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.