At the conclusion of my last writing of the history of Midland Hosta Society, we were about to celebrate our TENTH anniversary with a birthday party at Pat and George Raeder’s home in Akron at their “Garden of Weedin’”! What a lovely day it was with perfect weather, a great turnout of members and the biggest cake and gallon after gallon of ice cream! After socializing, viewing the gardens and enjoying the cake, the day was concluded with a hosta being given to each member attending as a remembrance of the day.
Now that the 2009 Fall Banquet is approaching, I reflect back over the last five years and wonder how they could have gone so fast! 2009 is Midland’s 15thyear! We will soon reminisce over a nice lunch at the lovely Harbor Inn on the Portage Lakes. as the “Panel of Experts” of Doug Beilstein, Bob Kuk and Van Wade answer questions, we will be reminded of the knowledge our club holds. As awards are given to some new, worthy candidates, we will think back to all those that have given tirelessly to help at our events over the last fifteen years such as Dennis James and Priscilla Kiehl who are organizing the event.
Let’s take a walk down memory lane as we go back to 2005 and review the last five years and the events and people who have taken MHS to where we are now. With so much happening, please don’t hold it against me if I leave out something or someone. Forgive me. Fifteen years is taking a toll on my memory! We’ve been really busy going from three meetings in 1994 to seven meetings a few years later. In 2005, Gary Bowers was President, Jeff Nolte Vice President, Priscilla Kiehl Secretary, Clarence Rauch Treasurer, Pat Janecek Membership/Historian, Dee Burdette and Ruth Johnson Newsletter and Barbara Crook, Mary Moehring and Pat Raeder completed the Board. The year began with our “Soup Meeting” in February. Highlight of the meeting was speaker, Jeff Forinash of Girard Nurseries informing us about Conifers. Exciting things were happening as we were helping with North Coastand Centeral Ohio to host the AHS Convention in Cleveland. The Display Garden was entering its’ second phase with a Mini Garden in troughs Walt Betzold and Barb Crook had been working as CoChairs on the garden.. The Treasury had reached $10,832.86. In April, Judi Frost spoke on Hostas at Donzells and our membership meeting was held at Kridler Nursery with Barriespeaking on Ferns. Jeff Nolte chaired the Bus Trip to the Draimer Estate, Girard Nursery, daylilies at Rock Bottom Farms in Middlefield, and a tour and lunch at the Old Firehouse Winery at Geneva-on-the-Lake. The MHS Scholarship was continued and given to Chris Barthelo. The August Auction continued to be held at Wade and Gatton Nursery with a profit of $2,646.90 and Gary Bowers as auctioneer. Pat Janecek and Clarence Rauch remained the GLR Reps in 2005. The Pig Roast now became a catered event and was held at Amber Nursery. Dennis James suggested a Fall Awards Banquet and volunteered to chair the event in 2006. Pat and George Raeder presented President, Gary Bowers with an engraved, wooden gavel which he promptly tried out at one of our fun-loving meetings!
The 2005 officers retained their office in 2006 and the MHS year opened with a Treasury of $13,610. After asking members to name the Display Garden to no avail, the Board officially named it “The Friendship Garden of Midland Hosta”. Afterall, the Hosta is “The Friendship Plant”! Members continued to ask for more speakers and programs and the February meeting topic was “Rock Gardening” given by Dennis James of DJ’s Greenhouse of Transfer, PA. Member, Doug Beilstein presented a Hosta Seminar at Donzell’s in April. The spring meeting was held admid the lovely thousands of daffodils at Kridler Gardensin Homeworth, OH. After lunch, Barbara Crook and Pat Janecek gave a program, “Why and How to Enter a Leaf Show”. In May, members worked on the DisplayGarden at Kent U Salem Campus after which Clarence and Audrey conducted a Trough-making workshop. Unfortunately, on June 5, 2006, former President, Walt Betzold passed away unexpectedly. His expertise will be greatly missed. “Hosta Extravaganza” Hosta Show in June was Chaired by Barbara Crook and CoChair, Pat Janecek Eighteen members exhibited 134 entries with approximately 239 viewers enjoying the display during the two days it was presented to the public at Kridler Gardens. July’s Bus Trip in July was to Secrest Arboretum with Ken Cochran, Quailcrest GardenCenter, private gardens and a light dinner in the garden of Joan Gangle. Van Wade continued to welcome us to Wade and Gatton Nursery in Belleville, OH for the Auction which garnered MHS a profit of $4,338.23. Barrie Kridler and Barry Nichols hosted the annual Fall Picnic at Kridler gardens. Hickory Rib of Salem catered the event. Len Lehman presented a program on Daylilies. As promised, Dennis James organized our first Fall Awards Banquet at the 356 Fighter Group Restaurant with Doug Bielstein as our speaker for the event.
2007 began with new officers: Jeff Nolte, President, Lolly Roberts, Vice President, Priscilla Kiehl, Recording Secretary, Jan Stuver, Corresponding Secretary, Clarence Rauch, Treasurer, Pat Janecek, Membership Secretary/Historian, Dee Burdette and Ruth Johnson, Newsletter and Mary Moehring, Larry Swaney and Jan Stuver completed the Board. Joan and Herb Altman became the Great Lakes Reps. Our February meeting began with $13,380.63 in the Treasury and our now expected Soup meeting to kick off a new MHS year! The speaker at that meeting was Stan Jones, Horticulture Director of Kent/Salem Campus. Through the years, Dee Burdette continued the Plant Sale for benefit of the members with Hostas offered at very little above cost to the club. Our April spring meeting at KridlerGardens was enhanced by a wonderful program given by Sarah and Steve Zolock on Daffodils. How appropriate since we were surrounded by daffodils at KridlerGardens! Once again Len Lehman gave us his expertise by giving us a Tissue Culture Workshop at our Display Garden Work Party Day in May. Following Len’s demonstration, Jeff Nolte showed us how to prepare leaves for the Hosta Show. The Hosta Show, “Hosta Extravaganza II” was held in a new location on June 10th with Jeff Nolte and Lolly Roberts in charge. We expanded to Kent State City Centerin Salem, Oh after over 10 years at Kridler Gardens. Everyone enjoyed Doug Bielstein’s program, “You got Leaves – Now do Seeds”. Dee Burdette organized our July bus trip to take in Eagle Creek Garden Center, Kent and Gerry Fusselman’s garden and a wonderfully lovely lunch followed by the garden of Kathyand Chuck Koch, and then Landscape Creations Nursery. We looked forward to another auction enveloped in the lovely Hostas of Van and Shirley Wade’s. Our profit was $2,708.78. Jeff and Lolly were CoChair of the day. It should be noted that many, many people work at the auction to make it possible including Lolly Roberts, Guest Plant Chairman. The Fall Bar-B-Q Picnic was held at the Portage County Gardener’s Center and was chaired by Larry Swaney with Flaming Pit catering it. Our very own Josh Stadden presented “Who, What, When and Where of Hosta Breeding” to the delight of all present. The speaker of the Annual Award Banquet in October was CH Falstad III of Walters Gardens, Michigan informing us on tissue culture. Dennis James was the Chairman of the event held at the Galaxy Restaurant in Wadsworth. During the years, another fund raiser continued to be our exciting raffles tirelessly chaired by George Crook, Bob Hobbs and Carlyle Janiel and others who filled in and helped. Jan Stuver also introduced a cell phone fundraiser. MHS donated $500 to the AHS to study Virus X, and continued the scholarship program by awarding $500 to Aaron Burd. Dee Burdette was doing a member survey, “Your Opinion Counts” which was reported in a later Newsletter and Larry Swaney was appointed to review the ByLaws for updating. Priscilla was also working on an article for the AHS Journal to honor Walt Betzold with a $500 donation for nematode research. It was Walt’s fond desire to be honored in the AHS for his dedication to Hostas and gardening.
One year rolled into the next and we arrived at 2008 with a report from Pat Janecek, Membership Secretary, that the Club has grown to over 130 members. Clarence’s Treasurer’s report showed a Net worth of $9,792.46. In addition, we now have 8 meetings a year plus Hosta College in March. Members enjoyed our soup meeting in February along with speaker, Paul Pfeifer on the Draime Legacy Gardens in Warren, Ohio. By now, our meetings had settled into a traditional expectation of knowledgeable speakers, wonderful food, Nursery locations we love, people we love to see and places to go on our annual bus trips and 2008 was no exception. About 30 or so of us headed to Hosta College in March. Then on to Kridler’s in April with Barrie speaking about “Design and Color” As you know, Barrie brings life to his talks and we leave enthusiastically with arm loads of plants we’ve purchased and smiles on our faces. We worked in our Friendship Garden in May and learned how to prep our Hosta Leaves for the upcoming Show in June which was Chaired by Priscilla Kiehl and Jan Stuver. Dennis James was the speaker. Priscilla and Jan began a new tradition with the beginning of a judges breakfast for judges and members. Donna McMillen and Cindy Weiland did a fantastic job! Our bus trip was organized by Priscilla and Dee and took us to Kathi and Marty Lappin’s, Judi Frost’s garden, Lunch at the Rabbit’s Foot in Medina, Gardenview HorticulturalPark, Petitti GardenCenter and Larry and Mary Swaney’s garden. A history like this cannot give enough description to these gardens but let me say that we were awed. A renewal scholarship was given to Aaron Burd, Ruth Johnson was given an honorary membership and Jean Custodio was honored with a $25 gift certificate for outstanding volunteerism. Three new activities were begun: to bring recipes to our potlucks to share, a member photo contest to be voted on by members at the banquet and a garden magazine and catalog exchange at meetings. People worked hard again at the auction to culminate in a $3,560.00 profit and another enjoyable day at Van and Shirley Wade’s nursery. During these five years, Joan and Herb Altman have been securing the plants for the auction. It should be noted that it takes many people to have a successful auction. The fall bar-b-q was held at DJ’s Greenhose. Dennis presented us with an educational program and remained enthusiastic despite the cool, rainy weather. Members enjoyed shopping in spite of it and had a nice day. Dennis again arranged the banquet which was held again at the Galaxy Restraurant with Jim Wilkins as the Speaker and a program called “Your Health and Hosta Health – “The Doctor is In”. Officers were elected: Priscilla Kiehl, President, Pat Raeder, Vice President, Jan Stuver, Recording & Corresponding Secretary, Clarence Rauch, Treasurer, Pat Janecek, Membership Secretary/Historian, Newsletter, Dee Burkette, Editor and Ruth Johnson, Assistant plus Members at Large, Bob Hobbs, Kathi Lappin and Ora Thombs. Ex-officio is Jeff Nolte. Joan and Herb Altman remain as Great Lakes Reps. In November, Priscilla began the process of getting our logo designed for embroidery for MHS clothing and getting information regarding Mark Zillis’s book, Hostapedia.
2009 began year fifteen! Our treasury of $8,306.08 reflected the economy – rising costs and less money in fund raisers but our membership remains a bargain at $10.00 a year which includes membership into the Great Lakes and all the adventures we’ve been sharing. Our first meeting of 2009 began again with sharing soup and breaking bread together. An informative program, “Conifers” was given by Rob Crowle of SuncrestGardens and the revised By-Laws were approved by the Membership. In March, we could begin to order our MHS embroidered clothing. The year progressed in the now “usual manner”with April at Kridler’s with Barrie speaking on“Hostas in Containers” and Pat Larson from North Coasttalking about their nonaccredited Hosta Shows. FriendshipGarden work and a Virus X program by Agdia found our members outside in our lovely hosta beds at Kent/Salem. Then, Tracy Herbert was the Chair for our June Hosta Show. It was not accredited and gave us an opportunity to teach new members since they could watch the judging in order to learn what judges look for when they judge the leaves. It was same bus, same bus driver for a trip in July which began at Chairman, Joan Gangle’s home and garden with a continental breakfast and proceeded to the garden of Carol Bently of Perrysburg then on to 577 Foundation AHS Display Garden, and Charlene and Frank Patz’s home and garden as well as seeing the Black Swamp Display Garden. September 12 dawned sunny and breezy for a delightful day at DJ’s Greenhouse for our Fall Picnic catered by Plant’s Herb Farm. Jeanne Poremski enthusiastically spoke about Ohio’s hardy wildflowers and demonstrated with those she brought from her own garden. The grounds were so inviting and the shopping was enticing.
Now,we await the end of 2009 with the Fall Banquet. We’re awaiting news of our long awaited Website, awards and winners of the photo contest. It’s going to be a great event! Send in your reservation now!
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that it takes many, many more people than space allows in this article to mention all the GREAT help from members. Writing this would not be possible without the diligent long standing efforts of Dee Burdette, Editor of the Newsletter. Without great records of the Newsletters and minutes from past Secretaries there would be no written “history”. All our volunteers are needed and appreciated! Also, let us take a few moments to reflect on the few members who have passed away during the past five years. Their presence remains at meetings and stays in our hearts forever!
By Pat Janecek, Membership Secretary and Historian