Gardeners Still Collect Plants

Plant collecting has always been a passion for gardeners.

The nineteenth century American seed and nusery catalogs often wrote about new plant varieties called ‘novelties’  in hopes that the customer would

This garden on the tour for the American Hosta Society's annual convention in June featured over 1300 hostas.

buy.  Must have worked because the catalogs made that theme a constant.

Mount Hope Nursery in Rochester, New York wrote in the 1860 edition of its catalog: “The taste for hardy perennial border plants, is growing, and we have for some years been paying special attention to this class. Our collection now embraces the most ornamental species and varieties in cultivation, as far as we have been able to procure them.”

Seed companies and nurseries knew that gardeners needed the latest plant.

A couple of weeks ago,as a  New England Hosta Society volunteer, I was a bus captain for the American Hosta Society’s national convention in Marlborough, Mass. Great fun visiting gardens.

What amazed me was how many hostas each gardener owned.  The owners took pride in showcasing the newest hosta variety in their garden.

The photo here is from a Rhode Island tour garden  that featured over 1300 hosta varieties.

As in the nineteenth century, gardeners treasure their plants as part of a collection.

Maybe it’s part of human nature to collect.

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