President's Message from the Current Newsletter

April, 2018

Wendy’s World

Hosta 'World Cup'

Hosta 'World Cup'
2018 Hosta of the Year

April is finally here! That means new growth in the garden. I’m one who can’t stand the anticipation. It’s so bad that I will daily go out the back door and slowly walk along my hosta borders looking for anything new. Am I alone doing this? I think not. After hosta pips show up my mood changes and people around me notice. However, I get anxious again when only some pips emerge, and others do not. Does that mean that this plant has not made it through the winter? Will I have to dig up the remains and start over with another plant? A couple days later during my garden tour I finally see pips in that bare spot and a wave of relief comes over me. I’ve never had one that didn’t live through the winter unless it was very small, and half eaten the previous year by pests. I should have trusted my instincts and been a little more patient!

I’m not only looking for hostas to emerge, but I also look for other perennials that arrive around the same time. I see my Leopard’s Bane and Bearded Iris are greening up. My Lungwort and Coral Bells are coming to life too. Last year I moved some Cranesbill clumps to a spot where I thought they would fare better and my hunch seemed correct so far. That is satisfying. Gardening seems like a game of chess in which every decision can make or break the game. Of course, I can always find another perennial or annual to plant where one didn’t do as well as it should, but who wants to spend more money if you don’t have to? In April I will apply some 10-10- 10 fertilizer. After I learned to do this my garden has fared much better. Last year I didn’t do this, and I think it showed with fewer new eyes in my hostas. Another learning experience!

The next phase in the life of my garden will be later this month – fending off rabbits and deer! More about them perhaps next month…

Our April 17TH 6:30 PM membership meeting is always fun because we host our Annual Potluck. (April 17th is also Tax Day this year, so I hope that task is behind you by then!) Please plan to come and enjoy networking with friends and fellow members. We will be at the same location as last month, Freedom Hall in Morton. Bring something to share such as a side dish, salad, or dessert. CIHS will provide fried and baked chicken along with paper goods, utensils and water. We have asked Charles Crider to bring some annuals from the greenhouse to view. We may get some new ideas for this year’s garden! He can answer questions about transplanting annuals from packs and how to give them the best start you can. Annuals always have a place in the hosta garden by adding more color.

In April we will also have a brief business meeting to review the 2018 budget developed by the CIHS board. You will a get a copy of the budget in the mail or in an email before the meeting. Any questions about the budget can be addressed at the meeting. We anticipate it will be slightly different this year because of sponsoring the Midwest Regional Hosta Society Convention in July.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I really urge you to consider registering to attend the MRHS Convention held July 12-14 at the East Peoria Paradice Hotel or at minimum volunteer a few hours. Bob and Golda are managing the volunteers. You can ask them what the needs are at their table during the April member meeting. They expect we will need many more volunteers than most events in the past and are hoping that our members will step up to the challenge. My personal hope is that convention attendees will afterwards think highly of our Central Illinois hospitality. See you at the April meeting.

Wendy Kamischke

CIHS President