In later years with
ample space in North Hills, I planted these discards on my own
premises and later sold them to other clients who did not
object to hostas with variegated leaves.
I predict that the
present craze for variegated leaves will taper off, although
it will never fully disappear. I particularly dislike some of
the smeared and streaked foliage hostas, especially those with
every leaf a slightly or completely different pattern. I
believe -- and I'm sure that general non-gardening public will
concur -- that they have no future in an average home
landscaping picture. These unstable plants should never have
been named and sold to the unsuspecting, who in looking for
new hostas expected an improvement over the old. I wonder how
many years will go by before these unstable plants get thrown
I know that all of
you hearing this will not agree. I do recognize that what one
person likes another dislikes. Along these lines I recall the
remarks of the late Mrs. Frances R. Williams years ago when I
was particularly admiring her immense clumps of the then
called H. sieboldiana 'Yellow Edge' and now called H. 'Frances
Williams'****. She said some garden visitors told her the
large clumps looked like a great big, coiled snake!
variegated leaves can, and do, have a place in landscapes. In
my own plantings, I like some of the better variegated leaf
types mixed in with green- and blue-leaved hostas. Also,
hostas with pure yellow (gold) leaves are nice in small
groups, but this can be overdone.
Again, I thank you.
It has been wonderful to be here with you.
* This award was initiated in
1982 to recognize a member of the American Hosta Society for
having given outstanding service to: This award is to be
presented biennially. Mr. Summers was cited for his
outstanding service as the first president of the Society and
the first editor of the AHS BULLETIN, and for his writings on
the genus Hosta, contributions to clarify the nomenclature of Hosta,
and introducing and cultivating many hostas of special merit.
** The Jernigan garden in
Dunn, North Carolina was one of the seven gardens on tour
during the 1982 AHS National Convention.
*** A small-leaved plant that is
somewhat similar to H. venusta. It was a favorite of the late
David M. Stone, a good friend of Mr. Summers. The plant was
introduced by Stone and Payne Nurserymen, Waterbury,
Connecticut, now Piedmont Gardens, the firm of F. Henry and
Phillip R. Payne. After announcing 'Pearl Lake' had
received the award, Mr. Summers asked Henry Payne to stand in
**** See Constance Williams,
"Hosta 'Frances Williams'" in this BULLETIN.