Mid-South Hosta Society Newsletter Hosta



Mid-South Hosta Society Newsletter Hosta
Mid-South Hosta Society
November 2011
Volume 14, No. 8
Made in the Shade book back by popular demand
New edition holds last of Larry’s columns
The hosta society has approved an updated and expanded version of Larry Tucker’s popular Made in the
Shade book. It will be printed in January and available in February.
Larry’s first edition of Made in the Shade: Confessions of a Hostaholic was published in January 2009
as a collection of 10 years of his newsletter columns and hosta tips. After two printings, the 124-page book
sold out in the summer of 2010. The 176-page second edition, Made in the Shade: More Confessions, will
include two dozen new chapters and pictures. Many of the photos and the book covers will be in full color.
Again, revenue from the $15 book ($18 by mail order) will be committed to the club’s endowment fund
to maintain the Memphis Botanic Garden’s Hosta Trail, which was dedicated in 2007 as an American
Hosta Society National Display Garden.
The second-edition book will collect the last of Larry’s
more than 100 Made in the Shade columns, which have been
centerpieces in the Hosta Hotline. Looking back on the past
13 years, he said:
“I’ve had great fun writing about hostas and my gardening
adventures. After this month’s column, however, I’ll have to
find new ways to share hosta humor and a sometimes silly
slant on gardening. Made in the Shade has given me the
chance to reminisce about life’s foibles and fate. It has also
presented the perfect platform to pick on my sweet Shari,
whose antics have offered easy targets. Believe me, she gets
“Thanks to my secondary love, hostas, I’ve met a remarkable realm of gardeners. I’m indebted to them for pass-along
plants and pointers, but especially for their friendship.
Though I’ll always have a passion for hostas, it’s time to nurture a few new seeds in my life. As an incurable gardener and
club historian, I’ll still submit occasional articles to the Hosta
Hotline. Meanwhile, I encourage others to step up and help
Bill and Janet Ferrell serve the society with the nation’s best
hosta newsletter.”
‘Liberty’ is 2012 Hosta of the Year
Hosta ‘Liberty’ (J. Machen, Jr., 2000) is a sport of
‘Sagae’ that features a wider, more dramatic border.
The leaves are extraordinarily thick (making it slugresistant) and, like ‘Sagae’, the yellow margin fades
to creamy-white later in the season. ‘Liberty’ grows
in a vase-shaped mound and lavender flowers top the
clump in early summer.
Since 1996, the members of the American Hosta
Growers Association have selected a Hosta of the
Year. The hosta must have exceptionally decorative
foliage, showy or fragrant flowers and must perform
well throughout growing zones 3-9. The hosta must
also be widely available on the year of selection and
must retail for around $15 in the year of selection.
Previous Hosta of the Year selections are:
2011—’Praying Hands’ (G. Williams 1996)
2010—’First Frost’ (R. Solberg 2002)
2009—’Earth Angel’ (H. Hansen 2002)
2008—’Blue Mouse Ears’ (E. Deckert 2000)
2007—’Paradigm’ (W. West 1999)
2006—’Stained Glass’ (H. Hansen 1999)
2005—’Striptease’ (Thompson 1991)
2004—’Sum and Substance’ (Aden 1998)
2003—’Regal Splendor’ (Walters Gardens 1987)
2002—’Guacamole’ (R. Solberg 1994)
2001—’June’ (Neo Plants 1991)
2000—’Sagae’ (Watanabe/AHS 1996)
1999—’Paul’s Glory’ (Ruh/Hofer 1987)
1998—’Fragrant Bouguet’ (P. Aden 1982)
1997—’Patriot’ (Machen 1991)
1996—’So Sweet’ (P. Aden 1986)
Dixie Fund-raiser Planned
The Mid-South Hosta Society will be
holding a Garage Sale in Spring 2012 to
raise funds to offset costs for the 2013
Dixie Regional that we will be hosting. We need all members to start gathering those long-forgotten, unwanted knickknacks. Check those boxes in the attic. You can finally have a good use
for that hideous chair that Auntie gave you. Anything that you would be
willing to donate to the sale will be greatly appreciated. We also need
hangers to hang the clothing that is donated. Donations will be accepted
anytime before the sale… please start now! We’ll let you know later
when we set the date. Call Monti McCauley (901) 767-8661or Lisa Kennedy at (901) 761-5001 to schedule a pick-up or drop-off of donated
Page 2
A Note from the President
As I told you in this year’s first issue of the Hosta Hotline, we had a big year planned…and a big year it
was! Our fund-raisers continue to be extremely successful. Our May sale (in spite of the rain and the local
flooding) raised more than $3,400 for the club. Ann and Jim Zaner were incredible hosts and touring their garden was a real treat. The Silent Auction and the Raffle are always fun in addition to being great sources of income.
I would venture to guess not many hosta societies have the quality of local speakers from which to draw as
MSHS does. We were very fortunate this year to have Dale Skaggs, Paul Bruns and Carol Reese speak to us.
The funds we raise throughout the year allow us to bring in national speakers as well. Hybridizers Olga
Petryszyn and Don Dean were both entertaining and informative. I found it very interesting to hear their stories – such different paths that led them to hybridizing. As I listened to each, I made my lists of those “have to
have” hostas for my garden. I can’t wait until some of their new specimens are available for sale.
During this past year, MSHS has started several other projects. We now have a Facebook page. Our website is being updated. The Hosta Trail is always a work in progress and will be getting a “facelift” with new
stonework. We agreed to assist with the AHS National Convention in Nashville in 2012. Our biggest commitment this year was volunteering to host the Dixie Regional Convention in 2013 – what a huge undertaking that
will be. (Volunteers will be needed!!)
Topping the success of this past year will be a big task, but your board is up to the challenge. Stay tuned.
We have scheduled some outstanding local and national speakers for next year. We are expecting big crowds
at each meeting. We are also in the process of selecting a garden for our May 2012 Sale and Garden Tour.
(Would you like to show off your garden?!)
Remember, we always need volunteers. Please consider getting involved in 2012. We have a wonderful
group of people in this club. I can tell you from experience that you will always get more out of being involved than you have to put in. Enjoy the upcoming holiday season, and I look forward to seeing you in February 2012!
Happy Gardening, Linda
The American Hosta Society will have the annual online auction of rare and
unusual hostas hosted by Don Dean in January 2012. Some hostas are so
rare, like H. ‘Bob Axmear’ (shown, right), that you will only find them on the
auction. Others are not so rare and very affordable. Visit
www.americanhostasociety.org/Auctions to find out more. Also, you can
e-mail Don at [email protected] and ask him to put you on the auction email list.
by Percival Picklebottom
Chapter Six
What a world! One moment you are dining on a delicious ‘Diamond Tiara’ and the next, you are
running for your life! Sanford has lost his dignity and a small portion of his tail. As he collects
his thoughts, Sanford tries to piece together the evening’s events. The red shoes…it was the
gardener! She waters his hostas by day, but by night she is a slug hunter. The light from above
was her flashlight. The rain from above was not sent from the heavens, but was ammonia from
the red-shoed gardener’s spray bottle. Now Sanford must face the hard truth. He must find a
new home. The Morgan garden can no longer be his home. As the last of the hostas begin to
sleep, he packs his bag to find a new garden…
Page 3
"Shovel off, Flossie! I'm the new bird on the
block and you don't want to mess with me."
Have you ever asked yourself, “Why do I garden?” Be honest. Is it . . .
“Because I worked at night and I needed something to do during the day.”
“Because my folks were serious gardeners. I must have inherited the gene.”
“Because my spouse kicked me out of the house and flowers don’t nag.”
“Because I got bored with mowing grass. There are colors other than green.”
“Because I meet the nicest people and they know the best dirt around town.”
“Because gardening is a great-stress reliever that keeps recharging my life.”
“Because I’m an incurable collector and hostas really captured my fancy.”
“Because I love to learn and I want to show the kids how to grow things.”
“Because my veggies and fruit are better than what I can buy at the store.”
“Because, in walking the dog, I realized other gardens put mine to shame.”
Admit it, presentation and pride are profound reasons many of us garden. We may love to play
in the dirt, but we want others to appreciate our hard work and handiwork. Hence, a well-tended
landscape speaks louder than a plaque declaring “A Gardener Lives Here.”
There’s no magic formula. That’s what makes gardening an art, if not in the eye of the beholder, certainly in the mind of the creator. For anyone serious about gardening and upholding his
or her reputation, seasonal interest is paramount, but I have a hard time keeping up with Shari’s
standards. Though we agree that the goal should be an easy-maintenance garden, her master plan
is a monumental maze. While I’m focusing on favorite flowers or foliage, she’s w-a-a-a-y ahead
of me, looking for improvements in the big picture.
As much as I love gardening, I’m relieved when autumn arrives and plants descend into dormancy. My senses still enjoy the fluffy plumes of Zebra grass and the sweet fragrance of elaeagnus (a.k.a. Ugly Agnes, thanks to Plato Touliatos). But when the hostas go down, the decorations
go up.
November is turnaround time. Shari’s Halloween hang-up is a hoot. However, she doesn’t
know when to quit. As soon as the last haunting doorbell subsides on All-Hallows Eve, she’s like
a schizophrenic squirrel scampering around with her Thanksgiving decor.
Shari’s domain is the house. I’m responsible for a few square feet outside the front door, where
I transform the leftover pumpkin into an iron-feathered bird. Then I perch a well-worn-and-welded
Page 4
shovel-come-turkey in the driveway drift of hostas. And finally – fanfare, please – I wheel out our
200-pound concrete gobbler. Ugh! Two years ago, after an especially arduous gardening season, I
overestimated my brute strength and hoisted that heavyweight onto the front step. One hernia surgery later, Big Bird took up permanent residence on a furniture dolly that I now wheezingly wheel
into position once a year under Shari’s supervision.
OK, it’s time to talk turkey. I’ve seen my share of them, having narrowly missed road-kill dinners in Michigan and Tennessee. My wildest experience, however, came this summer in Rhode
Island. While hunting for a parking spot near the ocean Cliff Walk, I was shooed away from a
Newport mansion’s gate by a beady-eyed, stand-my-ground, I-mean-business guard turkey. No
way would I challenge that grouchy old
feather duster. Like most fowl that gobble
gastropods, he undoubtedly was territorial
about anyone wanting to invade his garden.
The only intense interest I have in turkeys is the Thanksgiving snooze I get
from gobbling tryptophan. Contrary to
what you may have heard, I’M NO TURKEY! Even with his wealth of wisdom,
Ben Franklin was the real turkey. He lobbied to have Meleagris gallopavo immortalized as America’s national symbol. My
feathers are ruffled because needle art,
yard art, facebook and cookbook characLarry the Turkey cupcakes ruffled my feathers,
ters are being introduced as Larry the Turbut they were delicious!
key. Not surprisingly, my talented wife, in
a moment of insanity, committed herself
to a dozen namesake cupcakes. The reason was the season, she told the judge. Let it also be
known, I’M NO CUPCAKE!
I do admit that, as I age, there’s some resemblance to a distinguished old bird. I’ve been likened to the Perfesser, the rumpled reporter for the Treetops Tattler-Tribune in Shoe, who retired
when the cartoonist and comic strip died some years ago. I’m not fading as fast as fowl, but it’s
clear that I’m no longer blessed with youthful good looks. I’d like to think the grey matter upstairs
still matches my full head of steel-wool hair. Unfortunately, like a turkey, my wattle and wenis are
a bit baggy and saggy.
One’s wattle, in case you’ve lost touch with reality, is the loose skin on your neck. So I keep
my chin up, curmudgeonly, like Andy Rooney. But one’s wenis isn’t what you’re thinking.
SHAME ON YOU! It’s the loose skin on your elbow. So I keep my arms bent, particularly while
admiring my one-martini garden and savoring Hosta ‘Gin and Tonic’.
If you’re still wondering why yours truly gardens, I can honestly answer “All of the above.”
Well, almost all. Nine out of 10 ain’t bad (the gardening gene came from Shari’s family). Now if I
could live my life over, I would . . . HEY! Who unplugged the computer?
Hosta la vista!
Page 5
H. ‘Blue Mouse Ears’
Winner of the 2011 Benedict Medal
for Garden Performance
The Benedict Medal is the highest garden performance award offered by the American Hosta Society.
The award is named in honor of Dr. Herb Benedict, a
pioneer in hosta hybridizing. ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ was
registered in 2000 by E.
Deckert. It has small
blue leaves. The mature plant is only 6-7”
tall. The leaf is 2.75”
long and 2” wide with
extremely thick substance, making it slugresistant. Flowers are
pale lavender, striped
and bell-shaped.
Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’
MSHS 2011 Board
President: Linda Pittman
Phone: 901-230-0230
Email: [email protected]
VP Programs: Judith Hammond
Phone: 901-276-2819
Email: [email protected]
VP Members: Lisa Kennedy & Monti
Phones: 901-681-0576 / 901-767-8661
Emails: [email protected]
[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]
The Dabney Nursery
Thousands of Hostas in Stock
5576 Hacks Cross Road
755-4050 755
Mon-Sat 88-5 Sun 12
Historian: Larry Tucker
Phone: 901-652-7747
Email: [email protected]
Newsletter Editors: Bill & Janet Ferrell
Phone: 901-753-6473
Email: [email protected]
Webpage Editor: Debbie Robinson
Email: [email protected]
FaceBook Editor: Tina Wideman
Email: [email protected]
Page 6
MSHS Hosts Friday Night at
2012 AHS Convention in Nashville
On another beautiful fall Saturday, October 22, 2011,
fifteen volunteers answered the bell at the Hosta Trail.
They included: Tony Bernot, June and Punk Davidson,
Ian Edward, Dave Gilcrease, Heather Goodwin, Judith
Hammond, Alice Leslie, Jim Marsalis, Norma Montesi,
Sharmon Murley, Buddy Neyman, Sylvia Walker, and
Tommy and Glynda Whitlow. In about an hour’s time
the trail was ready for winter. Many thanks to those that
helped and for all the support we get in keeping the trail
looking so good.
Tommy & Glynda Whitlow, Hosta Trail Coordinators
The World Series is over. Halloween is
over. Too quickly Thanksgiving will be
here, then Lent and Christmas. It’s time to
cut the hostas back and put the garden to
bed, but I sure hope you don’t think it’s time
for your long winter’s nap! The Mid-South
Hosta Society is making plans for the 2012
AHS National Convention in Nashville, TN,
June 13-16. We are hosting the Hostatality
Room on Friday night that week. We will
serve snacks and drinks made right here in
Memphis. Do you have any suggestions
about what we should serve? How about
Klinke Brothers Ice Cream or Dinstuhls
Candy? Got (Turner) Milk? You get the
idea. This will be a fun party, and we are
on the lookout for party people to help us
plan and prepare. Does this sound like
Please contact Cheryl Lockhart
([email protected]) if you would like
to be involved.
Just a reminder that the MSHS is hosting
the 2013 Dixie Regional Convention in
June 2013. Watch for more information.
With your help, this can be the best Dixie in
Which of your hostas held up best this year? Do you have any that still look good? WE WANT
TO KNOW!!! Bowman Reid and Heather Goodwin have volunteered to recap the results. Please email one of them and share which hostas you have discovered “hold up” well in our area. Remember, this is not your favorite, but what is growing well and survives looking great deep into the fall,
despite our changing Memphis climate. Limit your list to
a maximum of 12 and e-mail it to [email protected] or
[email protected] If you don’t “compute”, we
still want your input...call a board member. You’ll find
the phone numbers on page 6. Results will be published
in the next newsletter, February 2012. This will be a
great help to all of us, but especially to our newest
hosta friends who are wondering which plants to add to
their collection.
The hosta photo to the right was taken on October
26 this year. This plant is in full bloom and looks
GREAT...can anyone help us identify it? If you know or
suspect its name, call Janet or Bill at 753-6473, or email [email protected]
Page 7
P.O. Box 30902
Memphis, TN 38130
N ruar
Are you a member yet?
See details and benefits at
WELCOME to our most recent new member, Robert Turner. We are glad to have you, Bob!
Page 8
Working the Hosta Trail - October 22, 2011
Page 9
These Losers are Beauties, Too!
According to iVillage GardenWeb, the four finalists for 2012 Hosta of the Year were
‘Liberty’ (Machen, Jr. 2000), ‘Guardian Angel’ (Thompson 1995), ‘Rainforest Sunrise’ and ‘Touch
of Class’.
The rounded, fluorescent, leathery, golden leaf of
‘Rainforest Sunrise’ has a dramatic dark green border. The 5” x 5” leaf is cupped and heavily puckered. Sun-resistant, slug-resistant, and fast-growing,
this hosta yields lavender flowers on 39” scapes.
‘Guardian Angel’ has large 13” x 10”, thick, heartshaped leaves with a distinct point. Leaves emerge
with a misted white and green center and a blue to
blue-green margin. Center will darken as the leaves
age. Near white flowers bloom in July.
‘Touch of Class’ has thick, tri-colored leaves that
keep their cool blue tones right through the summer
heat. The center of the leaf is a gold flame. There is
a narrow band of green where the flame overlaps the
blue edge. Leaves are 5.5” x 4.5” heart-shaped and
slightly downturned at the tips. Over time, the
vertical furrows become more pronounced, giving a
“quilted” look.
Page 10
A Sampling of Don Dean’s Hostas
Don Dean, our October speaker, is not only a master hybridizer but a master photographer. He
wowed us with a beautiful slide show and informative program that carried us through the seasons in his home garden and introduced us to his distinctive hostas. He brought a couple of his
hostas for door prizes and the winners were Bowman Reid, who received ‘Bedazzled’, and Bill
Ferrell, who received ‘Frosted Dimples’. You can see pics and order Don’s hostas from Naylor
Creek Nursery (www.naylorcreek.com). Below are a few to tease your hosta hunger.
Above Left: ‘Astral Bliss’ Very intense blue-green
frosted leaves are held upright and create a low 12”
mound. Folded, wavy, pointed leaves arrange themselves in a layered star pattern. Lavender flowers in
August are on well-proportioned scapes.
Above Right: ‘Enduring Beacon’ Glowing yellow, glossy foliage emerges in spring atop red petioles forming a 15”x32” symmetrical mound. The
brightness endures throughout the season. Midseason brings lavender flowers on saturated red
Left and Right: ‘Glacial Towers’ This is a new
introduction from Don Dean. It makes a beautiful
upright clump with leaves
held almost flat, but layered well above ground.
Medium green leaves have
a wide creamy-yellow to
white feathered border and
where there is overlap two
shades of grey-green
develop, adding further
interest. Tall scapes
produce lavender flowers.
Page 11
Above Left: ‘Strawberry Surprise’
Large 12” x 9” blue-green leaves with a
wide irregular yellow border form a medium-sized mound. The border changes to
cream as the season progresses. Redburgundy flower scapes produce lavender
Above Right: ‘Fruit Punch’ Watermelon petioles hold vibrant lemon-yellow
leaves edged in blackberry for Spring foliage. In time, leaves become wavy kiwicolored leaves of good substance which
quickly form a dense flat mound. In August, strawberry-colored scapes are topped
with grape-purple flowers.
Center Left: ‘October Sky’ Vase-shaped
clump with intensely powdered blue on
both the top and bottom of the foliage. In
Minnesota, the leaves hold their color until
October’s frost. August flowers are nearly
white with lavender interiors.
Bottom Left: ‘Her Eyes Were Blue’ Intensely silver-blue, almost steel gray,
leaves are heavily rippled and lightly serrated. The leaf tip twists and curves downward, creating a low mound that reaches
only about 12” tall. Midsummer brings
pale lavender flowers. Leaves have good
substance and moderate corrugation.
Page 12

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