HOSTA COLLEGE March 20, 2021

2021 Schedule            Speaker/Class Details           Audience Q&A            Zoom Help

2021 Speakers and Class Details

The following are the teachers/topics that will make up our *virtual* program on March 20th, 2021. These classes run back to back, with a five minute break in between. There is a 30 minute lunch hour scheduled at noon.  

All times are Eastern Standard Time Zone

 9:00 - 9:55am

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New Perennials with Broch Martindale  

Class Description:

Broch, an avid gardener and Co-Owner of Wildflower Farms, will discuss the new perennials coming to market this year. Broch will weigh in on how he and Jenifer select new plants for their farm while sharing info about other Midwest growers and the selection process. 

Broch Martindale & his wife, Jenifer, own and operate Wildflower Farms, a cut flower and perennial farm west of Indianapolis, IN. Both are a perfect farming couple focused on bringing the best quality blooms to market. The couple moved their operation and home a little over 3 years ago and haven’t stopped planting and planning since they moved. Jenifer has been busy building the cut flower portion of the business adding over 200 varieties to production. Broch has been focusing his efforts to find the new and unusual perennials in an effort to offer many of the varieties used in the cut flower side of the business.

10:00 - 10:55am     

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The Bigger, the Better: How to Grow Humongous Hostas! with Don Rawson

Class Description:

If you are wanting to grow the largest hostas in the neighborhood, then you've come to the right place. In this class, we will  cover several tips on how to provide the perfect environment for cultivating enormous specimens in your own hosta garden, because if you are like me, the bigger, the better!

Don lives on four acres near Grand Rapids, MI. He and his wife have many flower gardens in which they grow hostas, irises, daylilies and other perennials. Don enjoys hybridizing new hosta cultivars and rock hounding… which explains why his landscape is filled with many one-of-a-kind hostas, as well as unusual rocks and boulders. Don is the founding member and current president of the West Michigan Hosta Society and the co-chairman of the AHS Nomenclature Committee. This year, Don is the co-chair of the AHS National Convention in Kalamazoo, MI. Don is responsible for the publications, The Book of Hosta Lists and well as Hosta Hybridizer's Manual. Don has been a popular teacher at Hosta College for several years.

11:00 - 11:55am     

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Where do all of Those Hot New Hostas Come From? 
with Rob Mortko

Class Description:

The presentation will include a behind-the-scenes look at what goes on in a hosta tissue culture lab and a sneak preview of a few soon to be new hot hosta introductions from the lab. Don’t be scared of a little science - Rob makes it surprisingly easy to understand.

Many gardeners have heard of tissue culture and may even appreciate that most new plant cultivars are commercially propagated using this method. But what is tissue culture and how does it work? While not a do-it-yourself project for most backyard gardeners, Rob's background in chemistry and engineering coupled with an interest in hosta kindled his curiosity about this topic.  

Rob is a long time hosta grower and owner of Made in the Shade Gardens. After selling the retail hosta business in 2018, Rob is devoted full time to his hosta tissue culture business focusing on new hosta introductions. His engineering career afforded him the opportunity to start-up his own tissue-culture lab where he has had to address many of these same questions.  

12:30 - 1:25pm


Hostas and Their Shady Friends with Bob Iiames

Class Description:

In this presentation, Bob will show and discuss the many and varied plant friends that hang out with hosta. Some, you may know, but many will be new to you. This will be an informative look at some new plant friends to introduce to your hosta garden. Companion plants always give your hosta garden added beauty!

Bob is a groundskeeper at the 173-acre Lange Estate in Ludlow Falls, Ohio. He is a member of the American Conifer Society and past president of the Miami Valley Hosta Society. If you have attended Hosta College in the past, you will remember Bob on stage Friday nights as the auctioneer, as well as a popular Hosta College teacher on Saturday. He was the featured Hosta Collge banquet speaker in 2019.

1:30 - 2:25pm

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Underappreciated Hostas with Bob Solberg

Class Description:

We all have our favorite hostas, and some are the same for all of us. But many hostas are underappreciated, their appeal not fully revealed. So here are a few that maybe have not caught your eye but maybe should have and the reasons why. Over appreciated hostas will be mentioned also in fairness only. Have a pen and paper ready to make your want list.  

Bob is owner of Green Hill Farm Inc. one of the leading introducers of great new hostas. He has hybridized over 100 introductions and is a nationally known speaker on all things hosta. Also, he publishes the "Green Hill Gossip" and the "Gossip Jr."  Bob is the co-founder of the American Hosta Growers Association and is a current board member. He is the Director of the Dixie Regional and is the American Hosta Society Historian.