A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.




 

Donald Hodgson's Pristine May In A Hosta Garden
Saturday, May 21, 2011

Hosta 'June'
Donald Hodgson was my friend. He died a couple of years ago and I really miss him. I particularly miss him every year just about now. Why? Hodgson would invariably call me around mid may to talk about hostas. He had a small wholesale hosta business in his backyard in North Vancouver. He was a retired school teacher who had taught Latin. He became fascinated with hostas and he combined this interest with driving to the US to visit as many State Capitals he could.




Unlike other hosta growers he chose a few of the rally proven ones and he would coddle them and feed them until they were mature. Only then would he pot them up and drive to deliver them to the better Lower Mainland nurseries. Since Hodgson’s passing away the offerings at the nurseries consist of puny small plants at outrageous prices.

It was at about this time that Hodgson would call and say, “There is something about hostas as they emerge and unfurl their leaves. They are pristine, fresh and undamaged by slugs, snails, cutworms or other bugs. They are perfect!”

So I would invite him for tea and he would come and we would visit with every hosta in my garden (the visit was protracted as I have an awful lot of them!).

Hodgson would note some empty spots and suggest I pass by his garden to pick a few up. I was one of the few he sold hostas to who was not from a nursery. And his prices for me were really regalados (gifts).

This past week I snapped some of my hostas with my iPhone and I made believe that Hodgson was with me. I am sure that wherever he is he must be looking at a perfect, fresh, pristine hosta and saying, “ I wonder if Alex has this one?”








     

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