23, 2010 was a date marked on many a Midwesterner gardener's
calendar. A sojourn over to the Winter Scientific Meeting
meant a reprieve from the menacing cold winter's frosty
chills. Sponsored by the Midwest Regional Hosta Society, this
educational forum has grown more popular with each passing year.
There attendees can listen to different gardening subjects, attend
various breakout sessions, enjoy the companionship of fellow
gardeners, or even participating in several silent auctions
scheduled throughout the day, involving garden-related items,
hosta seedlings, or even hosta seeds - most being donated by
several of the leading active hosta hybridizers around today.
Here's how the meeting was conducted:
Evolution of the Mini Hosta: Bob Solberg opened the
meeting by posting the AHS Nomenclature Committee's 2008
definition of a mini: "The leaf blade area is no
greater than about 4.0 square inches, and the leaf length is no
longer than about 4.5 inches." Bob then mentioned what
he called the "Starved-Dwarfing Technique." He
explained that in the past, the "mini" stature could be
achieved by some hybridizers by under-watering and
under-nourishing a small plant. One hosta that technically
is too large by the current AHS standards is 'Blue Mouse Ears',
even though many enthusiasts perceive it as being a mini.
Bob stated that he would like to see it be the upper-size limit
standard in the mini category. He discussed the different
species involved with producing minis. Several early
hybridizers were mentioned, along with the significant minis for
which they were responsible. Many of today's modern minis
are actually sports of these pioneering minis. He closed
with some thoughts and suggestions on how to hybridize them.
When Hostas Needed Help - A Historical Perspective:
Roy Klehm talked about early hosta contributions from earlier
hybridizers, focusing primarily on Paul Aden and Mildred Seaver.
He shared humorous stories and thoughts about their work and
techniques, along with some of their idiosyncrasies.
2010 AHS Convention Preview: In a manner much like a
movie premiere, the Minnesota Hosta Society aired a video,
designed to promote the upcoming event to be held in Bloomington,
MN in June. Emceed by Mary Schwartzbauer and Kim Larsen
(dressed up in makeup and period costumes), the movie short shows
them 30 years from now, sitting in their rocking chairs on the
front porch, waxing nostalgic friends about the convention and
what a wonderful experience it was.
Highlights: Swedish accents galore. "Swedish
jokes" abound. Frequent frozen tundra garden walks.
Scenes were eerily reminiscent of those from the movie
"Fargo". It certainly was a hoot! (Ja, Ja ...