more objective measures (e.g., degree of
leaf burn, rated on a scale of 1-3, or % of original leaves remaining, and
so forth) it would be possible to compare the same cv in different gardens
in defferent years. But what I consider beautiful or desirable in a hosta
might be different than what you do, even if we were standing side by side
and rating the same plant. I might, for example, like how Vanilla Cream
changes color throughout the season while others might see it as fading or
"viridescing" (is that a verb?) and rate it downward.

2) The other problem relates to Joanne's suggestion that the area under the
curve be calculated and used for comparison. But what descriminates between
two hostas is the *shape* of the curve, not the area under it. Both can be
mathematically described. Your two hostas, one peaking early and one
peaking late, might have the same area under the curve; does that make them
equally beautiful (or valuable in the garden)?

My $0.02 worth..

Come on, guys! Don't give yourself ulcers over the AHS Robin, it's not
worth it. This kind of discussion is what hosta-open is for. Let's discuss!

Gerry


At 02:36 PM 7/5/99 -0400, you wrote:
>Joanne,
>
>Please note that I indicated in the title,  "Curves" of beauty. If one
>were to compile data on hostas  I believe that each hosta would have its
>typical curve which might differ from that of other cultivars. Each
>specific hosta's curve of beauty might also  vary depending upon many
>factors...of culture for example, of seasonal  variability, of soil type
>and fertility  level at any particular time of the season, of
>temperature variables from year to year during the season, etc..
>
>The use of a curve of beauty to define a given hosta would be very
>general. We all know that the late blooming species hostas ( longipes,
>kikutiis, pycnophylas, rupifragas and their hybrids) would probably have
>a late accending curve and would appear more beautiful in the late
>summer and fall months rather than in the spring when some of the bright
>yellow forms of Fortuneis are at their best. My suggestion for using a
>curve of beauty is  simply a method to GENERALIZE about some of the
>characteristics that we associate with beauty..And the generalization
>can be based on numbers that we assign to levels of beauty in hostas.
>Our indices can represent "proof" that we are arriving at the right
>conclusions if our judgments are rational.
>It is almost like making art more meaningful by using scientific methods
>and mathemetics.
>
>Would I then ''rate " the area under the curve?. I think you mean
>measure the square area under the curve. Yes, this is one method of
>determining if beauty is measured to be high and for a long period of
>time....it is a mathematical calculation to determine proof of beauty,
>so to speak.
>
>Thanks  for your comments. I hope others will stretch their imaginations
>a bit and suggest other approaches as well.
>
>Jim
>
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