|7. Through the 1960's into the early 1970's,
Florence Shaw had a big but almost unknown hybridizing program
utilizing plants no one else was working with at the time. Her
breeding included nakaiana, 'Elatior', 'Tokudama', and variegation from
a streaked 'Marble Rim'. By the time Aden got there there were
thousands of seedlings of all ages. this as per Kevin Vaughn.
Birchwood was a large estate of 2 acres or more with the room to
accommodate hybridizing on that scale. Aden's small Long Island
property did not have the room.
8. Florence Shaw became ill in 1974 and was
bedridden towards the end of summer. Her daughter reported to Kevin
Vaughn that Aden was in the yard digging plants without permission
both then and in spring 1975. She passed away June 30th, 1975, and
Alex Summers reports Aden there again after her death "helping
her daughter". The daughter moved away, leaving the house empty
until it was purchased by the current owner, leaving Aden yet more
9. Various people, including Pete Ruh and George
Rasmussen, report the sudden appearance of many plants of all ages,
including mature clumps, filling Aden's yard to bursting coinciding
with the time he was stealing plants at Birchwood. These plants were
dead ringers for the type of plants Florence was working with (see
#1). Had Aden started hybridizing, he would not have had mature
plants until later in the 1970's.
10. Numerous people remarked that in conversations
they were baffled by Aden's lack of any understanding of basic
hybridizing principles. This struck them as odd considering he
claimed the most impressive collection of newly hybridized hostas
anywhere in the world. Apparently in response, Aden added a
chapter on hybridizing to his book that was ghost-written by Andre
11. Aden stole as many as 65 plants of all ages,
including mature clumps, from Kevin Vaughn during the period
1974-1977. These were on display at the 1979 convention with tags
removed. Info per Kevin Vaughn.
12. Hybridizers including George Rasmussen were
puzzled by the mysterious lack of any sign of hybridizing
(seedlings) at Aden's place through the 1970's. They went everywhere
trying to find the "secret seedling beds" Aden talked
about and never discovered them.
13. Registration of hostas began in 1974. Aden
immediately tested the waters by registering four Shaw plants as his
own with made-up parentage, including 'Blue Cadet', which was known
to others to be hers at the time. Apparently these were accepted
without question, encouraging Aden to register 23 more in 1976.
14. It has long been suspected if not known that
Aden made up the parentage for the plants he registered, showing
clear intent to deceive. This was confirmed (in a way) by Aden
himself to C.H. Falstad, to whom Aden recommended he do the same
with any he registered. In interviews, Aden sometimes made up
different parentage on the spot contradicting his registrations.
15. Aden visited Japan on at least one but likely
more occasions. There he purchased a named montana sport from
Gotemba Nursery, stole a plant from a temple, and otherwise acquired
several plants later registered as his own originations.
16. Alex Summers related that Aden stole
him and registered those as his own, with "Eenie"
prefixes. He also related catching Aden at Honeysong stealing a
plant from the ground.
17. Aden threatened several people who wanted to expose
the truth about his "originations" with lawsuits if they
went public. None did. Related by Mark Zilis.
18. Aden was captured on film at a convention stealing
plants from a bed at the Minnesota Arboretum. By that point his
"sticky fingers" were common knowledge and at the 1990
convention guards were assigned to follow him in gardens. Info per
19. In the mid-90's the registrations were changed to show the
originator prominently. Despite claiming many more great new plants
as his own, Aden never registered another plant.
20. A few years before his death, Aden was approached at a
meeting of the Tri-State Hosta Society and asked to autograph a book
next to photos of his registrations. As the person turned page after
page to well-known Aden registrations, Aden denied that any were his
plants and walked away refusing to sign his name anywhere. Was this
him finally admitting the truth? Related by Kathie Sisson.