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Message from Glen


I'm forwarding on this message from Glen Pether.  Unfortunately the
header was too long (too many addresses) and it was bounced.


On Saturday Morning, Mike Shadrack, Tim Saville and I, boarded the
8.30am
ferry to
France. Two cups of coffee later, we docked in Calais and after driving
for
about an hour or so on the wrong side of the road, we arrived in Deinze,
Belgium to visit the garden of Danny Van Eechaute.

Danny's hosta collection is approaching 1000 different spieces and
cultivars,
so out came the cameras and we spent a couple of hours exploring the
garden
and taking photographs, many of Danny's plants are expensive OS imports
from
various US nurseries, some I had only read about and not actually seen
before,
so it was an interesting visit to a enthusiastic and friendly belgian
hostaholic, who made us feel very welcome. With a three hour drive to
our next
destination, we left Deinze, drove through Antwerp and into Holland.

After several near misses with Dutch cyclists and a few more hours
driving on
the wrong side of the road, we pulled up outside Ben Zonnevelds house in
Leiden. After a warm welcome from Ben, we followed him straight through
the
house and into the garden. We spent some time looking at and discussing
Bens
seedlings, there was one 3 year old seedling I was particulary taken
with,
long pink petioles with a light blue leaf, as yet un-named but I would
definatley have paid good money for it had I seen it at a nursery, so
think of
a name for it Ben!  Ben's wife called us in for coffee and cakes, so the
four
of us went indoors and chatted about,......what else? Hostas and pollen
fertility, amongst other things. Ben gave me longipes latifolia 'Urajiro
Hachijo' in return for a few kikutti varieties I had taken him, which I
was
pleased to get as i'd been after it for some time. Ben is the only one
from
this list who I have actually met face to face, I could see he was a
little
suprised by my age, so for the record I am 31. We stayed overnight in a
hotel
in Leiden but deceided to drive to Den Haag for our evening meal, where
we
ended up in an very good Argentinian steak resturant. 

Sunday morning we got to Marco Fransen's nursery in near by Ter Aar at
9am.
This whole area is full of nurseries, each house seemed to have a
nursery
behind it and all of them were surounded by dykes. I think Marco said
his
family had 8 acres there. Marco kindly gave us a free rein and allowed
Mike,
Tim and I to wander freely through the field rows full of thousands of
hostas,
astilbes and epimediums. There were numerous poly-tunnels and huge green
houses, this is a major wholesale nursery and marco has a small retail
area at
the front, with recently planted display beds. We spent a couple of
hours
wandering about, and another couple choosing the hostas we wanted to
buy.
Amongst others, I ended up buying another 'Urajiro Hachijo', a large
'Great
Expectations' to replace the tiny tc thing I lost this year and a couple
of
'Paradise Red Delight'.
Paradise, is the name of the road where the nursery is situated, so
Marco has
used that prefix before most of his introductions.  P. Red Delight, is a
seedling of pycnophylla, that marco says grows faster and had redder
petioles.
The two I bought look very nice and I was fortunate enough to get one
with a
scape and bud on it already, which should be useful. I also pick up a
streaked
'Torchlight' , in fact between the three of us, we loaded my car with 6
crates
of hostas!  Marco and his wife Joyce, were very good to us considering
sunday
was normally their day off and we hope to have them join us for the BHHS
summer weekend in East Anglia this year. Incidently, Alan Tower is
selling
Paradise Power and Naylor creek will be selling Paradise Joyce.

Our last visit on this trip was to the Trompenburg Arboretum, where the
dutch
national hosta collection is held. Although dubious about the size of
the
collection before we arrived, we left very impressed. We each used a
roll of
film photographing many of the good clumps, some of which were not known
to us
at all. Unfortunatley, we couldn't stay at Trompenburg as long as we
would
have liked, there were plenty of other plants to see other than hostas
but we
had to hit the road, to catch our ferry back to England.

We all enjoyed our weekend jaunt. Holland is a lovely country, with very
friendly people, who mostly speak better english than I do!  Mike and I
,agreed that out of all the european countries, Holland is somewhere
we'd like
to live. Tim, coming from the north of England, missed not seeing a
single
hill!

Glen UK
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