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Carolina Winter Symposium

Hi everyone, this weekend Harry Abel and I drove up to Charlotte for their
Winter Symposium. I thought I'd share a few notes I took.

The first speaker was Ann Armstrong who is a local writer, and gave a slide
presentation on Hosta companions. She had nearly 100 slides showing all
kinds of neat things we can plant with our beloved hostas. Many of them I
have in my garden, but some were new to me. She showed slides of perennials,
shrubs and trees. She focused us on things that have good structure and
shapes for the winter garden; perennials and natives that bloom before our
hostas emerge, then go dormant; and all kinds of cute companion plants. I
walked away with about a dozen "must have's", as if I need to start yet
another must have list.

Next up, Bob Solberg talked about Mosses. One of the very best things that
Bob does is to change his talks to fit the needs/wants of his audience. If
you've ever heard him speak, you know how entertaining he can be, if you
haven't YOU SHOULD. He showed slides of all kinds of neat mosses that we can
grow in our gardens. He gave us tips on how to make them grow, when to
plant, and gave us tips on how to maintain them as well. He also gave us a
few recommendations of what books were good on the subject.

After lunch we heard from Mark Zilis about his career in Hostas, the
research that went into writing his book, and then we saw slides of many,
many hostas. More for the want list, but even better, took a few off. Mark
spoke about some of the "look alikes" out there, and the good possibility of
some being the exact same hosta. He featured a bunch of white centered
hostas and the problems with growing them, he featured Frances Williams and
all it's look alikes, he spoke about some of the problems we encounter in
the hosta garden and was just a delight to listen to.

Next up was Kevin Walek on Sun Tolerant Hostas. Kevin's talk was cut much
too short because of time, but it was so interesting the way he compared our
climates to the orient where many of the species originated. He talked about
rainfall, and moisture (aka humidity) and average day temperatures. Very
interesting, all to help give us clues as to how to move our hostas into
much more sun than we would normally give them. Kevin will have an article
on this subject in (I believe) the next Hosta Journal. I for one, can't
wait, because his talk could have gone on much longer than time permitted.

It was a glorious day up in Charlotte, meeting new people, sharing hosta
stories, and seeing some old friends as well. I encourage each of you to
attend a hosta meeting outside your own, every now and then, for a chance to
expand your knowledge and circle of friends.

Lu (Atlanta, Zone 7B)

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