Hosta Library - Story Wanted

jan_on zone 5bAugust 4, 2012

Reading the post about photos on the hosta library got me wondering about that incredible resource and just how it came into existence. I only discovered the library and this forum last winter, so I am one of those mentioned who weren't around when it started. I refer to it almost every day, and must admit I take it quite for granted.

'Old timers' - do tell!


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I would like to know about the library as well.

And, if possible, why not have it in the Wikipedia? They have all sorts of such information in there. It is not a commercial venture, so such an article would be quite appropriate.

I probably already know, but would like it refreshed in my mind, who sponsors the library?

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 4:13PM
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bkay2000(8a TX)

I don't know either. (I'm just saying what I think, not what I know.) I thought Bob Axmear (sp?) did most of the work and sponsored it himself. I have no clue about how the HL came to be.


    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 4:31PM
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bernd ny zone5

The Hosta Library is really an amazing feature, as also is the American Hosta Society. Google Bob Axmear and find out more what he and a lot of volunteers maintain.

Hosta data are accessed via a link to which is now at a Belgian host with the address There was some controversy about that around 2009 I believe. Bernd

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 5:28PM
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There's a link on the Hosta Library called "Library History".

Here is a link that might be useful: Library History

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 5:44PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

you guys crack me up..

go to the library ..... big box... dead center ... bottom line inside box.. near dead center again .... LIBRARY HISTORY...

see link


Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 5:47PM
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Bob Axmear has become a good friend of mine over the past 5-6 years and I have had the pleasure to visit The Hosta Library many times now, which is a 70 minute drive for me in the north east Iowa town, Waukon. Funny part is, is the actual Hosta Library isn't no more than a PC in his above the garage Man Cave.

He has told me what made him create the Hosta Library. Just like most all of us in that when he started his hosta addiction and collecting hosta he could only get written lists of plants online or in the mail to order from with no pictures of the plants and searching the web he found very little information or pictures. Keep in mind this was more than 10 years ago. Bob is a do it big kind of personality and he set out to fix this situation and taught himself how to write computer programs and thus start the hosta library. I know he got some help from Josh Spece to get going and the rest as we say is history. The Hosta Library has become the online bible for the hosta world. It also needs help from all of us to add new and/or better pictures of older and the newest plants. So don't be shy to offer pics for him to post.

Now Bob has gotten rid of most all of his named plants in order to have room for the many seedlings he now creates. But still keeps the Hosta Library going. When you have time email him to tell him how much you appreciate all the time and work he has donated to help feed all of our hosta addictions...... he will appreaciate it.

The pic is from 2008 at a visit to Bob's. Bob don't like to have his pic taken but he took this one of Bruce and Trudy Van Wyk and Me and my wife Marie....great memories with great hosta friends.

Jeff White

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 6:07PM
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jan_on zone 5b

Mystery solved! Thanks Jeff and hippie. There it was in my face all the time - oh wait, 'way down at the bottom between pollen storage and genetics - I see it now - small print - don't know how I could have missed it - always happy to amuse Ken.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 8:59PM
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Yes, Mr. Axmear is a big heart person, we know from a few personal contacts, and yes I have taken the time on more than one occasion to thank him.

Now reading that HL is on a computer in his man cave makes me wonder and worry if there's any 'back-up' system.

In a former life I was a computer and network professional (but have had other professions). It would be a real shame if the HL were to have a 'disaster' (garage burn down, for example).

I, for one, would be eager to donate to an off-site back-up system should there not be one already.



    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 7:59PM
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Jeff, thanks for sharing the story about our memorable day at the Hosta Library!
Bob Axmear is to be commended for all the work he had done to build and sustain the HL, as should Bill and Carol.

We were talking today how many hostaholic's/collectors of hostas owe all there knowledge to Bob. What would we know about hostas without the library?

Thanks Bob!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 8:47PM
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