MRHS President's Message

Fall, 2018

This was a particularly busy hosta season for me. Helping with the annual convention at my previous home society took up a lot of time and effort, but the time and energy expended was personally fulfilling. Additionally, travel to the national convention in the Philadelphia area took up more time than usual, as my duties as the Vice President of Publications for AHS required me to drive to the convention, as I needed to transport materials to the convention, and return with a supply of new publications. For those of you who have not heard about it, you need to check out the new publication written by Ben Zonneveld and Warren Pollock, Sporting in Hostas: A Primer. This new booklet provides a wealth of information about the process of hosta mutation, or sporting. Go to to check it out.

In the fall of 2017, we tried out a new idea. Rather than holding a Winter Conference last January, we held a Fall event in September 2017 in Davenport, Iowa. While nearly everyone in attendance who gave feedback was pleased with the event, attendance fell short of what we had hoped. With the help of a dedicated long-time member, and recent recipient of the DeEtta Montgomery Award for service to the Mid-west Regional Hosta Society, Jack Barta, MRHS has decided to revive the Winter Conference for 2019 in a new venue. The MRHS Winter Symposium will be held February 2nd in the Milwaukee suburb of Brookfield. The Milwaukee-Brookfield Sheridan Hotel has a special room rate that will be available for Friday, February 1st and Saturday, February 2nd. Hotel guests will have a full buffet breakfast included in the hotel cost ($104 + tax). A hospitality room is planned for Friday and Saturday nights. A hosta seed sale will also be held. Classrooms for the Saturday presentations will be located within the hotel. There are six speakers scheduled for Saturday. A buffet lunch is included. You must register by January 19, 2019. The registration form is available on the MRHS website at The registration fee is only $55.00, as the MRHS Board has decided to help underwrite the conference expenses.

We hope that all of you who were able to attend "Hostas Play in Peoria" July 12, 13, and 14 were pleased with the event. The Central Illinois Hosta Society (CIHS) put together what I thought was a great convention. The feedback that I received was quite positive. We had relatively good, though somewhat warm weather. The gardens were beautiful, the food was good, and I believe the venue was easily accessible and convenient. The local members with some additional help from local University of Illinois Ex-tension Master Gardeners were friendly and helpful. We are now looking forward to our first ever joint MRHS and AHS convention to be held in Green Bay, Wisconsin, with the Green and Gold Hosta Society of North-eastern Wisconsin serving as hosts. Mark your calendars for June 12-15, 2019. You may get more information about this event by going to the convention website, A printable registration form is posted on the website. You can register and pay online or print out the registration form and mail it in with your check. There is an Early Bird price of $189 for those who register before January 31st, 2019. The convention will be held at the Radisson Hotel & Conference Center, Green Bay. The hotel is conveniently located near the Austin Straubel International Airport (GRB) with free 24-hour airport shuttle service. Rooms must be booked by May 20th, 2019 to receive the convention price of $105 for single and $115 for double occupancy.

If you have never attended an American Hosta Society convention, this is your chance to experience this amazing event that is sure to leave you wanting to attend more national conferences in the future. Nationally recognized speakers and an expert panel of hybridizers and growers are slated to provide you with the latest information about your favorite plant. The gardens are wonderful, as those of you who attended our Midwest Convention a few years ago in Green Bay can attest.

An added incentive for attending is being offered. All current MRHS Members who attend will be given an additional one-year membership in MRHS at no cost. Any MRHS current member who attends the convention will be credited with an additional one-year membership by Barb Schroeder, the MRHS Membership Secretary.

We will be addressing the proposed changes to the MRHS by-laws at our annual meeting to be held in Green Bay. The partial retirement of Barb Schroeder from duties as both Treasurer and Membership Secretary necessitates a change in our by-laws to reflect the two positions as being separate board positions. Currently, Mona Keehn is serving in the board position as Treasurer, as she was elected to that position at our meeting in Peoria. The proposed changes add a seat to the board, so that the member-ship secretary becomes a full voting board member. Please review the proposed changes which are included in this newsletter. We will vote on the changes in June in Green Bay.

We look forward to seeing you this winter in Milwaukee. Also, mark your calendar to join us in Green Bay, Wisconsin for our first joint convention with the American Hosta Society.

Yours in the Friendship Plant,

Barry Ankney
MRHS President
2001 South Meyers Road, Apt 300
Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181

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