Thursday, March 23, 2017

April 2017 Newsletter

Note from the President-  Officially it is SPRING!  Of course, for Michigan this means we will still have the chance of frost for another 2 months, but we do get to see signs of renewed growth and flowers.   The Galanthus are in full bloom, Adonis are beginning to bloom, certain crocuses are blooming, the Cyclamen are showing their buds, and other spring ephemerals are soon to follow.  The sun is warmer and when it is shining through the windows you can feel the warmth on your skin…...the warmth of spring.

EMHS has an exciting year of monthly events scheduled.  This month we will hear Melissa Jaskiewicz talking about beekeeping, a beekeeping tour she went on Slovenia, how their beekeeping methods differ from ours, and combining raising bees with small farm animals, as not all bee plants are good for animals.  She will be bringing samples of some honey to taste and discuss their differences pertaining to the plants from which it was produced.  Melissa will also talk about the upcoming Michigan Honey Festival.

In May we will have photographer Aaron Strouse presenting a slide show titled “The Wild Native Orchids of Michigan”.  This will include plants most of us have never seen. 

During the summer months, we will be visiting our member’s gardens to see what they have growing, how their gardening techniques differ from our own, and getting ideas to use in our own gardens. 

Our July meeting will be at Mark and Becky Hanner’s and we will be working on a clay project.  This project is open to all EMHS members and will be a fun day with clay.

Our other activity is our annual plant exchange at our September meeting.  Now is the time to think about what you want to divide from your own garden to bring to the exchange.  As always, we ask that you refrain from donating Houttuynia, Bishop’s weed, Ostrich Fern, and other invasive plants.

We look forward to another year of promoting the interest of Hostas and shade gardening; to extend horticultural education and activities to our members and the community. 

Don’t forget the potluck we enjoy at every meeting.  EMHS provides the table setting and coffee, so all you do is bring your favorite dish to pass. 

Lastly, I will be sharing info from the AHS Newsletter Exchange in our newsletter, enjoy!
See you at the April 13th meeting,
Glen Pace
EMHS President

Next Meeting- April 13th, 2017 at the Mayfield Twp. Hall, 1900 N. Saginaw, Lapeer, MI 48446.  This is our regular meeting place located just south of the point of M-24 and N. Saginaw, (the driveway just north of the Cemetery). 

Melissa Jaskiewicz will present a slide show on beekeeping, discuss the similarities and differences of beekeeping in Slovenia and the USA, as well as combining beekeeping and other small farm animals.  There will be samples of some honey with discussion of their differences as compared to the plants from which they were produced. 

The time schedule for the evening is;
1700-   Networking
2000-   Business Meeting

Review the February 11th, 2016 Meeting Minutes on the blog.  We will vote to accept the minutes at the April 13th, 2017 meeting.

2017  EMHS Calendar of Events    
Meeting Dates- Places- Speakers/topic      
April 13- Mayfield Twp. Hall-
                    Melissa Jaskiewicz, Bee Keeping
May 11- Mayfield Twp. Hall- Aaron Strouse,
                    Wild Native Orchids of MI
June 08- Pace Gardens in Clio, Garden Tour
July 13- the Hanner’s in Otisville,
                  Clay Hosta Project
Aug 10- the Gavits’ in Saginaw,
                  Garden Tour
Sept 14 – Melva Bonds in Bridgeport,
                  Plant Exchange
Oct 12- Mayfield Twp. Hall, ?_________________
Nov 09- Annual Board Meeting, Whitey’s in Davison
Dec 14- Christmas Party, Mayfield Twp. Hall

Name Badges- If you need one of the new EMHS name badges, please put your printed name on the sign-up sheet at any meeting or you can email Glen with your request.  Glen will try to have your name badge at the next meeting. 

Comments to the EMHS blog:  I am mentioning blog posting to let you know that your comments to the blog can be published too.  All you have to do is go to the EMHS blog at  and comment to a blog posting which will alert me that you have made a comment.  Once I deem the comment valid for publishing I will okay and it will automatically be posted.  Please note that I cannot edit or spell check your comments, all I can do is to publish, ignore, or delete your comments.  All comments will be screened by me to deter any vulgarity or inappropriate comments being published to the EMHS blog.    Glen

Club Members selling Hosta or related products;
Please call or email to set an appointment before visiting
Daniels, Marlene- Bottle wind chimes.
Hanner, Mark/Becky- Pottery.
Hunter, Barb- Hosta, Daylilies, Pond supplies.
Lisik, Phil/Ginger-Hosta, Daylilies, other plants.
Pickard, Carolyn- Daylilies, Hosta.
     989-871-2873, robfamily5

Websites of Interest:
American Hosta Society-
American Hosta Society Convention-  
AHS Hosta Library Website-
Michigan Hosta Society Website-
Hosta College Website-

Hosta Society Membership info-
American Hosta Society
,  $30 individual, $57/2 years, $34 family, $62/2 years
Send dues to: Sandie Markland, AHS Membership Secretary, Post Office Box 7539, Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948

Michigan Hosta Society, Dues are $15 per household for up to two people, good for 2 years. Make checks payable to: The Michigan Hosta Society and send to; Michigan Hosta Society, 2509 Wembly Lane, Troy, MI 48084-1280

Eastern Michigan Hosta Society, Dues $5 per year per household, Make check payable to EMHS and mail to: Barb Hunter, EMHS Treasurer, 316 Davis Lake Rd. Lapeer, MI 48746

Saginaw Valley Hosta Society, Dues $20 per year per household, Make check payable to SVHS and mail to: Gordon BurnsideSVHS Treasurer, 11640 W Freeland Rd. Freeland, MI 48623

EMHS Board of Officers:
President                     Glen Pace      989-244-4029
Vice-President             Becky Hanner             810-631-4292
Treasurer                     Barb Hunter               810-664-7531
Secretary                     Marlene Daniels         810-664-8317
Past President             Mark Hanner                  810-631-4292
Fund-Raising              Mick & Cathy Hodgson          810-664-8985

TC (Tissue Culture) vs. OS (Originator's Stock)
by Ray Rodgers
(Originally appearing in the Central Illinois Hosta Society’s March 2004 newsletter, it is reprinted here courtesy of the AHS Newsletter Exchange.)

Have you ever looked at a hosta price list and wondered what the “TC” and/or “OS” meant in
some of the hosta descriptions? Occasionally one would even see two prices for the same plant, the lower price being for TC (Tissue Culture) and the more expensive price for OS (Originator’s Stock).

TC references plants which have been propagated via tissue culture. In very simple terms, these are chemically energized test tube babies started from small shavings of the parent plant's meristem (the central growth point of a hosta crown).

Compared to increasing the number of plants through manually dividing garden plants, tissue culturing results in rapid reproduction. Tissue culturing must be performed in a sterile lab type environment. This is a tedious, exacting, repetitious process that must be monitored very closely. Except for a few serious hobbyists, tissue culturing is better left up to the professionals. The resulting plants are typically wholesaled in multiple quantities to retail outlets.

The OS designation basically means the plant being offered is a division of the original named hosta. This hosta could have been derived through hybridization (seedling) or sporting*, which is not uncommon with hostas. If an as plant was purchased and a division was given to another person, who in turn eventually gave a division of their plant to yet another person, all these plants would still be considered originator’s stock. On price lists, the OS designation is most often used for newer or rare plants. Originator’s stock plants can help to validate exactly what was originally registered and ensure the direct lineage of the original plants are not lost.

Are originator's stock hostas better and should they demand a premium price? The newer the plant and the more unique it is, the more likely an as division is worth the extra money. Some of the truly unique hostas are not replicated easily via tissue culturing. With these plants, a TC lab may develop a high percentage of babies not possessing the same characteristics of the parent. This inability unquestionably drives the price of these varieties up. Luckily for us consumers, most hostas can be TCed with a high degree of success.

Responsible wholesalers and retailers will typically guarantee their plants to be true to name. This starts with the TC labs’ commitment to cull (throwaway) or give a new name to hostas not meeting specific criteria. Since it is not always possible to know for sure if small tissue cultured plants will look like their parents in subsequent years, a small percentage of untrue hostas do reach nurseries and other retailers. Since responsible retailers typically grow TC plants on for at least one full season prior to selling them, some additional variants may be caught.

It is the untrue forms that slip through the cracks that generate some of the unfavorable comments about tissue cultured hostas. Usually such comments are used to justify the price of as plants. Certainly people should expect to receive what they pay for. Some variants are not as attractive or as good of a grower as the named variety. But, some variants are actually better than the original plant. As an example, in a batch of tissue cultured H. ‘Great Expectations’, some wider-margined plants were discovered. These plants were given the name H. ‘Dream Weaver’. The additional green leaf surface allows this hosta to produce more chlorophyll then H. ‘Great Expectations’, making it a better grower.

Tissue culturing has also accelerated the popularity of “Sport Hunting”. This is the act of hosta enthusiasts searching through nurseries for hostas that are different from their published descriptions. These plants may vary in a variety of ways, including variegation pattern (including Instability**), coloration, plant size and leaf shape. For those interested in hybridizing or just growing open pollinated seed, finding an otherwise desirable plant with some degree of splashing could be a significant find. Except for somewhat rare occasions, it requires an unstable pod parent (mother plant) to produce variegated seedlings. Whether the found plants turn out to be better than the named variety or not, it is occasionally worth the purchase price to the hunter to have something a little different to display in their garden.

Make no mistake; tissue culture plants have fueled the popularity of hostas by rapidly increasing the availability of many newer varieties of hostas at affordable prices. The elevation of hosta to the rank of most popular perennial from almost obscurity can directly be linked to the early 1980s when plant tissue culture was in its infancy.

Tissue culture and originator’s stock plants both have their place in the hosta world. Whether purchasing as plants is a good value depends largely on the specific hosta variety, but the ultimate decision rests with each individual buyer.

* A Sport is a hosta arising from another hosta, possessing different characteristics.

**In hosta, Instability is a plant that does not maintain its solid or variegated pattern, resulting
in a Splashed pattern (formerly referred to as Streaked, also known as Striated). Splashed
hostas have many non-connected light and dark variegated sections. Splashed hostas typically stabilize into a solid colored or variegated plant over time.

Buyer Beware!
That new hosta might not be what the label says you’re getting!
by J.D. Belanger
(Reprinted from the Northern Wisconsin Hosta Society’s newsletter, Northern Star, Volume 21, Issue 1, January 2017, courtesy of the AHS Newsletter Exchange.)   

What's in a name? Shakespeare might think a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but Warren I. Pollock, a columnist for the American Hosta Society’s The Hosta Journal, thinks otherwise.

He frequently dwells on what, to some, might appear as nitpicking. Not too long ago he was
upset, perhaps justifiably, we don’t know, because a hosta with “Dr.” in the name contained – horrors! – a period, when there shouldn’t have been one. This is probably important to purists, but to us, it was more interesting to learn that abbreviations like Prof. and Rev. have periods, but others, such as Dr and St [Doctor and Saint] do not – in England, that is. And in AHS.

His latest revelation is more pertinent. It involves television giant’s HGTV selling plants, including hostas. The problem is, they’re renaming wellknown registered hostas, presumably to add some sales pizzazz.

One is Bob Solberg’s ‘Orange Marmalade,’ which they call “Citrine SupremeTM.” Another is “Blue Dew™,'” registered as ‘First Frost.’ The list goes on.

Just be aware that if you buy an HGTV Home, or Hosta Treasures™ hosta, you might not be getting what you think you’re getting. You might already have it, under another name.

February 09, 2017 Meeting Minutes

The Meeting – was held at the Mayfield Twp. Hall

Networking – 5:00 PM, doors open, setup refreshments, sign in, networking

Refreshments – The meeting was called to order at 6:00 PM by President Glen Pace. Everyone enjoyed a wonderful potluck.

Presentation – Jan Everson gave a wonderful presentation on “The Blooming Mohave Desert”

Break – 8:00 PM

Business Meeting – the meeting was called back to order at 8:13 PM by President Glen Pace

Approval of Minutes – there were no corrections to the minutes from the December 8, 2016 meeting.  Motion to accept the minutes was made by Becky Hanner, and seconded by Cathy Hodgson.  The membership voted to accept the December meeting minutes.

Treasurer’s Report – Barb Hunter, treasurer reported December 2016 and January 2017 reports.  December’s beginning balance was $XX.xx; there was no income for the month of December, expenses were $XX.xx leaving an ending balance of $XX.xx for the month of December 2016, January’s beginning balance was $XX.xx, with $.xx interest and no expenditures leaving an ending balance of $XX.xx.  Becky Hanner made a motion to accept December and January treasurer report, Steve Balabon seconded the motion.  The membership voted to accept December and January’s treasurer reports.

Audit – Barb Hunter said they needed 2 volunteers to help oversee with the auditing of the books.  Bruce Pollard and Deb Brown volunteered and Barb Hunter and Mark Hanner would set up a date for the audit and will let them know.

Calendar of Events – Glen Pace went over the upcoming meetings.  We are still needing speakers for the April, May and October meeting and Glen Pace asked if anyone had any suggestions to please get with one of the board members.

Hosta College – March 17 – 18 is Hosta College this year.  There will be no March meeting. 

Summer Meetings – Thank you to Melva Bond for volunteering to host our September Plant Exchange meeting. All summer meetings are now fulfilled.

Proposed By-Law Change – a proposal to alleviate problems with officer transition if multiple officers change in any one year, changes will state the election of President and Treasurer shall be on even years, and the election of Vice President and Secretary shall be on odd years.  A motion to accept the changes was made by Dyane Moore and seconded by Melva Bond.  The membership voted and passed the by-law changes.

Vice President and Secretary jobs are open 2017 – President Glen Pace asked if there were any volunteers to apply for the two openings at this meeting there were no volunteers.

MHS Gift Memberships – we are still needing to know the name of the fourth winner of the one year paid membership.

Name Badges – Sign sheet if you need a new name badges.  Remember first one is free and replacements are $2.00 each.  Please try and save the magnet from the back of a ruined badge to save cost.

Annual Plant Sale – Bob and Nancy Solberg notified the club to let us know that they will not be doing the annual spring plant sale.  We are looking for any ideas for fund raising.

Next Meeting – Our next meeting is April 13th, 2017 and will be at the Mayfield Twp. Hall.  The speaker will be announced in the April newsletter.

Adjourned – 8:29 PM 

Respectfully submitted
Marlene Daniels