President's Message from the Current Newsletter

March, 2018

Wendy’s World

Hosta 'World Cup'

Hosta 'World Cup'
2018 Hosta of the Year

Change is inevitable. Some changes take getting used to, like the new password I was forced to update the other day. I can never remember it! Other changes are so small that they are overlooked like the new set of tracks in the snow in my yard. I see so many tracks in my yard from wildlife that I can’t identify them all. I’m anxious for warmer weather to arrive and for the snow to melt for the last time so my hostas can break ground. That will be a welcome change!

As your new incoming President I hope the change you see as I preside over future meetings is one you will like. I know a new face at the helm will be different. I don’t have the same experience growing hostas that many CIHS members have but I do have enthusiasm talking and learning about them. I joined CIHS 4 years ago and am still getting acquainted with members and how we operate. I previously organized the annual bus trips for the past 2 years. I tend a modest shade garden at my home ruled by the amount of trees I have (or lack of them) in my subdivision. That forces me to be very selective with the hostas that I grow. I retired from Caterpillar in 2014 where I was an industrial engineer and systems analyst. I didn’t get much practice gardening while at my job but my spare time has always been experimenting with plants even as a child. My parents gave me a section in the vegetable garden to plant seeds that I had personally selected and watch them grow. They were always flower seeds. That was the beginning of a long relationship with plants. I hope to learn more about hostas this year along with you. I also want to get to know all of you over time so don’t hesitate to introduce yourself if we have not talked to each other yet. I’m anxious to hear about your garden and what you like about hostas!

This year will certainly be a landmark one for CIHS. We accepted the challenge to host the Midwest Regional Hosta Society 2018 Convention at the Paradice Hotel July 12 – 14. The convention team has been meeting regularly making plans to ensure it will be the best convention to date. It’s a great opportunity for you attend a convention without having to travel. You can participate in the leaf show, buy new plants, listen to experts, and see local gardens. We expect to need your help so please consider volunteering. There are many tasks that will require only a few hours. I attended my first convention in Lenexa, KS last year and had fun meeting others who shared the same passion for hostas. A convention optional trip to Hornbaker Gardens near Princeton is planned on July 12 which includes a BBQ meal and optional bus ride.

I urge you to register now to attend the convention. If you register by May 31st your name will be submitted to a drawing for 2 chances to recoup your convention fee. The form is found by clicking on a link on our CIHS website. All your questions can be answered at our upcoming monthly meetings or by contacting Debbie McCollum or Penny Bocelli.

Our March 20th 6:30 PM meeting will feature Barb Schroeder from MRHS speaking about the convention’s Leaf Contest. Barb has vast experience planning and running the Leaf Contest. Janette Smith invited her last year to come teach us how to prepare leaves for entries and tell us how they are judged. If you’ve never submitted a leaf before (like me) it can be a bit intimidating so she will be here to help us over that hurdle. We hope that it leads to many entries by local participants. You may have the best leaf of the contest in your garden!

Another change this year is that we will have no bus trip to see gardens and buy plants. I know that many people look forward to the bus trip and it will be missed. The board made this decision due to amount of time and effort it requires to plan a bus trip and the fact that we have a convention this year around the same time. It was not practical to do both. We wanted to put all our efforts into the convention. We hope you understand and we encourage you to attend the convention instead.

Now that I have finished this column I can get back to searching websites and catalogs for new hostas to add to my collection this spring. I have my eye on an older AHS registered one called ‘Potomac Pride’. There is a specimen in the ICC Classic Collection garden that was glorious last summer with its large and very shiny dark green leaves. It’s one that is different from the usual variegated leaf variety and I think I can find room for it somewhere! That’s the only down side to volunteering at ICC. I see too many hostas that I want to own myself. It’s addicting!

Wendy Kamischke

CIHS President