March 2012 - American Hosta Society



March 2012 - American Hosta Society
Mid-South Hosta Society
March 2012
Volume 15, No. 2
Michael Shadrack, internationally known hosta expert and photographer, will speak at our
March 15 meeting at the Memphis Botanic Garden. He is an informative and engaging speaker
and sprinkles his presentations with bits of British humor. We are in for a real treat!
Mike has been a member of The American Hosta Society since 1992 and is currently VicePresident of Awards and Honors. Also a 22-year year member of the British Hosta and Hemerocallis Society, he is their former chairman and current executive bulletin editor.
There are more than 6,000 hosta images in Mike’s photographic library. Many of these photographs are in The Color Encyclopedia of Hostas (which was named 2005 Reference Book of the
Year by The British Garden Writers Guild) and Timber Press Pocket Guide to Hostas, both coauthored with Diana Grenfell. He and his wife, Kathy Guest Shadrack, co-authored The Book of
Little Hostas: 200 Small, Very Small , and Mini Varieties which was published in 2010.
Mike has been growing hostas since 1986 and has been trying to hybridize almost as long. He
was drawn to hostas through his other hobby, fish-keeping,
when he saw the beauty of hostas reflected in a garden
pond. He now has many more hostas than fish. He and
Kathy maintain a large collection of modern cultivars and a
garden devoted to small hostas at their home in Western
New York. Visit to get a glimpse of
their garden.
As a qualified London Tourist Board Guide, Mike organizes tours of private gardens both in the United Kingdom
and in the United States. He is now the “Hosta-expert-atlarge” for Bowden Hostas in Devon, England, the UK's
largest hosta supplier.
Through their website
(, Mike is available to answer your
hosta questions.
Mark your calendar for a great evening. Come early at
6:30 to welcome the Shadracks to Memphis. This meeting
will also be a book-signing event for Mike and Kathy, who
will have their Book of Little Hostas available for purchase.
Judith Hammond
‘Hey, little darlings, it’s time to wake up’
What prompts our hostas to wake up in the spring? Most factors are obvious, but some may surprise you.
Unlike many frigid regions in the North, the traditional MidSouth hosta parade starts in March. Sometimes these guys and
gals poke their noses above ground in late February. In the wake
of an unusually mild winter, some hostas have already broken
dormancy. For the past two weeks, pips of the usual early-risers
have been restless, peeking from undercover to see if they can
safely jump out of bed. Jack Frost, you know, may be lurking
around the corner. Remember several years ago when he nipped
early growth?
Most of my in-ground hostas are still snoozing, but recent wet
and mild conditions are sure to change that. I expect to see them
waving at me before I’m finished clearing those ubiquitous winter weeds. There’s not a whole lot I can do to hold back the hosta
Air and ground temperatures play big roles in rousing hostas
from their slumber. Once the air warms to a sustained average ‘Little Treasure’ saw the light and
led the parade into spring.
of 50 degrees and the ground reaches 40, there’s no holding our
hostas back. Some delay their arrival because of genealogy, but
most join the parade within a couple weeks. Those playing the blues are generally near the back of the
Wind can also coax hostas out of dormancy. A nice warm breeze combined with a little rain can
tease those with exposed rhizomatous tendrils and persuade them to hasten growth. While cold winter
rains are normal in the Mid-South, they do keep the ground porous and ready for the spring warm-up
and eruption of plant life – unlike northern states where ice and snow tend to keep everything in a
deep freeze until the vernal equinox (about March 21, the calendar’s official first day of spring).
There’s no question that a stretch of sunny days will warm the ground rapidly. Sunlight is essential
to help hostas ring in spring. That’s one reason I park patio pots in my darkened garage over the winter. By putting these potted hostas in cold storage and depriving them of light, I guarantee that they’ll
have a longer winter nap and a more energized spring. But I remain awake to their needs. I sprinkle
these dormant darlings twice a month to simulate occasional outdoor showers. Another good reason
for seclusion is to keep fine pottery from cracking during our typical freeze-thaw-freeze-thaw winters.
Imagine my surprise last week when I ventured into the garage and found a hosta desperately
stretching its wings. ‘Little Treasure’ was the beneficiary of light leaking through a crack in window
shutters. While every other hosta slept, this one reached for the slightest sliver of sunlight. According
to my records, it woke up three weeks early. This lance-leafed lovely and other treasures have since
been moved back to the patio,
While warmth, sunlight, precipitation and wind encourage emergence of hostas, more factors are
involved – particularly parentage. Hostas native to Southern climates around the world can be expected to show their colors early. That’s why many of our fragrant friends – descendants of the Chinese species plantaginea – lead the parade into March Madness. And that’s why my little ‘Dixie
Chickadee’ is already strutting out front.
Page 2
A Note from the President
My winter to-do list is done and my countdown to spring has begun. While trimming my
roses last weekend, I was surprised to see my hostas are already stirring – along with a bunch
of green, healthy weeds! That’s a good indication that spring is near. Although you have to
wonder if another serious cold spell is lurking around the corner. March has been known to
play tricks on us like that.
Plant catalogs are arriving. My project list for the upcoming year is growing as is my plant
wish list. I can’t wait until the Club Specials that I ordered arrive in April. I have scouted my
garden and know just where to plant them. If you haven’t ordered yours yet, you still have
time at the March meeting. As crazy as it sounds, I am getting excited about the prospect of
spreading mulch soon. That’s a true gardener for you!
I would encourage all of you to get more involved in the society. Don’t be bashful. Tell us
what you do well. Tell us how much time you can commit. We will find a place for you to
participate. The more helping hands the better. Being the host for the 2013 Dixie Regional
Convention will require as many volunteers as we can get.
Finally, if you have never heard Mike Shadrack speak, you are in for a real treat. You will
definitely laugh while you learn about hostas. Do not miss the March meeting. Bring your
Happy Gardening! Linda
Linda’s Tips for March:
CLEAN UP: Clean any remaining leaves from your beds.
FERTILIZE: When the hostas’ tips start showing, add a well-balanced, slow-release fertilizer.
Spread it around the root zone, but outside of the crown. Cover with compost or manure. Do the
same for your potted hostas.
SLUGS: If you have trouble with slugs, now is the time to start baiting.
WATERING: This month is extremely important for watering your hostas. Keep them well hydrated.
SHARING: Now is a great time to think about dividing your hostas. It not only helps your hostas,
but divisions can make great gifts to friends.
Book Signing Event
The Book of Little Hostas: 200 Small, Very Small,
and Mini Varieties by Kathy Guest Shadrack and
Michael Shadrack will be for sale at the March
meeting for $28 and the authors will be glad to sign
it for you. To be sure you get a copy before they
run out, let Judith Hammond know that you want
one. Email her at [email protected]
To find out more about this wonderful book, visit
the “Other Publications” page on the American
Hosta Society website.
Page 3
“Hostas, Friends & Music”
American Hosta Society 2012 Convention
June 13-16, 2012
at the Nashville Airport Marriott
“Hostas, Friends and Music” will be a time for visiting with old friends, making new ones, experiencing Nashville and seeing Middle Tennessee gardens. The Scientific programs will include:
• a panel on Hosta Tips to Grow By
• Don Dean sharing his hybridizing experience Where Did That
Trait Come From
• George Schmid, the Key Note speaker, presenting his work on
Hosta Species
• Mike Shadrack will address hostas in Europe with Eric Smith,
Master Hybridizer
• Bob Solberg talking on The Future of Hostas
• Jerry Weeks with From Yon to Here, a discussion on how
hostas made their way from Asia to the New World
• Warren Pollack leading a breakout session on recent hosta
DNA work by Dr. Ben Zonnerveld, University of Leiden,
The Netherlands
• Flo Chaffin of Specialty Ornamentals discussing Shady
Characters - Japanese maples, hydrangea & conifers.
There will also be two non-scientific sessions:
• The Rise of the Southern Biscuit and
• Adelicia Acklen, Mistress of Belmont (Plantation).
This is only a sampling of the events of the convention. Other events include a musical review on
Wednesday evening, optional tours of Nashville gardens, the Parthenon, and three historic Civil War
sites in Franklin, Tennessee. The hat contest is back on Saturday evening and currently there are
more than 8oo leaves expected for the leaf contest. Check out the website for
the complete lineup of this wonderful convention. Don’t forget that the Mid-South Hosta Society will
host the Hostatality Suite on Friday night. Y’all come!
Members-Only Club Special Hosta Sale
Orders will be taken at the March meeting for our members-only special hosta sale. The
hostas will be ordered from Bob Solberg with Green Hill Farm. They are bare root divisions
that have been grown to quart or larger size. Bring your checkbook or cash, because you
will need to pay at the time you place your order. Your plants will be delivered to you at
the April meeting.
‘Bailey’s Cream’
‘Mouse Trap’
‘Blue Tooth’
‘Smiley Face’
‘Blueberry Waffles’
‘Spring Shower’
‘Star Power’
‘Candy Dish’
‘Sugar Plum’
‘Lemon Ice’
‘Winter Snow’
Page 4
by Percival Picklebottom
Chapter Eight
Hello all! This is Percival Picklebottom with new news about our favorite slug, Sylvester. You see, Sylvester the slug has had such a busy schedule lately. His near death experience last year has forced him
to find a new home. He arrived at his new garden a few weeks ago and has not been sluggish about surveying his new surroundings. It is very different from his old garden, and it took so long to travel. How
did Sylvester arrive in his new home? Well, after he packed his belongings last year and left the redshoed gardener's yard, he found a new place to call home. He only traveled two yards down and was
amazed to find another garden just brimming over with an abundance of hostas. (Of course, they were
sleeping at the moment.) Yes, he had moved across the street to the Green garden. But, just as he settled into a nice little burrow, he was scooped up and placed into a flower pot. Well, that is all we have
time for in this issue. I'll finish up the story of poor Sylvester's journey next time.
Made in the Shade
book selling briskly
Spring is nature’s way of saying,
“Let’s Party!” -Robin Willliams
In a report to the board Feb. 21,
Larry Tucker said more than half of
his new Made in the Shade books
sold in the first month and gross
receipts covered the cost of printing. Projected sales this spring, he
said, will undoubtedly require a second printing.
Made in the Shade: More Confessions is the second
edition of Larry’s sold-out 2009 book. The new publication includes everything in the first edition plus 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
In the book’s introduction, longtime MSHS member
David Sams commends Larry for all that he has done
for hostas nationally and locally. “He donates all of his
book profits and speaking fees to the endowment fund
that supports the hosta garden.”
Others can help support the Hosta Trail by purchasing Larry’s book at club activities this spring for $15 or
by mail order for $18. It will also be available March 2324 in the hosta society’s booth at the Master Gardeners’
Spring Fling at Agricenter International. Checks should
be made payable to Mid-South Hosta Society (with
the notation Made in the Shade). Mail orders should
be sent to Larry Tucker, 2927 Geoffrey Drive,
Southaven, MS 38672.
The Dabney Nursery
Thousands of Hostas in Stock
5576 Hacks Cross Road
755-4050 755
Mon--Sat 812--5
8-5 Sun 12
Page 5
Pick Up Your Osmocote at March Meeting
Those of you who placed orders for Osmocote should
plan to pick up and pay for your order at the March
15 meeting. If you are unable to attend, please make
arrangements with a friend to pick up your order.
Gloria Green can assist you with any questions. You
may call her at (662) 342-1518.
Mid-South Hosta Society
2011 Financial Report
The Society began 2011 with a cash balance of $4,880.
Our income for last year was $20,837 and our expenses were $17,937, leaving us with a year-end balance of $7,780. If you are interested in seeing the detailed report, it will be available at the March meeting.
MSHS 2012 Board
President: Linda Pittman
Phone: 901-230-0230
Email: [email protected]
VP Programs: Judith Hammond
Phone: 901-276-2819
Email: [email protected]
VP Members: Kristy Waldo & Berta Morgan
Phones: (662) 342-5806 / (662) 393-5222
Email: [email protected]
Director at Large: Cheryl Lockhart
Phone: 662-393-6247
Email: [email protected]
Secretary: Sheryl Casanova
Phone: 901-517-5548
Email: [email protected]
Treasurer: Ian Edward
Phone: 901-754-7955
Email: [email protected]
Ways & Means: Gloria Green
Phone: 662-342-1518
Email: [email protected]
Hosta Trail: Tommy & Glynda Whitlow
Phone: 901-388-1218
Email: [email protected]
Hospitality: Rosa Wooddy
Phone: 901-873-1093
Email: [email protected]
Historian: Larry Tucker
Phone: 901-652-7747
Email: [email protected]
Are you a member yet?
See details and benefits at
Newsletter Editors: Bill & Janet Ferrell
Phone: 901-753-6473
Email: [email protected]
Webpage Editor: Debbie Robinson
Phone: 901-272-9959
Email: [email protected]
FaceBook Editor: Tina Wideman
Email: [email protected]
Page 6
Spring Fling
The Mid-South Hosta Society will have a booth at this year’s MAMG
Spring Fling. We need your help to man the booth. There will be a sign-up sheet at the March
meeting. If you can help for an hour or two, it will be appreciated. You can shop, attend the different talks and help the society, as well. Spring Fling will be at the Red Barn at the Agricenter
on Friday, March 23rd, 10AM to 6PM and Saturday, March 24th, 9AM to 5PM. E-mail Rosa
Wooddy at rwooddy @ if you can help but won’t be at the meeting to register on the
sign-up sheet.
WELCOME - 24 New Members
This MUST be a new record! We had 24 new members join at the
February meeting. A BIG Hosta Welcome to each of you!
Faye de las Flores
Margie & Tommy Densford
Jack & Deb Edwards
Shelia & Jack Jayroe
Marylane Johnson
David Whitehead
Candice Vaneyck
Denny Garner
Janet Futrell
Susan Quinn
Gwen Tubb
Pamela Shelley
Carol Symeon
Glenda Mendina
Isobel R Ritch
Susan Edwards
Sheila Gist
Katy Terrell
Lynda Terry
Susan Porche
Hosta Trail Workday is March 17
The workday will be devoted to cleanup (very little is needed)
and preparation for growing our hostas. Volunteers are asked
to bring their shovels and rakes and assemble before 9:00
a.m. in front of the Pudwell Horticultural Building. We will be
transported to the trail where we will spread mulch and fertilize the hostas. Please come help and see our new rock mini
bed and sign bed. Many thanks to the Memphis Botanic Garden and especially to Kyle McLane and Monico Oritz for their
part in construction of these new beds.
Tommy & Glynda Whitlow, Hosta Trail Coordinators
We have another
great speaker for our
March meeting, so I
know you will be
planning to attend. I
hope that you’ll continue to share your
baking and/or shopping talents with our
members. Come early, mingle, sample
the goodies and maybe get some recipes. I’m looking forward to seeing
Rosa Wooddy, Hospitality
We Want Your Clutter !
Spring is a great
time for housecleaning. Nothing makes
you feel quite so
good when it's done:
closets pared down
to only the things
you love, cupboards cleared of clutter. While you’re emptying those
closets, remember that the MidSouth Hosta Society will be having a
Garage Sale in April to raise funds
for hosting the 2013 Dixie Regional.
Your donated items can help make
our sale a success. Co-ordinate dropoff/pick-up of your donations with
Monti McCauley (767-8661) or Lisa
Kennedy (761-5001).
Page 7
P.O. Box 30902
Memphis, TN 38130
2012 Mid-South Hosta Society Important Dates to Remember
Mar. 15
Society Meeting - 7PM at the Memphis Botanic Garden
Speaker Mike Shadrack, Internationally known hosta expert & author
Topic “Miniature Hostas”
Mar. 17
Hosta Trail Work Day - Memphis Botanic Garden
Society Meeting - 7PM at the Memphis Botanic Garden
Mar. 23-24 MAMG Spring Fling, The Red Barn @ Agricenter, Int’l
Apr. 19
Society Meeting - 7PM at the Memphis Botanic Garden
Speaker Rick Blake, MSHS founding officer
Topic “Growing Hostas in the California Desert”
May 12
Annual MSHS Hosta Sale and Garden Tour ...seeking a volunteer host
June 13-16 American Hosta Society 2012 Convention at the Nashville Airport Marriott
“Hostas, Friends and Music”
Sept. 20
Society Meeting - 7PM at the Memphis Botanic Garden
Speaker Troy Marden, garden designer and TV host
Topic “Mid-South Gardens”
Oct. 18
Society Meeting - 7PM at the Memphis Botanic Garden
Speaker Bob Solberg, hosta breeder and garden designer
Topic “Building a Shade Garden Around Hostas for Year-Round Interest”
Oct. 20
Hosta Trail Work Day - Memphis Botanic Garden
Page 8
Mini/Small Size
'Mouse Trap' (Shady Oaks Nursery) - ('Blue Mouse Ears' sport) - Mini, (6"
X14") Best growing of the white-centered sports of 'Blue Mouse Ears', 'Mouse
Trap' emerges with a pure white center with a few scattered green flecks.
Summer leaves may green up in extreme heat so there is never any melting
out! Lavender flowers on cute white scapes in June. The centerpiece of your
hosta "mouse" collection.
Mouse Trap
Smiley Face
µ6PLOH\)DFH¶ (Solberg 2011) - (H. clausa normalis F2 seedOLQJ;µ6WUDZEHUU\%DQDQD6PRRWKLH¶6PDOO´;´,W
has the cutest round leaves that are full of personality and a
unique rich yellow color. It has pink petioles and surprisingly
heavy substance. It makes a small tight mound perfect in a
pot or a special place in the garden. Red scapes and rich purple flowers with reddish tubes appear in July. Fertile both
ways and makes a great parent.
µ$SSOHWLQL¶ (M. Zilis, M. Vanous 2009) ± (Yellow sport of 'Blue Dimples' X 'Shining Tot') ± 0LQLWR6PDOO´;´$JUHDWQHZPLQL
yellow color, the shine, good substance, and cute leaf shape to make
this fast growing hosta a star in the garden or in a container. It also
has nice lavender flowers in July.
Medium Size Hostas
'Candy Dish' (Summers, Wrede 2003) ('Urajiro Hachijo' seedling) - Medium, (12" X 24"
or larger) This may be as close to the perfect
hosta leaf as there is. Start with heavy substance and dark green color, then add a deeply
ruffled margin to a broad heart-shaped leaf with
purple petioles. Pretty lavender flowers top off
this dense, flat mound in August and September.
%DLOH\¶V&UHDP¶ (Beilstein
2009) - µ6HD3UL]H¶;µ%OXH
This hosta has clean pure
white margins and Irish
green centers in addition to
its not quite round, shiny
leaves. It looks a little
tropical. Nice lavender flowers in mid-summer.
/HPRQ,FH¶ (Solberg
2011) - (H. clausa normalis F2 seedling X
6PRRWKLH¶- Medium,
beginning of the next
generation of red and
yellow hostas. It is the
largest of this very excellent and varied group
of seedlings and has
bright yellow leaves
with bright red petioles
and scapes. It keeps its
yellow color very well
and will be better in the
shade garden as too
much light will bleach it
white. Nice purple flowers on red scapes in
Candy Dish
Lemon Ice
Sugar Plum
Spring Shower
'Sugar Plum' (Solberg 2011) ± (Seedling X 'One Man's Treasure') ± 0HGLXP´;´ This is the
one!!! The ultimate goal of breeding purple-petioled hostas is to produce an upright plant with rich regal
purple color that runs up into the veins at the base of the leaf. Add a bright white back to the leaf and
you have the perfection of the purple running all the way into the white. This is that dream plant. It has
purple scapes as well and blooms in late August and September. It is a prolific seed producer.
Shower' (Solberg
2007) - (H. sieboldiana X 'One Man's
Treasure' F2 seedling) - Medium, (14"
X 30" or larger) A
welcoming sight in a
special place in the
garden, this light
blue "Longiana" has
classic heart-shaped
leaves with strong
venation and most
resembles a
"Tardiana". It has
light lavender flowers in July. Try it
next to 'Camelot'.
Large/Huge Size Hostas
'Blueberry Waffles' (Sandy Brown
2008) ± ('Spilt Milk' × 'Abiqua
´ This is the one you have all
been waiting for!!! Maybe it is the
huge almost perfectly round leaves,
or their deep blue color, the color of
blueberries, with all the perfect
puckering, or maybe just the impressive mound of foliage that
makes it the perfect specimen, or
probably all three, but this is a spectacular hosta that you can't get out
of your mind. It flowers with its H.
sieboldiana kin in June. It's destined
to be one of the hottest hostas of
the year.
'Brutus' (D. Beilstein
2007) - ('Sea Drift' X H.
venusta) - Very Large, (36"
X 65") 'Brutus' is a hugeleafed, dark green monster
that is a little unruly. At
maturity, every leaf has an
intricate pattern of ridges
and valleys that draw closer
inspection. It is topped by
pretty purple flowers in
early summer on tall
scapes. Makes an impressive specimen if raised
above ground level.
'Brutus' is a beast!
:LQWHU6QRZ¶ (Winterberry
Farms and J. Anderson 2003) ±
treuse leaves that have exquisite wavy white margins that
are consistently evenly wide. It
has the typical tall scapes and
lavender flowers in July that
generally need early pruning.
More impressive than its parent.
Blueberry Waffles
'Star Power' (D. and M. Beilstein 2009) - ('Komodo
Dragon' X 'Super Bowl') - Medium to large, (20" X 48")
Looking for an impressive upright yellow hosta with large
heart-shaped leaves that are
ruffled and somewhat puckered? This one from great parentage has good color and a
sturdy stance that will brighten
up any shady corner. It has
lavender flowers in June and is
Star Power
Blue Tooth
Winter Snow
µ%OXH7RRWK¶ (D. and M. Beilstein 2011) ±
µ-XQH¶;µ$]XUH6QRZ¶± /DUJH´;´$
power blue hosta that has long, narrow leaves
and it has 12 pairs of veins! It also has light lavender Bird of Paradise-like flowers in August. It
makes a large symmetric mound.
Michael Shadrack to Speak at
Mid-South Hosta Society
“Miniature Hostas”
Thursday March 15, 2012
6:30 PM
Memphis Botanic Garden
Hosta Expert, Photographer, & Author
Open to the public. Members free, visitors $5.00
The Mid-South Hosta Society meets on the third Thursday
Feb, Mar, Apr, Sept, & Oct.
Membership is $10.00.
Join the Hosta Society and order new and exciting hostas!
Club Exclusive Sale, tonight only!

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