A plant organization for fun and education...  
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GARDENING ARTICLES

GETTING READY FOR THE HOSTA SHOW
By Harold McDonell
2006 Show Chair

II know. It really seems too soon to be thinking about our Hosta Show on May 20, but it’s not. There is much to do between now and show time. First, there are many jobs to be filled, an absolute must if the show and plant sale is to be a success. If you are asked to do a specific job, please say yes. If you are NOT asked to do a job, then see me and volunteer for a job. I promise you I will find one for you!

Next, plan now to bring yourself and some exhibits to the show. The exhibits may be individual cut leaves, container grown hostas, or even decorative container gardens featuring hostas as well as other plants arranged for artistic effect. To find the rules for exhibiting at the show, you may consult this year’s show schedule and you may also find much useful information in The American Hosta Society Handbook for Hosta shows and Judging. The handbook may be obtained for only $10.00 (payable to AHS) from either me or Claudia Walker, or you may download a copy free of charge from the AHS website, www.hosta.org. A copy of the show schedule will be sent closer to show time to all members. This year’s show will again feature an informal artistic section for you people with flower arranging talent, so plan to participate in that section also if you like. The winner of the artistic section is chosen by a vote of the show visitors and was very popular last year.

If you are bringing leaves, you will need to start looking at your hostas closely as the leaves begin to mature. In selecting the leaves to bring to the show, you want to find the best leaf that is representative of a particular hosta. As an example, if you have a variegated hosta that normally has a one inch leaf edge, you would want to pick a leaf that fits near that norm. On any given clump, there will be quite a bit of variation in the leaves. A few leaves may have margins much wider than normal or, more likely, much narrower. Since neither would be typical, neither would be a great specimen for the show. You would also want to select leaves that are mature and of normal size, reasonably free of damage such as holes and tears, of even and good coloration, and clean. The best way to find what the judges are looking for is to look at the point scales that the judges use as guides for judging the leaves. These point scales will be listed in the show schedule and the definitions of all the point scale attributes may be found in Section III of the Handbook. Knowing this information takes a lot of the unknowns away from the leaf selection process.


 

Copyright © 2013 Georgia Hosta Society  

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Regardless of the condition of your hosta leaves, if you have any leaf that you think is very pretty and would add to the show’s appeal, BRING IT, even if it may not be of blue ribbon quality. Remember that the show’s primary purpose is education, not ribbon winning, and the more entries we have, the better the show will be in performing its most important purpose. That imperfect leaf that you may decide to bring may not win a ribbon but may be just the hosta that a show visitor finds to be THE perfect hosta in his or her eyes.
In order to enter in the show, you will need entry tags. These will be available at the next meeting or you may contact me (770 461-8882 – haroldmcdonell@aol.com) anytime between now and show time and I will make sure you receive some tags. Be sure to let me know how many you think you will need. You will also need to know the leaf size section and color classification of your hosta in order to determine in what section and class the leaf should be entered. If the hosta is registered, that information may be found on the AHS website under AHS Hosta Show Classification List. No need to guess. Each registered hosta has already been pre-classified. If you do not find your hosta on the list, most likely it is unregistered (and many cultivars are unregistered), and would need to be entered in the show sections specifically designated for unregistered hostas. There will also be copies of the latest Classification Lists in the show entry preparation area and people to assist you if you need help in preparing your entries at show time.

Above all, be prepared to come to the show in a good and happy mood and stay that way all day. No, not everything will go exactly right. It never does. But who cares. The OTHER major purposes of the show are to bring our membership together to have fun and to attract new members. Keep that in mind as things get hectic on show day!