Don Dean, Online Auction Chair, Ramsey, Minnesota

   The ninth AHS Online Auction is tentatively scheduled for January15-29, 2011. Old pros and newcomers alike are invited to join us once again for this much anticipated event that occurs after the soreness of fall clean up in the gardens has worn off, plant catalogs are being poured through, and dreams of the best gardening season ever are dancing in our heads. Even better, it happens in the dead of winter when we all love to look at plant pictures! The event lasts features many new releases that are being offered by nurseries, classic ‘must have’ plants for any serious hosta garden, rare collector items, and exclusive offerings, including breeding stock, from members around the country. Directions at the auction site are simple, and only require a few steps to get you into the auction action. 
   One donation that is already committed is the second-ever piece to be released of H. ‘Bob Axmear’, which is named in honor of the creator and webmaster of the much acclaimed Hosta Library, a reference for hosta and website for this AHS On-line Auction. The timing of this donation could not be better for celebrating Bob being the 2010 recipient of the Alex J. Summers Distinguished Merit Award! Donated by the First Look organizers, Bill Meyer and Carol Brashear, this plant is as special as the individual that it is named to honor. 
   Bill put it well, “'Bob Axmear' is a streaked sport of the strong-growing 'Elegans' that is sometimes called 'Gray Cole'. It has all the good qualities of 'Dorothy Benedict' and none of the bad. Growth is good and steady with, so far no tendency to stabilize into an edge or center. Streaking is a good cream color with no greenish tinge. It will make a big plant.”
   He continued, “It sets very well, rarely missing a flower, and the seed germinates perfectly. The seedlings grow much better than DB seedlings - usually twice as fast, and exhibit a good range. Overall, this is a top-notch hybridizing plant that can't be topped for sieboldiana parentage. The first (and only) time it was auctioned it went for $953!"

   Rick Goodenough, whose plants have been among the very hottest in the auctions has donated two great plants - a rock from 'Brant Rock Jetty' and a scraping of 'Rust Bucket'. For my part, I'll be offering a chip off Herb Benedict's rare 'Amethyst Chip' and a section of my own 'Country Road.' These are just a few of the great plants we expect to have up for grabs in this year's auction from our generous donors. Don't miss your chance to become the proud owner of one of these and help keep the AHS going at the same time. Winning items in our auction is a tax-deductible contribution too.
   All communication, news, tips, and more are conducted electronically. The first e-mail notice has gone out to past participants. It was in regard to taking inventory NOW, before the snow flies, for possible donations. In the event that you did not receive the e-mail in October, be sure to contact me (Don Dean) at dedean@q.com. Simply request that you be added to the auction email group, and you will begin to receive news as it occurs regarding this auction. Each year, old addresses become obsolete due to a change of service providers, software, etc. Missed the news? You are either new or your address bounced back as undeliverable; you will need to contact me to be added again. Be sure to add my e-mail address to your e-mail address book to avoid messages being blocked by your spam filter.
   Those of us that have been reading the financial report and the latest president’s and editor’s messages in the last Hosta Journal are fully aware of this Online Auction’s importance in helping to stabilize the financial condition of the AHS. Rally to support our society’s future by participating in this event, whether it is by making a donation to be auctioned, bidding, or spreading the word to gardening friends! Participants do not need to be members of the society to take part in this event.
'Bob Axmear'
'Rust Bucket'
'Brant Rock Jetty'
'Amethyst Chip'
'Country Road'

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