The William and Eleanor Lachman
Award is given to the person entering the plant selected by the AHS Judges as the best seedling
overall in the Competition. The Award was first presented in 2001 by Ernie Flippo, President
of the New England Hosta Society, which was the first local society in the
Bill and Eleanor Lachman
Without the hybridizing work of Bill and Eleanor Lachman, the hosta world would be sadly diminished. It has taken a while for the hosta lovers of middle and Western America to discover their plants, but they are now
beginning to receive the acclaim which they have so justly earned over the past 20 years. They began their work in 1980 by purchasing a few packages of open-pollinated hosta seed. Hostas were relatively new to them, but they did have extensive experience with the hybridization of hemerocallis, tomatoes, and sweet corn. From this modest start came classic after hosta classic. Just to name a few, what serious hosta garden is without H. 'Robert Frost', H. 'Cherry Berry', H. 'Falling Waters', H. 'Calypso', H. 'Galaxy', or H. 'Brave Amherst'? And that is just the tip of the pip. The Lachmans have hybridzed over sixty cultivars.
An afternoon in the Lachman garden was a treat. To experience the hospitality of the Lachmans and to see the unique and lush clumps of unreleased hostas, and the colorful blooms of the daylilies, were special experiences for any lucky guest.
Sadly, Bill passed away in 1998 and Eleanor has now sold her home. Still, we will be having Lachman hostas for years to come thanks to their policy of waiting for their hybrids to "settle" and become truly mature. A number of these “unsettled” seedlings are in the care of a specialty nursery, and will eventually become available. Five to ten years was not an uncommon waiting period before they would allow a plant to be released. We need all be thankful to the Lachmans, not only for their great hosta introductions, but for the quality control which they brought to the world of hostas.