A belated Happy New Year to you all!!!!!  I hope you had a joyous Holiday Season, as Mardy and I did. Visiting with our grandsons, 19 and 5 months, as well as our daughters and son-in-law made for very special times. With all of the yard work done, the potted seedlings covered up tight and new seedlings growing in the basement, you might think it's time for a rest. But...........
    The Winter Scientific Meeting near Chicago was held in late January. What a great event! It was a real treat to see so much enthusiasm deep in the heart of winter. I was also excited to speak at the Black Swamp Hosta and Daylily Society on January 23rd. 
    I would welcome the opportunity to talk with your Club or Society. Just drop me an email and we can set it up. It is one of my goals to talk with as many locals as possible during the year. 
    No rest now. The AHS Online Auction just concluded. Don Dean, our online auction specialist, got primo plants and, as always, a fun time was had by all. By now, I'm sure you have noticed that we have changed servers for the AHS website with a few minor changeover pains. We thank Josh Spece for his great effort in getting this done. What valuable people to the AHS both Don and Josh are! 

     Sad times, but also exciting opportunities, have come our way. Ken Harris has resigned as VP of Publications. Our very own Mike Shadrack has worked hard to cover the position in Ken's absence until a replacement could be found. I want to personally thank Mike for his dedication to the AHS. With this newsletter I'm happy to announce that we now have Ken's replacement! Barbara Schroeder from Champaign, Illinois has stepped up to become our new VP Publications. I look forward to working with Barb in the years ahead. 
    First a few good-byes: Richard Kimball has tendered his resignation as Advertising Chair for the Journal.  Ken Harris has additionally resigned as our Photo Editor after two spectacular Online Hosta Journals. Late last week Jim Weidman also called and tendered his resignation as VP of Member Services.
    Now for the exciting opportunities that we have going forward: Marlys Anderson (Pella, IA) has accepted the combined function of Advertising Coordinator, so all advertising will now go through her capable hands. Rick Goodenough (Marshfield, MA) is the new VP of Member Services. Rick Schroeder, husband of Barb, will be assuming the responsibility of being our new Photo Editor.   
    Welcome aboard Marlys, Barb, Rick, and Rick! On behalf of the membership, I want to thank you all for stepping forward to help us keep the AHS a great society!
    We now have only one position to fill - Auction Chair. Our Onsite auctions at the yearly conventions are a vital part of our society's finances. We desperately need someone in this position to help us coordinate with our host societies in running the auction. Please consider joining us or forward to me any recommendations you have for this office.

   Wow!  What a fantastic online auction that just concluded online January 28th!
   Kudos to Don Dean, Chair of the online auction, and his helpers, Joanna Kovalcsik and Bill Meyer.  Big thanks to Bob Axmear for hosting the auction at the HostaLibrary site again this year.  And, of course, to all of the generous donors and bidders!
   As a result of all of these efforts, the AHS was the biggest winner with total proceeds of $11,754.81!!!
   Don reminds everyone to please check the auction results page and to please settle your winnings with Don within the next 2 weeks. Instructions on how to make payment for winnings are HERE.
   Thanks to everyone who had a hand in this!

    As you can see, there are many opportunities to get involved in all types of hosta activities so check out what the local club in your area provides. As I write this, I'm already getting excited about checking out our next Hosta Journal due out in March. Bob Olson always has some rare treats in there for us. I wonder how the seedlings under the white co-poly are doing??? Never a dull moment..........  Time to transplant!

Later, Doug     (Doug Beilstein, AHS President)                        Contact Doug Beilstein
“Hostas, Friends, & Music” - The 2012 AHS National Convention - June 13-16
    In 2012, we venture into Mason Dixon territory, where southern hospitality and genteel gardens invite the imagination to wander while savoring the sweet perfume of magnolia. The next registration deadline is April 14th – after that the registration fee increases significantly.  Make your plans now (and save some $$ for vending :-) ). We hope you will make a very special attempt to attend this wonderful convention. This is a new venue for AHS conventions and the Middle Tennessee Hosta Society has worked hard to bring us local hospitality, new and beautiful gardens and the sites and culture of the Nashville  area.   

June 12 – 16, 2013 is the AHS Convention in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area!!  Come and experience a new twist on AHS conventions with its slightly shorter format and ‘create your own tour’ experience from the terrific garden options co-chairs Jack Barta and Tom Micheletti have lined up for us!  We know what Lite Beer is about – now we’ll discover what a Lite Convention is all about!  Yes, it’s true - no buses are planned.  Worried about driving on your own?  Take some initiative and get a group of friends together.  Rent a shuttle of your own.  Heck - rent a mini bus if you have a lot of friends or want to make lots of new friends!  There will be help matching attendees needing rides with others willing to provide rides as well.  I, for one, will not miss sitting in the back of a large bus next to the bathroom or having to leave a gorgeous garden at the sound of a whistle when I’ve not seen it all!  If we focus more on the positive aspects of trying something new, we will all find it more enjoyable!  Many of the familiar things we love remain the same – Hosta Show, Vending, Live Auction, and Hostatality.  There’s no way I would miss this and I hope you’ll plan to be there, too!

--Could your group be a future AHS Convention Host??--

The AHS is excited about opening up discussions with any local hosta group or society interested in learning more about hosting a National Convention starting with 2016 and beyond.  There are more options than ever for AHS hosts.  I look forward to helping you craft a special convention for AHS members.  Please contact me
at (507) 289-2614 and prestonplants@aol.com for more information or to start a conversation.   The excitement is growing! 

Cindy   (Cindy Tomashek - Executive Vice President)                                  Contact Cindy Tomashek


   If your AHS membership expired on December 31, 2011, and you have not yet renewed, please remember that you must now include a $5.00 late fee with your renewal.  Complete renewal information is available on the AHS website. 

Sandie Markland   (Membership Secretary)                               Contact Sandie Markland


Genus Hosta

    The AHS is considering at this time future research on the problem of  foliar nematodes. As we begin to interview potential research candidates and organizations, I’d like to ask for feedback and guidance from our membership about what we can do that best serves all of us in our battle against these pests.

  • Would you personally consider supporting nematode research?

  • Would your local/regional society consider supporting nematode research?

  • What would you define as the key objectives of such nematode research?

Please feel free to email me your thoughts.

Rob Mortko   (Vice President Genus Hosta)                                                                    Contact Rob Mortko

Judging and Exhibitions
   Several rule changes were made at the Board meeting in November. They will go into effect as of March 1, 2012. I will talk more in depth about them in the forthcoming Judge’s Newsletter. As always, if you need additional time to come into compliance, let us know, and we will make the necessary arrangements. 
   First, all leaf show chairs must be an AHS judge. In the past it was recommended, now it is required. Second, all Master Judges, in order to maintain their master’s status, must teach or attend a Judges Clinic I every three years. Third, the Judge’s Chair for the leaf show must verify that the judges who have signed up to judge the show are eligible to judge. An updated judge’s list is posted on the AHS web site on the first of March each year.
   Which brings us to the project Judy Burns has started: bringing everyone’s records up to date. As of the writing of this article, only 75 of 244 judges have sent updates or acknowledged that the records we have are accurate. If I haven’t heard something from you by the time the March list comes out, I can only assume you have decided not to judge anymore and your names will not be included as eligible to judge. If you need more time, please let me know.
   This also brings us to the requirement that a judge must be in good standing with the AHS. Pay your dues. If they are not paid by March 1st, your name will not go onto the judge’s list and you will not be eligible to judge.
   Finally, a reminder to hosta originators/hybridizers, your nominations for the Benedict Garden Performance Award are due in writing to the Garden Performance chair by Feb 15th.
Chuck Zdeb   (Vice President Judging and Exhibitions)

Chuck Zdeb
5803 Hearn Road
Ellenwood, GA 30294
Contact Chuck Zdeb

Judy Burns
3070 Hudson Way
Decatur, GA 30033
Contact Judy Burns
Awards and Honors
   The most up-to-date list of contacts with local societies that we have is the one maintained by Mary Bardens of the Newsletter Editors. By now, all those on that list should have received from me a letter which I have asked you to bring to the attention of your Society’s President and Board.

The President's Wall

   The American Hosta Society would like to honor for their distinguished service those members of local Hosta Societies who have for years been the backbone of the local group. We all know these lovely people. They are the folks who always turn up early, volunteer even when it rains, make sure that the chairs are set out and that the kettle is always on. The letter asks local Societies to nominate two such people before the 1st of April this year.
   If anyone reading this is a member of The Daffodil and Hosta Society of Western Pennsylvania, The Metro Detroit Hosta Society, The Middle Tennessee Hosta Society, The Quebec Hosta and Hemerocallis Association, The Saginaw Hosta Society, The Southwest Michigan Hosta Society or the Upstate New York Hosta Society, I would be delighted if you could put me in touch with one of your current Board members.
   Readers are also reminded that nominations for the AHS Top Awards - The Alex J. Summers Distinguished Merit Award and the Eunice Fisher Distinguished Hybridizer Merit Award should reach me before April 1st, 2012. Nomination forms can be found in the 2011 Online Journal or can be forwarded on request.
Mike Shadrack (Vice President Awards and Honors)                                                  Contact Mike Shadrack


   AHS Treasurer, Kim Larsen, would like to remind all members that the AHS budget is online at the AHS website.
   Any questions regarding the AHS budget may be addressed with Kim.
             Contact Kim Larsen

AHS Website

   If you have visited the AHS website recently, it is possible that you encountered some errors or broken links. Since September, we have been preparing to move the website to a new, faster server with plenty of space for the website to grow. The move turned out to be a bigger, more complicated process than anticipated, but the switch on the new server was finally flipped just before the New Year.
   Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, some unexpected bugs resulted. I think we have squashed most of the bugs now, but please let me know if you find something that is not working correctly. It is just as frustrating for me as it is for you, when the website is not functioning properly. Your patience and understanding are always appreciated.

                       Contact Josh Spece


Membership Directory

   There's still time to get your updated contact info in to the Membership Secretary for the upcoming Membership Directory. If you've changed address, phone, or email, let us know! Hurry though, because it's going to the printer soon!

2011 AHS Popularity Poll

   It is time to cast your votes for the annual AHS Hosta Popularity Poll!  Take a "mental stroll" through your garden to refresh your memory of your favorite hostas, then log on and vote. 
   Popularity Poll voting is only open to AHS members so once you are on the American Hosta Society website (www.hosta.org) click the “Members” link along the left side of the page.  You will then need to enter the members password.  The password is published in The Hosta Journal.  If you do not have your Journal handy, you can contact the AHS Membership Secretary for the password.  Once you enter the password, click “Submit.”
    You are now logged into the Members Only area of the website.  You can access the Popularity Poll voting page by clicking the “Popularity Poll” link on the left side of the page.
   Once you are on the Popularity Poll voting page scroll down to the bold heading that says “Online Voting.”  Follow the instructions on the page to cast your votes.
   It is very important to NOT press the Enter or Return key on your keyboard after you begin entering your votes!  Doing so will submit your ballot before it is complete. 
   Unfortunately, this is a “feature” of the polling service the AHS uses and is beyond our control.
   Anyone who has trouble voting is more than welcome to contact me for help!     

                       Contact Josh Spece


Come and experience "Hostas, Friends and Music"
2012 American Hosta Society Convention
June 13-16th Nashville (TN) Airport Marriott

   The Scientific Seminar will include seven hosta presentations... original photographs taken by Eric Smith... the Keynote address by George W. Schmid.... latest DNA studies by Ben Zonnenveld of Leiden, the Netherlands... Plus... other topics of interest - a talk on hydrangea, Japanese maples and conifers...  and two historical talks including the Emmy winning "Rise of the Southern Biscuit".  
   A unique Photography Contest will offer attendees the opportunity to show their skills in macro-photography, hosta flower photography and humor in interpreting "Yard Art".  The Hosta Hat Contest will return on Saturday evening with the Parade of Hats.  (See the website for rules on the above.)  
   Optional and Convention tours will feature historic gardens and homes, unique plant materials and collections, and the opportunity to see southeastern hosta gardens. 
   There will be the traditional Hosta Show, Vendors with some of the newest hosta registrations, Auctions, and Old Friends to Greet and New Ones to Meet.  
   A special tour rate has been obtained from Gray Line for the Grand Ole Opry and we'll even have a bit of music at the hotel.  

                                       Early Registration $229 ------ postmarked by 1/31
                                       Full Registration $249 ------- postmarked 2/01 through 4/14
                                       Late Full Registration $280 ------ postmarked 4/15 through 5/15
                                              Visa and Master Card accepted with a $10 convenience fee.

                           We'll be serving up Southern hospitality and sweet tea. Y'all come!
                                       Cornelia Holland and Virginia Gregory-Kocaj
                                       Members of the Middle Tennessee Hosta Society


The Hosta Journal

   The next issue of the Journal is close to being finished. It should be at the printer by Valentine’s Day. Shortly thereafter it will be in the mail. This issue has some unusual, interesting tidbits: George Schmid tells about hostas and rainfall patterns in America and Asia, and why they are important in hosta cultivation.

   There are a few practical items: I tell about my most-recent-favorite tool, and the Koopmans give a tip on using a digital camera to keep track of your garden plants.

   But the prize is an article by Barry Yinger. He recounts his intrepid journey to remote islands off the coast of Korea that were spared by the glacier and how he discovered two new species: Hosta yingeri and H. laevigata.

   Another item that we need your help with is the Popularity Poll for 2011. We are keeping it open for another few weeks. If you haven’t already voted, go online to the AHS Website and do so now - please! If you prefer, you may just mail me (or e-mail me) a list of your favorite hostas. I’ll see they are entered into the poll.

Bob Olson, 2840 Glenhurst Avenue, St. Louis Park, MN 55416                                         Contact Bob Olson

AHS Online Auction Winners

    Thanks for your participation and donation to the AHS.  Once payment is received, I will send the donor information for the two of you to make arrangements for delivery! See below for payment directions.
    Payment this year may be made by check or money order to the address below. Credit info and accounts are NOW set up to be received through the AHS site. Go HERE and follow the directions as you would for any online payment. 
   You may use a PayPal account OR credit card without having a Pay Pal account set up. PUT YOUR ALIAS and items won in the memo space.
   Winners will be posted as quickly as time stamps can be visually checked following the closing of the last item. Check the “Winner’s” page posted at this site to verify that you have been declared the official winner. Do not initiate any payment until after the final results are posted allowing us time to verify the time stamp on the final bids. 
   Make every effort to mail payments within 10 days (one would be glorious since we would like to put this to rest this year) of the close of auction. Thanks for your support of the AHS through this auction! (Copy and paste this to an email or word processing file and print for reference to make payment.)

   Make the check or money order out to AHS.  Write the ITEM and ONLINE ’12 on the memo line.  Send check to:   AHS Online ’12, c/o Don Dean, 5175 157th Lane NW, Ramsey, MN 55303-1086

Don Dean (AHS Online Auction Coordinator)                                                                               Contact Don Dean


Building a Dream in AHS Country

   Josh Spece is well known in the AHS community. Josh has written articles for The Hosta Journal, and he has been instrumental to the AHS website for a number of years. Josh and his mom, Sue, and other family members often vend at AHS and MRHS conventions.
   Recently the Spece family of Independence, Iowa, was one of two Iowa finalists of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. When the other family was selected for the show, the community of Independence decided to do its best to make a new home a reality for the Spece family.
   Several fundraising events are being planned in support of the Building a Dream in the Country project. A bank account has been set up for the project, and donations to Building a Dream in the Country can be made at any BankIowa location or mailed to BankIowa, PO Box 229, Independence, Iowa 50644.
   To learn more, please visit the website HERE or join the Facebook page HERE.

New Hosta Book

   Larry Tucker’s Made in the Shade book is back by popular demand!  This second edition of his adventures and advice, wit and wisdom will help you nurture plants, recognize yourself and maintain your sanity.  It’s brimming with 24 more chapters, hosta tips, color covers and pictures.  Revenue again is destined for the Memphis Botanic Garden’s Hosta Trail, an American Hosta Society National Display Garden.
   Here’s what a few of your hosta friends are saying:

“Good garden writers have a special talent, often combining rich vocabulary with wit and solid information. Larry shows he knows hostas and gardening, has a passion for life and a great marriage. Read this smorgasbord one bite at a time or swallow it whole — after the gardening is done!”
—Mary Arnberg, Bridgewater, MA, New England Hosta Society
“These stories make me smile and chuckle because I can relate all too well to Larry’s colorful antics. He weaves good horticultural advice into his tales so seamlessly that you don’t realize you’re learning something while you laugh.”
—Mary Schwartzbauer, Hastings, MN, former AHS president
“Larry is a real storyteller! It’s a treat to read his adventures with Shari, which always have a humorous twist. Whether about hostas, fertilizer or garden art, these essays are enough to make you laugh or cry. We have all been there!”
–Claudia Walker, Alpharetta, GA, former Dixie Region director
   Larry’s book can be purchased at Mid-South Hosta Society activities for $15 or by mail for $18.  Make checks payable to Mid-South Hosta Society (with notation Made in the Shade) and send orders to Larry Tucker, 2927 Geoffrey Drive, Southaven, MS 38672.  Hosta la vista!

 First Look Auction Coming Soon

   Did you miss out on winning that special plant at the AHS Online Auction? 
   Turn your attention toward mid-February and the next great opportunity to bid on - and maybe win - that one-of-a-kind hosta. The AHS Region One/First Look Online Auction will be at the Hosta Library site starting with announcements on Saturday, February 11 and running through Saturday, February 25, 2012. 
   If you want to showcase a new seedling or sport, this is a great opportunity to do that. Newly introduced, unusual plants have set the bar for high prices in the past at the First Look Online Auction. Look for plants from great hybridizers and winners of the highest awards at past First Look competitions.
               To donate a plant, contact us HERE                        To join in on the fun, visit us HERE 
    Hope to see you there!
Carol Brashear (AHS Region One Director)                                                                         Contact Carol Brashear