Doug Beilstein,
AHS President

President's Message

As our friend Willie sang, “On the road again.....” It seems that only yesterday Mardy and I were walking the absolutely wonderful gardens of Nashville. Convention co-chairs, Cornelia Holland and Virginia Gregory-Kocaj, and the Middle Tennessee Hosta Society really put on a superb display of southern hospitality and tranquility which over 400 attendees enjoyed.

“Out on the road again.....” The Great Lakes Region sponsored a 'Tailgate Convention' near Grand Rapids, Michigan. An auction, garden tours (reached by cars), and a wonderful cookout were all included. Did I mention that you could sell/vend out of your trunk if you were so inclined!? Thanks, GLR, Bob Sinke, and his whole crew! A great time was had by all. I understand that they already have locations lined up for the next three years!!!

“Back on the road again.....” Mardy and I just got back home from the Midwest Regional. We had a wonderful time in Rochester, Minnesota renewing friendships, enjoying gardens, buying a few plants, and taking in an entertaining auction. Cindy Tomashek and her Shades of Green crew headed this one up, and it was nothing short of primo.

On another note, we have two new Vice Presidents at the national level. VP of Publications is Barb Schroeder out there in southern Illinois. VP of Membership Services is Mary Ann Metz - another Illinois gal. Both bring energy, excitement, and enthusiasm to their new roles. Welcome to them and thanks for joining the national level of AHS leadership!

I could write columns about the heat this year. Suffice it to say don't forget to water the hosta… Not for this year - but for next year!

          Later, Doug                                                                         Contact Doug Beilstein

Barb Schroeder,
Vice President, Publications


The American Hosta Society (AHS) is a society dedicated to the study, education and development of the Genus Hosta and the dissemination of general and scientific knowledge about them. There are many benefits for our members that result from these efforts, both social and in nursery trade. 

To promote the AHS and your local club, the AHS is doing an inventory reduction of issues of The Hosta Journal. The AHS will send boxes of past journals to interested local societies at no charge. All we ask is that you promote the AHS and your LOCAL by sharing these journals with both new members and non-members. 

If your society is interested in one mixed box (or more) of these great journals to use as publicity for the AHS and your society, please email me with your society name and the name and address where we are to ship the box(es). There is no charge for this promotion.

We plan to be able to ship this fall. There will be approximately 30-36 past issues in each box. We have a limited supply, so send that email early!

We hope you will take advantage of this free offer provided by the AHS for the benefit of all.

      Barb                                                                     Contact Barb Schroeder

Cindy Tomashek,
Vice President, Conventions


Wasn’t Nashville grand?? Even if you didn’t get to the Grand Ole Opry, the 2012 AHS National Convention attendees were treated to the finest southern hospitality including a very broad spectrum of entertaining and educational opportunities and an interesting assortment of beautiful gardens ranging in scale from very small, but spectacular to sprawling and special. Hats off to convention co-chairs, Cornelia Holland and Virginia Gregory-Kocaj for their thoughtful attention to detail that resulted in a flawless convention and a wonderful experience for everyone!!

AHS Auction 

On behalf of the AHS, I would like to thank all the donors and bidders who contributed to making the Live Auction a success. Every donation was most appreciated as were the generous bids! Be sure to check out The Online Journal this fall for more important news about auction awards.

This year’s auction was the first of many to come that was run almost completely by AHS with the exception of the incredible help of Steve Watson. Steve accepted auction shipments, cared for them (and potted many shipped bare root), and delivered them all to the convention hotel to be inventoried and labeled prior to the auction. Steve’s help was priceless! Thanks to Cornelia and Virginia for making arrangements for auction holding and other necessities of the auction and to Betty Dennis for providing critical information when requested. This was truly a team effort and behind the scenes there was a flurry of activity to ensure all the donations and donors were entered into a database and properly labeled. An awesome team comprised of Vickie LeCocq, Gregg and Amy Peterson (and Gregg’s computer), Doug Beilstein, Kim Larsen, Mary Schwartzbauer, and Harlan Stockton worked hard to stitch together all the parts and without them this event would have floundered. We all learned a lot and worked well together, and we discovered ways to streamline things for the future.

No auction can be successful without our reliable entourage of Auctioneers who lend an atmosphere of fun entertainment to the business of the auction: Mark Zilis, Bob Solberg, Tom Micheletti, Kim Larsen, Don Dean, and Mike Shadrack. Thanks to everyone working the room as spotters, plant movers, cashiers, and clerks: Barb and Rick Schroeder, Nancy Solberg, Paula Lehtola, Becki Micheletti, Sandy Tomashek, Sandie Markland, Vickie LeCocq, and Ernie Jeffrey. What a terrific group of volunteers!! Gosh, I hope no one’s gone unrecognized!!

There’s no doubt that the Friendship Plant remains so… If your group would like to host a future AHS convention, now is the time to start a conversation, so give me a call or send an email. We are seeking hosts for the year 2015 and beyond. There is a wealth of past convention experience to help you through the planning process – just ask, and it will be provided!

While I am still savoring the reunions with hosta friends and the terrific gardens we visited in Nashville, I’m already anticipating a unique “Escape to Wisconsin” in 2013. Be sure to save the dates for June 13-15, 2013, and start dreaming about the beautiful gardens. If you saw the promo slideshow, you know what I mean!

      Conventionally yours, Cindy                                                      Contact Cindy Tomashek       

Sandy Markland,
Membership Secretary


It is important to keep the AHS Membership Secretary informed of changes in your contact information. If you do not receive AHS mailings due to an unreported change of address, a $6.00 payment is required to cover the cost of shipping and handling for the replacement issue. Please send address changes to the Membership Secretary as promptly as possible.

Individuals who travel between summer and winter homes should advise the Membership Secretary of their change of address approximately 6 weeks in advance.

All AHS Memberships run from January 1 through December 31 regardless of when an individual joins or renews. The year of your membership expiration immediately follows your name on the mailing sheet which accompanies each mailing you receive from the AHS. The second Journal mailing of each year (due out in late summer/early fall) is always accompanied by a renewal form. It is important to renew in a timely manner in order to avoid the $5.00 late fee which MUST be applied to all renewals mailed or entered online after January 15 of each calendar year. 

AHS Memberships make great gifts for your gardening friends - or great door prizes for your local club events!

    Sandie       Contact Sandie Markland

Rob Mortko,
Vice President, Genus Hosta

HVX Research Update

The current AHS sponsored Hosta Virus X (HVX) research project with Dr. Ben Lockhart at the University of Minnesota is now in full swing. Another instance of HVX infection via soil transmission has been confirmed this spring.

Please do not plant another hosta in the same spot where an HVX infected plant has been removed.

A number of perennials (including arisaema, cimicifuga, hakonechloa, heuchera, hemerocallis, polygonatum, trillium and tricyrtis) have been inoculated with HVX and will be tested periodically for the presence of HVX. At issue here is whether HVX is truly hosta specific or not.

Thirteen different HVX isolates have now been identified with each producing different types of symptoms on the same cultivar. This helps explain why HVX does not always appear as the classic “ink blot” pattern starting at a leaf vein as seen in this picture of H. 'Sum and Substance'.

     Rob                      Contact Rob Mortko

Chuck Zdeb,
Vice President, Judging and Exhibitions

Judging and Exhibitions

For those of you that missed the convention in Nashville, you missed a great example of Southern hospitality. It only rained at night while we were inside, and we were treated to some very nice gardens. The leaf show had almost 600 entries and the leaf quality was what you would expect from a national show.

We had a lively Clinic III at the show, and I thought I would report on some of the discussion:

First, something that came up in relation to three shows this year. Is it proper or allowed for someone to bring and enter leaves for another person? We had shows where entrants showed up with leaves brought from people who could not come to the show. Since this is not directly addressed in the Judge’s Handbook, I made the decision to leave this up to the show chair. The second item up for discussion was whether or not entries should be entered under two names (i.e., Mr. and Mrs. Smith). Both items led to long discussions, with arguments on both sides of the issue. Ultimately, it was decided that if either circumstance was a problem for societies holding shows that: A) it should be addressed in the show schedule, and B) if not addressed in the show schedule, then it should still be up to the show chair.

Another discussion item was whether or not to do away with the “Best of Show”award. Because smaller leaves seem to win more often than larger leaves, why not call each section winner the “Best of Show” in that size range? We took a straw poll of those judges present, and to my surprise, the overwhelming majority voted to do away with the “Best of Show” award. I would like to hear your feedback on this subject.

At the leaf show, we used the stamp which puts the length and width of the cultivar on the entry tag. Overwhelmingly, the judges thought it helped to speed up the judging process and to help make the entries better. Entrants seemed to pay more attention to the size of the leaves they were entering. Any club wishing to use the stamp should let me know, and I will mail it out for their use.

We seem to be catching up to errors on the classification list. We only found three at the national show. So please keep up the good work. If you find errors, take the time to report them to Judy Burns. She can correct them only if you report them.

Lastly, everyone needs to read their current Judge’s Handbook. Updates were set with the last Judge’s Corner and the handbook on the AHS website has been brought up to date.

Thanks, keep judging!

                Chuck                                                                                  Contact Chuck Zdeb

   2013 AHS Convention   Escape to Wisconsin

It's time to start planning for the 2013 AHS Convention! I know there have been a lot of questions surrounding next year’s convention. Hopefully, the convention preview presentation shown at this year’s convention in Nashville answered a lot of those questions. It is a full convention, but in an abbreviated time frame. There will be no buses touring gardens. Attendees will drive themselves to gardens with directions provided. Those that fly into Milwaukee will be matched with attendees who drive in. I am confident that every attendee will be able to find a ride to tour the gardens. It is my personal goal to make sure everyone that needs a ride will get a ride. Hosta people are a friendly bunch and pitch in to help out where needed.

Thursday, June 13
The convention begins in the afternoon

Hosta Show entries received
Vending Opens        Hostatality

Friday, June 14
A full day of convention activies

Hosta Show entries received and judged
Garden Tours (carpool to gardens)
Judge's Clinics
Silent Auction
Awards Banquet

Saturday, June 15
A full day of convention activies

Garden Tours (carpool to gardens)
AHS Business Meeting
Live Auction
Awards Banquet
Future Convention Meeting

A website with more information is being created, and exact times and schedules will be posted at a later date.

The registration fee for this convention is only $139 per attendee. All of the activities will take place at the Sheraton Milwaukee Brookfield Hotel, 375 S. Moorland Rd., Brookfield, WI 53005. Reservations can be made by calling the hotel at (262) 364-1010. The hotel rate is $105 per night which includes a hot buffet breakfast.

Tom Micheletti                                                                        Contact Tom Micheletti

Bob Olson,
Editor, The Hosta Journal

The Hosta Journal

Issue 43.2 of The Hosta Journal is in the late stages of preparation, and we hope to have it in the mail in August. This issue contains the 2011 Popularity Poll and the winning photos from our annual photo contest.

It also features some of the current hot items in the Hosta Society - like miniature hostas - in addition to the latest recommendations on how to prevent Hosta Virus X from spreading throughout your garden.

There are more articles on a variety of subjects and from an array of authors. I think you will like it.

It is the mission of The Hosta Journal to present the topics of interest to the membership, but sometimes it is hard to figure out what you would like to read about and discuss. Both Don Dean and I are open to suggestions and welcome questions and criticism. (We like praise, but usually get more useful information from criticism.) So please tell us what you like and what you don’t like in each issue - and what you’d like to see in future edition.


                                           Hosta 'Pixie Vamp'

                       Contact Bob Olson

Josh Spece,
Web Editor-in-Chief

2012 AHS Popularity Poll

It is time to cast your votes for the annual AHS Hosta Popularity Poll! Take a 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 (click on the link below), click the Members link along the left side of the page. You will then need to enter the member's 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

Andy Marlow,
Photo Editor, The Hosta Journal

2012 AHS/Hosta Journal Photo Contest

Even though the winners of the 2011 AHS/Hosta Journal Photo Contest have not yet been published, it really is time to be taking photos of you and your colleague's outstanding hostas for the 2012 contest. The deadline for entries is December 1, but hostas are at their peak right now and begging to have their photos taken!

Photo Contest Categories

Category 1: Best Hosta Close-up
And we do mean close-up! Focus on a single leaf or just a few at the most.

Category 2: Best Picture of an Entire Mature Hosta Clump
Make sure it's a well-grown clump. Give us a sense of its total impact on the senses. Identify the cultivar and the grower's garden for us.

Category 3: Best Landscape Picture Showing Multiple Clumps
Identify all of the hostas in the photo and keep the focus on hostas. Again, identify the plants and growers.

Category 4: Best Landscape Picture Involving Hosta
Can include other plants,  garden structures or other non-plant accessories.

Category 5: Artistic Impression
Let your imagination run wild, but the photo must contain a hosta element. It can include digital manipulation ("Photo Shopping"), montage, wildlife, etc. If there are any people in the photo, they must be identified in the entry.

You can enter up to 10 photos per category. Entries must be digital with a file size of at least  1 MB or a resolution of 300 d.p.i. so they will look good if published in The Hosta Journal. You can send them on a disc (CD or DVD) or email them to me a few at a time. If you are interested in using Dropbox as a way to submit photos, email me, and I’ll tell you how it works.

Andy Marlow
10700 Minnetonka Blvd
Hopkins, MN 55305-4404

                        Andy                                                                             Contact Andy Marlow


Every year for the past fifteen, two widely separated hosta clubs have gotten together to put on a symposium at the halfway point. The Daffodil and Hosta Society of Western Pennsylvania (more or less based in the Pittsburgh area) and the Western New York Hosta Society (Buffalo, NY-ish) have always had a great relationship and so organizing a symposium together came naturally.

Because we like to keep it educational, but FUN, we have always had a theme. Over the years we have had a Clint Eastwood theme (all the talks were based on his movies), a Dutch Treat theme (and we invited Marco Fransen from Holland and CH Falstad from Holland, Michigan), a Seven Samurai theme where we focused on Japanese hostas and plants and an Americana theme when Olga Petryszyn was our main speaker. Last year the theme was “Wild Thang” – you can read the details in last fall’s Online Journal. The formula for the Forum is always two hosta speakers and two complimentary non-hosta speakers.

Our fifteenth Fall Hosta Forum theme is based on the journey that is gardening – and our relationship with the plants it contains. We’re going to hear about a real journey – from Tennessee to Michigan with a famous hosta program, we’re going to hear from the “Wizard” himself – Mark Zilis – about tissue culture and how it changed the hosta world… and we are going to hear from two very famous plantsmen, Joseph Tychonievich (if I only had a heart) loves the plants he works with and wants you to love them too… and Lloyd Traven (courage) who will challenge you to leave your comfort zone and try something NEW!

We’re calling it:

“Off to See the Wizard”

The day consists of a continental breakfast, four speakers, buffet lunch, vending, and a live and silent auction. And it all takes place in a charming 100 year old country inn just south of Erie, Pennsylvania. The Riverside Inn is a quaint hotel with lovely grounds and atmosphere.

Our speakers are:
Mark Zilis
of Q & Z Nursery

Robert Canning
of Lakeside Hostas

Joseph Tychonievich
of Arrowhead Alpines

Lloyd Traven
of Peace Tree Farm

Also, since so many people now come in Friday night and stay at the Riverside Inn, we have added a Friday night element along with a Dutch Treat dinner. This year we’re going to have some fun with the theme… don’t miss it.

This year’s Forum is scheduled for September 8th. We’d love to have you! Please contact us for a brochure and registration packet.

Don’t make us send the

flying monkeys!

    Kathy Shadrack     Contact Kathy Shadrack
Contact The Riverside Inn

Don Dean,
Editor, The Online Journal

The Online Journal

The Online Journal team is in full swing working to create its third issue of The Online Journal. There have been a few unexpected changes since the last issue, but much of what our members have come to expect from this team - primarily the quality - will remain unchanged.

Three members of the original team have left to pursue other interests and address other needs. An immense expression of gratitude is extended to Carol Brashear, Ken Harris, and Bill Meyer for all of the countless hours devoted toward making the first two issues a great success and helping to develop the format that provides a map for new team members to follow.

Three new members have joined the team. Rick Schroeder has stepped into the role of photo editor with support from Joanna Kovalcsik. Floyd Rogers has accepted the role of page formatting and technology that positions all of the information into the pages that all of our readers enjoy.

Readers will notice a shift to the primary focus of the year’s annual AHS convention with a few select articles from the many categories previously provided. Each issue will begin to look more like the length and breadth of the more familiar print version as number three of each year’s volume. The online format still allows us the ability to handle longer articles and extensive photography along with links to active websites, etc.

Nashville Gardens:
the Holland Garden (left)
and the Page Garden (right).

We welcome new and innovative ideas, articles of interest, and suggestions. Continue to contact me as in the past if you have ideas by going to any masthead in any version of THJ or OLJ for the contact details. The previous two years have taught this team that time becomes crucial for receiving articles and photographs if we are to be able to complete all of the work needed to publish the information. The deadline for submission is October 1st and will be strictly adhered to each year. We will make every attempt to meet the posted launch date and will aim for Thanksgiving Day once again this year. We begin work on the new issue prior to January each year. Your ideas are welcome before the October deadline.

Happy gardening on behalf of the OLJ Team,

            Don                                                                                             Contact Don Dean

AHS Membership

The American Hosta Society (AHS) is a society dedicated to the study and improvement of the genus Hosta, and the dissemination of general and scientific knowledge about them.  There are many benefits for the members that result from these efforts - both social and in nursery trade.  AHS members receive several publications a year including two colorful issues of The Hosta Journal (mailed), four E-Newsletters (emailed), The Online Journal (posted on the AHS website for AHS members only).  All of these publications offer articles on cultivation tips, propagation techniques, landscape uses, new cultivars and old species, pioneers and personalities, scientific advances, convention awards and gardens, and news about the AHS.


*An opportunity to attend national meetings and conventions which offer educational and scientific presentations, garden tours, judge's clinics, and a chance to see the latest and best hosta in the hosta show.

*A Biennial AHS Membership Directory

*The priviledge of visiting display gardens throughout the country, many of which are only open to AHS members.

*An invitation to exhibit your favorite hostas and compete for
recognition in various AHS National and Regional hosta shows.

*Developing friendships with people who share an interest in growing hostas.

*Access to the "Member's Only" section of the AHS website.

Another benefit of becoming a new member is that you receive a voucher from the AHS Membership Secretary good for $15.00 towards any purchase at sponsoring nurseries.

To learn more, go to

To join the AHS online, go to, or print the membership application and mail to the Membership Secretary listed.

Please join us today!

The early spring coloration of H. 'Gone Fishin' in the garden of Bruce and Trudy Van Wyk.

Photos courtesy of Trudy Van Wyk