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Re: Fw: Registration

My dear friend Bill,

You know me well enough to know that I mean this in the best possible way.
Where the hell are you comming up with this muddle-headed nonsense?  No sooner
do I give up on trying to straighten out Andrew and you start up.  I'm going to
try to answer as best I can, but to cover everything in your message that makes
no sense would take more time than I have.  Even on Sunday I have to go to work
and take care of all these crappy hostas so I can send them to my victims, oops,

Bill Meyer wrote:

>  OK Chick,
>  Do the buyers want three plants named 'Loyalist', 'Fire and Ice', and 'Paul
>  Revere', all of which are in effect the same plant? Some I've talked to
> seem
>  to think they've been taken advantage of, fooled into buying a plant they
>  already have. Did anyone demand three plants with the same name?

I acknowledged that this happens. It's been happening since before there even
was a hosta market.  Since the great fortunei explosion.  There have always been
similar or identical plants with different names, whether through mistake,
disceit, or quest for honor and glory.  Christmas Tree and Grand Master,
Satisfaction and Tyler's Treasure, and many others we both can name if we
wanted.   So what is the solution and what does First Look have to do with it.
Five years ago all of these plants you mention would have been known by the same
name, under the rules of the registrar.  If that was a better method, then the
registrar can revert to that system.  I don't see how you can blame the
introducers for following the rules of the AHS.  And if you tell someone that
two different plants are white centered forms of the same plant, and they buy
them both, I can't say that I have a lot of sympathy.  I agree that we don't
need multiples of the same sport, but the fact that there are a few instances of
this happening does not constitute a major flaw in the system that requires a
committee to solve it.  What is the committee going to do?  Tell two of the labs
that they have to quit producing the plants.  And again, where does First Look
fit in.

I didn't claim that the market was perfect.  I just maintain that it does a
pretty good job, certainly better than your committee of Communist comisars

>  Is there a
>  great selection of really exciting new plants this year? I've seen a few,
>  along with a few more ordinary things with fancy descriptions, and a few
>  tissue-culture culls that wouldn't get anyone excited. We've seen some
>  beautiful plants on hostapix that are far more interesting than many of the
>  new plants in catalogs this year.

Explain to me the flaw in "the market" that is keeping these plants you've seen
from being offered and what First Look is going to do to solve it.  I am totally
looking forward to First Look, but I don't think that it is going to provide
some new way to circumvent the dark mysterious forces who control hosta supply
and keep good plants from being widely distributed.  If someone has a plant that
is better than all the new plants being brought out, why isn't it being sold?
We have the hosta library, the forums, the convention tours...  We have all
kinds of methods for breeders to get thier plants noticed if they want to.  And
we have tc labs that bring out so many new varieties each year that we can't
keep track of them.  Give me a reason that the labs would produce inferior
plants as opposed to the most attractive ones they can find and tell me how
First Look is going to change that.  Your original message presupposes that the
nursery industry isn't looking very hard for new hostas, and if they are, they
can't find the good ones.  I guess my whole argument with you is that I simply
don't believe that's true.  If there are great plants out there that are not
being introduced, Naylor Creek, Plant Delights, Green Hill Farms, Bridgewood
Gardens, and many others are ready, willing and able to get them on the market.
If the plant isn't on the market it's because the person who has it isn't trying
very hard.  First Look is a method of displaying these plants to the public, but
I don't think it solves a major problem because I don't think the problem
exists. The good plants will make it to the labs with or without First Look, and
if the labs can produce it, it will make it to the market.  Just because you see
a beautiful picture on hostapix or even see a beautiful plant at First Look
doesn't mean that it's going to be widely grown.  In todays world, if a good
hosta can be tc'd, it will be sold, if it can't, you won't see much of it.

> If nurseries have no difficulty finding great plants how come we don't see
>  them for sale? A look through the new plants available this year hasn't
> sent
>  everybody to raiding their kids' college funds to get a few more
>  irresistable new ones. The big new intro from Walters is a sport of
>  'Hyacinthina', Shady Oaks is offering a 'Fragrant Bouquet' sport. Both are
>  actually pretty nice, but where are the newer seedlings?  We're stuck in a
>  rut of endless variations of the same old thing.

In the last 12 months I have put 50 to 100 new varieties in my catalog, and
other nurseries sell a lot more that I don't have.  Which varieties are not
available that you really want to see introduced?  If the breeders have them and
people want them, what is it that's keeping us from selling them?  My experience
with Satisfaction is that it's harder to keep good plants out of tc than to get
them in.  Now there may be some breeder out there with a startling new
development in the world of hostas that doesn't understand the system well
enough to get it distributed, and for that person, First Look may provide the
answer.  Providing that that person knows about First Look.  But for me, and I
suspect most of the others, if I have a plant that I think is good enough to
bring to First Look, that plant is going to make it to the market with or
without First Look, whether it wins or loses.  Then the market will decide
whether it has any value.  Works for me.

>  >It happens because of the rules of the AHS.  There are
>  > obviously identical or nearly identical plants being sold under different
> > names,
>  > but that's what the AHS dictates
>  Oh, come on! The AHS doesn't "dictate" anything of the kind. They couldn't
>  if they wanted to. The Registrar wants them registered that way to avoid
> having two different plants with the same name. That's all. The decision to
> sell them under different names is made by the nurseries for marketing
>  reasons. They felt they would sell more of them if they had a different
>  name. In the past several different plants showed up under the name
>  'Whirlwind', because the marketing decision then was to sell them under a
> recognized name. If two people found the same sport in the same
>  tissue-culture batch on the same day, the odds are pretty good that only
> one
>  new plant was found that day. Putting more than one name on it is not
> supply
>  and demand, it's just a marketing decision. Nobody really demands that.

I'm sorry, but I'm not following you on that one.  But since I don't see what it
has to do with First Look, I'll pass on it.  Since I'm willing to argue about
anything, we can take it up separately if you like.

>       As I said, First Look offers an alternative. There will be new plants
>  there to produce. Maybe not too many the first time, but if it catches on
>  there should be plenty in the future, as more and more people are
>  discovering the fun of raising hosta from seed. How much it changes the
>  marketplace remains to be seen, but it can if people want it too. The
>  nurseries obviously want to have new offerings each year, and if there's
> not
>  anything good to offer, something will still be offered. Why not give them
> a
>  chance to see the really good plants that hybridizers have produced and
> make
>  arrangements with them. Maybe then they really will be able to find great
>  plants to produce, instead of just saying they do. Let's face it, nobody
>  says in their catalogs that this year's new ones are pretty dull, but maybe
>  we'll have better ones next year.

I don't have any argument with First Look.  I think it's a great idea and I said
so when we first talked about it. It offers an alternative, but it does not
solve a problem. My argument is that, first, the problem, if it exists, is not
really that great, and second, that First Look doesn't do anything to solve it.
If people want a plant, and the plant can be produced, we will sell it to them.
A couple of years ago Allegan Fog was the hit of the convention gardens, selling
for $100 or more if you could find it.  Two years later it's on the market,
available from us and Naylor Creek and who knows who else, at less than half the
price.  First Look is certainly one way to show us these plants so we can
produce them, but we're going to find the plants anyway, because that's how we
make money.  With or without First Look, there is no reason that a good plant
won't be sold unless the person that has it doesn't make the effort.  And if
they don't want it to be sold, how does First Look change that?

>  ..........Bill Meyer
>  BTW I don't think Chick is an evil, manipulative, power-crazy tyrant, out
> to sieze control of the hosta world, and never once did I call him an
> insincere blowhard.

Bill Meyer is an insincere blowhard, an evil, manipulative, power-crazy tyrant,
out to sieze control of the hosta world, and I am here to stop him.

> Chick is a friend of mine and I think 'Satisfaction'
> looks great this year.

Thanks, Bill.  See you at First Look.


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