You might turn into a hosta fan at Hosta Experience

Hosta Earth Angel
You’ll be able to see Hostas of the Year at the Hosta Experience. This is Hosta ‘Earth Angel’, designated as Hosta of the Year in 2009. Photo courtesy Dianne Giordano
Hosta Liberty
Another Hosta of the Year is Hosta ‘Liberty’. Photo courtesy Dianne Giordano


by Connie Oswald Stofko

If you’re not familiar with hostas, you may wonder why this plant has an entire plant society devoted to it. You may just become a fan after attending the Hosta Experience to be held by the Western New York Hosta Society from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, June 10 at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Ave., Buffalo.

You’ll see it listed as the Hosta Show, which is was it was called originally. It was supposed to include a judged competition, but organizers had to change their plans when they couldn’t find enough judges.

The new event may be even better than what they had planned originally.

“We came up with an idea that’s pretty exciting, I think,” said Dianne Giordano, treasurer of the Western New York Hosta Society, who is working with members Sue Sickels and Peggy Riexinger to organize the event.

The Hosta Experience should be more inviting to people who aren’t already aficionados. You’ll see an exhibition of floral designs that use hosta leaves with flowers in creative ways. It’s something that is done nationally, but this will be the first time the local group is doing it.

There will also be an exhibit of hostas that have been designated Hosta of the Year by the American Hosta Growers Association. The designations began in 1996, and Sue Sickels has all of the designees in her garden.

“Some are giants,” Giordano said. “They are taller than 30 inches, and the clumps can be three, four, five feet in diameter– or more.”

But hostas are very diverse, Giordano noted. There are little hostas whose leaves can be smaller than an inch.

At the Hosta Experience, hostas will be grouped together in troughs, displayed in decorative containers, and displayed in vases.

Find out how hostas are judged when member Marcia Sulley gives a judging demonstration.

And of course, there will be an information table where members will share their knowledge of hostas and answer your questions.

2 Comments on “You might turn into a hosta fan at Hosta Experience

  1. Hi Eva: There are a few hosta specialist nurseries in the area – there is Eagle Bay Hostas in Sheridan and there is Murray’s in Orchard Park. I don’t know for a fact if either of them carry this year’s HOTY (“hottie” or Hosta of the Year). I DO know that we will have some at our public sale on August 25th at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens.

  2. Where can we buy “annual winner” hosta? All the wholesalers are out of town.

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