|Hosta 'Diamond Lake' August 8, 2022
This blog will probably be a meandering and long one.
Today when I walked my cat Niño around the block I remembered my Rosemary (she died two years and five months ago) who trained Niño to walk without a leash. She told me, “Never shout at him and wait when he lingers at a garden.” When I walk Niño can feel that absent presence of Rosemary.
But I thought that we all go through cycles independently. It is now my turn to walk Niño.
|Scanning Hosta 'Diamond Lake' in my office today 26 April 2023
In the late 90s I used to participate in photographic gallery showings. I remember seeing a young man’s bodyscapes who told me that women’s bodies could resemble desert sand dunes. I said nothing but thought, “I have done that and It bores me now.”
A friend when I showed him my photographs would often tell me, “It’s been done before.” I saw the light one day and when he uttered that annoying statement I shouted back (in glee), “But I have not done it yet!”
|Hosta 'Diamond Lake' 26 April 2023
My eldest daughter Ale, who is a keen gardener and has a one acre property in Lillooet BC and will accompany me this year to the American Hosta Society’s National Convention in Ames, Iowa in June persuaded me, seeing that she thinks I need to be distracted so as not to think about my Rosemary, to join the FB American Hosta Society Group.
For many years in Mexico I was a high school teacher. My mother, grandmother and Rosemary were teachers. I am a teacher. It is obvious that most of the members of FB are excited beginners asking the name of the hosta they have discovered recently and lost the name tag. Since there are over 15,000 hosta varieties you can imagine how many questions are asked. Some people get snappy.
I believe that in my case I am in an advanced cycle since I started gardening with Rosemary in 1986 and that FB hosta people (mostly women) will catch up to me and to each other when I am long gone. Meanwhile I can play the teacher and try to inspire.
Here in my Zone 7 Vancouver, at about this time, we have these fine neighbourhood nurseries that spring up just for the spring and summer season. The one near my house is called Urban Roots Garden and they sell lots of lovely colourful perennials and annuals.
But they also have maturish hostas that have been grown in a greenhouse. Last year in early May I found Olga Petryszyn’s Hosta ‘Coast to Coast’. I bought two as they both had flower scapes. I scanned the ones that had yet to open and then the ones that did open. These scans I included in my presentation in Minneapolis. They were special because I was showing the flowers of a hosta that had yet to flower in Minneapolis in very early June.
Olga Petryszyn's H. 'Coast to Coast' and my obsession
Today I found Hosta ‘Diamond Lake’ Again the plant had two scapes yet to open. This fine hosta is sold by Walters Gardens in Michigan. Our very own C.H. (Clarence) Falstad is the plants patent man there. This guarantees that this hosta is really a good one.
Now for all those people who take photos of their potted hostas, etc all I can say that you will all reach a point where you are going to want to try something different. The pictures you will see here might inspire you.
I believe that the good flatbed scanner (mine is an Epson V700 Photo) is the forgotten technology of this century. I love using it. If anybody does go to the Ames Convention I will be giving a presentation on how I do my scans.
Meanwhile let’s all be patient and enjoy how those newbies are excited over their hostas. Eventually they will pass it one to others who will be starting their cycle.
But because I am an old man of 80 when I saved my Diamond Lake scans I found that I had some from last year. This means that I went through the process at Urban Roots last year. But I scanned the plant in August when it had open flowers, I do not have that hosta because it and last year's H. 'Coast to Coast' I gave to my daughter. My deck garden with its many roses could not possibly accommodate those two large hostas.