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Re: Registration

  • Subject: Re: Registration
  • From: "Bill Meyer" <njhosta@hotmail.com>
  • Date: Fri, 18 May 2001 23:18:15 -0400

Hi Everyone,
        I'm just getting caught up on this registration discussion. The
whole registration process, as Gerry says is about record-keeping. That's
all. It's only purpose is to build an ongoing record of the plants of our
era, for any who follow to be able to refer to. It's a written comprehensive
history of hostas that were named and passed around one way or another.
       Part of the reason it seems to cause so much argument these days is
that some people seem to see it as something more. "Worthy of registration"
is something the originator decides, and only that. He or she may ask others
their opinion to help them decide, but it's a personal and subjective
decision. There are no standards that apply, nor will there ever be unless
originators agree to follow some guidelines. I don't see this happening
because there's no real reason for it to. You only register to record your
plant in the book, like signing the guestbook at weddings and funerals, so
that there will be a record of what you made or found and put a name to. The
list of registrations is not a catalog that you are shopping from, it's just
the list of what exists.
        Chick responds to Gerry:

Gerry:   If we want to do something re uniqueness or quality of the plant,
we have to come up with something entirely different.

Chick:  And the market takes care of that quite well, better than any
committee will ever do.  I still vote for fewer rules and committees and
more common sense.

        Does the market take care of moving the best plants into the hands
of the people? I don't think so. As the person behind the First Look
Seedling and Sport Competition, I have to say that the main reason for
staging it is to get the good new plants together in one place and compare
them and choose the best. The market does nothing of the kind. The market is
about profit, by definition. If it is more profitable (even in the long run)
to sell junk, then junk will be sold. Not all nurserymen would, but enough
would to load up everyone's gardens with inferior plants. Then there is the
issue of lookalikes. We all know that some producers are taking identical
sports, or nearly identical ones, and putting a new name on them to have a
"new" cultivar to sell. In the market today, we have three of this plant
under different names, and four of that one, and so on. That is what letting
the market control things does.
       First Look will offer an alternative to this. The nurseries can come
to the Competition and find plenty of new material to offer their customers.
The originators can make arrangements with them there. Everyone else can
vote to decide which plants are the most interesting, and tell that to the
nursery owners, and in the long run decide which plants are offered for sale
in the future. This Competition is designed as a regional-level event which
can be staged each year in several regions so that all originators can have
a place to bring their plants. It's not about committees and rules, it's an
opportunity to change the whole process to one where people decide by voting
which plants are best and should be propagated and sold. If you want a say
in that, this is the way to have one. If anyone can think of a better
alternative, let me know.
        Registration has nothing to do with how good the plants are, and the
market is about making money. If you want a system that lets the best plants
move to the retail shelves and catalogs, you have to have a place to
evaluate and vote on them. Otherwise your voice will not be heard. We are
trying to provide that, and all of you are welcome to come and make your
choices known. We'll provide the food and drink. Hope to see you there.

..........Bill Meyer

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