In my first AHS Newsletter column, I'd like to share some of
the things we discussed and reached decisions on at our
recently completed fall board meeting.
First and foremost, we have a Budget for 2013. It
is lean and mean and balanced, so that we can keep our society
in good financial health as we go forward. Our budget
for next year is now posted on our website at www.hosta.org. Robert Olson deserves great credit in
volunteering to help reduce the cost of our Journal, which is
always our greatest expense, without reducing the quality of
the publication. Other vice presidents trimmed
expenses in their departments also.
Another huge area of
accomplishment is that we have established a firm calendar for
all of our publications. We are trying to be in communication
with you, our members, as often yet as cost effectively as we
can. Our first yearly printed issue of The Hosta Journal
will be in the hands of the members at the end of February and
the second issue at the end of August. Our Online Hosta
Journal will be up and available to members on
Thanksgiving Day. Our members will receive the printed
Membership Directory every other year beginning in 2012 with the
February printed Journal, and the Registration Issue will
be sent with the February printed Journal every year.
In addition, we are
scheduling our online Newsletter to be out around January 15th,
April 30th, July 15th, and October 1st. It will take us a
while to shift into these dates, but we expect to accomplish
this all by the end of February, 2013.
The Executive Committee also listened to a complete
update on the 2013 National Convention to be held in Milwaukee,
Wisconsin, and co-chaired by Jack Barta and AHS Past President
Tom Micheletti. Their plans sound inviting and exciting,
and a new and exciting take on the AHS Convention is
in the works.
Another area the board spent time in
discussing was research. We have an ongoing project
with Hosta Virus X which is a continuation of our previous
research project. We decided that the foliar nematode
situation can't wait! Rob Mortko, VP Genus Hosta, was
charged with the responsibility to evaluate interest and
spearhead the development of a new protocol for
nematode research that we hope can lead us to better
understanding and control of this noxious pest with our
local societies and clubs. What do you want to know about those
bad boy nematodes? Let Rob know so we can get moving on a plan.
Finally, get ready for an
exciting new issue of the Online Hosta Journal.
This issue is bigger and better than the last year's debut
effort, with some great articles about different areas of
hosta interest. Our hats are off to the all-volunteer Online
Journal team for their great production. I have
previewed a few sections and it rates a WOW! It is
scheduled to be on your computer Thanksgiving Day - don't
AHS Conventions have been a highlight of my summers for the
past 11 years so when approached to join the AHS board in
the capacity of Executive Vice President – Conventions, I
accepted (after much deliberation and with apprehension)
because I strongly feel that if you want an organization
whose benefits you enjoy to thrive, you should be willing to
serve and promote it.
That leaves me with a lot to learn though my
education began 6 years ago when I founded Shades of Green
Hosta Society of Southeast MN in 2005. Next year SOGHS will
host the 2012 Midwest Regional Hosta Convention in Rochester,
MN…and you’re all invited to “Operation Hosta”! Yes,
that means I’m co-chairing the MRHS convention, while
serving as Programs/Education Director for SOGHS…which all
adds up to someone who is completely addicted to hosta and
willing to work toward future success of hosta societies at
So, after 26 years of gardening, and 20 years of
obsessive hosta collecting (those first few years were dismal
and caused the death of many sun-loving plants - subsequent
years have caused the death of some hostas), I am charged with
soliciting hosts for annual conventions, providing information
and answers to potential host groups and generally supporting
them in any way possible. Plus some other stuff I
haven’t figured out yet, but I am sure it will find me.
Hostas, Friends, &
Music - The 2012 AHS National Convention
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. “Hostas, Friends, & Music” is scheduled for
June 13-16, 2012. SAVE THE DATE!
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 their area.
There is an early registration fee of $229 prior
to January 31. ALL attendees can now register using Visa
or Master Card. A $10 convenience fee will be added for
If your group is interested in hosting an AHS
convention, please contact me to start a conversation! I look
forward to your call or email me at
(507) 289-2614 and email@example.com.
The excitement is growing!
Tomashek - Executive Vice President)
P.S. My husband, Mike, and I have three adult children
(Sarah, Josh, and Andrew), a cat (Honey), and two
grand-dogs (Scamper and Dakota). We reside in Rochester, MN,
but also have a getaway place in Preston, MN (hence my
internet name "prestonplants" …I get a lot of questions about
- Just a few reminders for
Membership runs from January 1 through December 31 of each
calendar year regardless of when an individual joins or
The year of
your AHS membership expiration always appears immediately
following your name on the mailing label of every
publication mailed to you by the AHS. Your
membership will expire on December 31 of that year.
2012 Renewals must be submitted/postmarked BEFORE
01-15-2012 to avoid a $5.00 late fee.
form is always included with the second Journal of the
renewal information is available on the AHS website.
Memberships make great gifts for your gardening friends.
Gift Membership Welcome Packets include a presentation
sheet indicating the year of the gift membership, the
giver of the gift membership and any personal message the
giver wishes included.
The Welcome Packet also includes a copy of "The Hosta
Adventure: A Grower's Guide" and the new AHS
$15.00 Plant Voucher (for individuals new to the AHS).
questions regarding membership status, the password for
the Members' Only Section of the AHS website or missing
issues of recent Journals should be sent directly to AHS
Membership Secretary Sandie Markland.
||HVX Research Progress Report
Thanks to all who
generously supported funding of Phase 2 of the HVX Research
Project at the University of Minnesota. Thanks to your
contributions the Phase 2 effort was fully funded and kicked
off on schedule in early June.
To date Dr. Lockhart has
repeated the HVX transmission testing by contaminated fingers,
tools (scissors and knife) and root debris in soil using Hosta
'Honeybells' as the host plant. These plants will be
observed for HVX symptoms and tested for the presence of virus
next spring and during the second growing season.
A number of shade perennials have also been
inoculated with HVX. They will be observed and
virus-tested along with the H. 'Honeybells' test plants.
A number of members of the Liliaceae family will also be
included in the shade perennials testing. Dr. Lockhart
opted to wait until next spring to inoculate these since it
was a bit late in the growing season based on prior research
This fall and winter he will be launching into
more greenhouse and lab-oriented experiments. These
include testing (and verifying or not) the report from Korea
stating that “HVX was transmitted in 7.5% of seed from HVX
infected H. ‘Blue Cadet’”. He will also begin work
on movement of HVX within plants as it relates to rate or ease
of infection and differences between different hosta
Rob Mortko (Vice
President Genus Hosta)
all our judges, let me introduce myself. My name is Chuck Zdeb
and I was elected Vice President for Judging and Exhibitions.
I have served for the past four years as Vice President for
Awards and Honors. I am taking over this position from Meg
Dalton who has done a remarkable job for the last four years.
| In addition, Judy Burns has taken over as
judges’ records keeper. Over the next several weeks,
Judy and I will be reviewing the judges’ records. We will be
checking to see that the requirements to maintain judging
status have been adhered to.
Also remember you are periodically required to enter leaves in
a leaf show as well as judging requirements. Please make
sure that any updates in judging requirements are sent to Judy
either electronically or in paper form.
Kathie Sisson will continue on as Judges Training
chair. She has asked that you remember to send changes in
judging status as well a record of judges’ training clinics
to her so that you get credit for your time in clinics.
Any suggestions you may have to improve the
quality of our shows, our judging, or our training are eagerly
sought. Ideas you may have for Judges Clinic III are also
(Vice President Judging and Exhibitions)
5803 Hearn Road
Ellenwood, GA 30294
Contact Chuck Zdeb
3070 Hudson Way
Decatur, GA 30033
Contact Judy Burns
At this summer’s AHS convention in New England
many awards were presented. We give awards for outstanding
contributions in the field of hybridizing, journalism,
photography, newsletter production and service to the AHS. Too
often we don’t recognize or appreciate the members who are
the backbone of the society.
Those members who spend
years in their respective societies making the societies work!
They serve as newsletter editors, treasurers, membership chairs
and leaf show chairs. They make sure that the room is set up for
the meetings and that the projector and screen are there for the
speakers. They are always doing something for their group. Too
often their efforts go unrecognized.
To that end the AHS Board has established an award to
specifically recognize those individuals. The award is being
called the “President’s Wall”.
The recipient does NOT have to be a member of the
AHS. Early each year local societies will be asked to submit two
names to be honored by the AHS. Their names and a brief
description of their contributions can be sent to the VP for
Awards and Honors who will generate an award certificate and send
it back to the local society to be presented. In addition the name
of each recipient and the Society that he or she serves will be
engraved on a brick in the ‘President’s Wall’ on the web
site at www.hosta.org. The first of these certificates will
be presented next year.
|Phasing Out The
AHS Merchandise Store
Over the next few months the AHS Online
Merchandise Store will be closing its doors. Watch for
Store sales with special close out prices on all AHS logo
products. This decision came about at the June board of
directors meeting when Store coordinator, Connie Linder,
presented a proposal to phase out and discontinue selling AHS
merchandise. When the Store was established in 2005, the
intention was to only sell items online. As a
convenience to national convention attendees, AHS merchandise
was sold at conventions. Marketing innovations have
changed, and it’s time to reevaluate the Store.
Connie Linder looks back fondly at the start of the AHS
It all started with a simple two-inch lapel pin
with the AHS logo on it. I loved the pin I had gotten
many years ago and thought it was a shame not to have them
available for all AHS members to buy. After
getting approval and funding from the board, I was in the
business of selling AHS pins. I sold them informally at
conventions and they were a huge success. Members really
liked the idea of having something with the attractive
American Hosta Society logo on it. So, why not have a
‘store’? That was the birth of the AHS Online Store
in 2005. The ‘store’ has carried items such as the
official AHS pin, cool rapid dry polo shirts, baseball caps,
an AHS embroidered navy visor, a thermal beverage cup, and of
course a sturdy AHS t-shirt suitable for weed pulling or
Perhaps, down the road a new AHS Store will be
created. Anyone interested in developing a new AHS Store
should contact Connie Linder or Doug Beilstein. This
means that AHS merchandise will no longer be sold at
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
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
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!
Date” - June 13 - 16, 2012 - AHS Convention - Nashville!!!
“Hostas, Friends and Music” will be a time for visiting
with old friends, making new ones, experiencing Nashville and
of course, seeing Middle Tennessee gardens. The
Scientific program will include: a panel on Hosta Tips to Grow
By; Don Dean will share his hybridizing experience Where Did
That Trait Come From; Jerry Weeks with From Yon to Here
will discuss how hostas made their way from Asia to the New
World; and, George Schmid, the Key Note speaker,
will present his work on Hosta Species. Mike Shadrack
will address hostas in Europe with Eric Smith, Master
Hybridizer; Bob Solberg will talk on The Future of Hostas; and
Warren Pollack will lead a breakout session on recent hosta
DNA work by Dr. Ben Zonnenveld of the University of Leiden,
The Netherlands. Flo Chaffin of Specialty Ornamentals
will discuss Shady Characters - Japanese maples, hydrangea and
conifers for the various growing zones. There will also
be two non-scientific sessions: The Rise of the Southern
Biscuit and Adelicia Acklen, Mistress of Belmont (Plantation).
A musical revue
is planned for Wednesday evening after the Optional Tours.
One tour is Gardens of Nashville, including the Parthenon,
and the other is a historic tour of three Civil War sites in
Franklin, TN, including Carnton Plantation and its 1860
The Hat Contest will return on Saturday evening
and a Photography Contest will be held. Categories and
rules will be posted on the convention website.
With so many attendees driving to Nashville, we
are looking forward to a great Hosta Show. You bring
the leaves… We’ll have the bottles.
If Country Music is on your agenda, we suggest
attending the Grand Ole Opry on Tuesday evening to avoid
missing any of the convention activities. Gray Line of
Nashville has given the group a special rate which will
include tickets and transportation to and from the hotel.
A special email address for this will be posted on the
convention website. For further information, see
There is an early registration fee of $229 prior to January 31. ALL attendees can now register using Visa or Master Card. A $10 convenience fee will be added for this.
We’ll be serving up Southern Hospitality and are Expecting
||Escape to Wisconsin
- June 13-15, 2013
As announced at this summer’s convention, a site has
been secured for 2013. It will be held in the Milwaukee, WI
area. Since there have been comments that conventions are
getting expensive to attend, I had a different vision for a future
| The idea is to shorten
the convention to Friday and Saturday, and for attendees to drive to
gardens on their own timing and schedule with maps and directions
provided. Carpooling will be strongly encouraged to alleviate
congestion at gardens and to facilitate rides for attendees that do
not drive in.
Jack Barta has embraced the concept and is willing to
work with me so he and I are co-chairs for the 2013 AHS convention.
We are in negotiations with a hotel and are in the planning stages
at this time. I wanted to announce this to the membership and
make them aware of the fact that we will have a convention and that
the concept will be different than past conventions.
Since this is such a radical new concept, I have
received concerns from members about the new format. I will
address many of these concerns in the upcoming Online Journal
where there is more room for discussion. I also welcome
concerns and ideas at this time so as to find solutions to some
potential problems before they occur. This is by no means
meant to change convention formats. It is meant to be an
option to host a convention. Since local societies have turned
down requests to host future conventions, this will be “2 Cheese
Heads Putting on a Convention”!
While it sounds like a cheesy idea, we are confident
that we will be able to provide an excellent convention experience
at a much reduced cost.
Tom Micheletti (AHS Past