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Author Topic: Hatsumi Maertz - RIP  (Read 1468 times)
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Lisa
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« on: June 05, 2011, 22:06:31 »

In a recent thread about Neo. Marble Throat I mentioned Hatsumi Maertz and some of her hybrids.  Many of you know that Hatsumi has been a big inspiration to me.  In fact you could say she was the spark that ignited my passion for hybridizing, by showing me how easy it was for anybody to create something unique and different in their own backyard.  I doubt that either Sharon Petersen or I would have started down that path were it not for Hatsumi's example. 

I just got the word that she passed away this week.  Health issues had forced her to leave Hawaii last year and move to Oregon to live with her son.  I'm very glad I got to visit with her one last time before she left. 

These pictures are from a few years earlier, when the HBS had a meeting and tour of her garden in 2007.  I posted some of them on the GW back then, but for those of you who missed that, here's a little glimpse of Hatsumi's garden.  Just a small home lot in Pearl City, but crammed to the gills with plants!   Her favorites were Neos and Tillandsias, followed by Bills and Crypts, and a little of this, a little of that.....

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Hatsumi on her patio

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The property slopes back to a steep drop-off overlooking the valley below, but she had it terraced and shadehouses built at every level.  Cramped, but efficient. 

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In her later years her daughter would come over and repot her plants for her.  It was a lot of work and she did a good job... except for the fact that the tags didn't matter to her nearly as much as they mattered to Hatsumi, and everything was grouped together by color!  Roll Eyes   For a hybridizer, you can imagine this was a bit of a sore point.    Wink

Same with the Marble Throat hybrids.  I'm sure these are not all the same, but they look nice.

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RIP Hatsumi, you will be greatly missed.
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splinter1804
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« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2011, 23:04:40 »

Hi everyone,

Lisa, it's always sad to hear of the passing of one of the bromeliad fraternity especially a friend like in your case. She did however leave a legacy of some nice plants to be remembered by.

All the best, Nev.
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« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2011, 23:58:03 »

Sad news, though a rich life and inspirational to many others including Sharon and you. It reminds me of Grace Goode here, now in her '90s, who has been a similar inspiration for many of us. I visited her recently and the spark is still there (and the jokes!) and her gardens still have plenty to admire. Pedro
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« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2011, 08:01:14 »

Sorry to hear this news Lisa, thanks for letting us all know. Some very good pics of her garden. One of my favourite plants of hers is N 'Justin Song'.
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« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2011, 08:25:07 »

Hi Lisa,
thanks for letting us know.  We are very lucky she passed on her knowledge to you and others to continue  bringing to the world great broms.
Dooley.
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« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2011, 11:58:35 »

That is sad news Lisa.

I remember the first time I saw the FCBS photo of her neo hybrid 'Justin's Song' and thinking…wow…could there be anything better than that? I printed out that photo of Justin’s Song, & stuck it up on my office wall as inspiration for my own novice hybridising efforts.

One of the wonderful benefits of plant breeding is that accomplished hybridisers can leave a legacy of their hybrids , and I believe talented hybridisers also have the ability to inspire, and to motivate all of us.

Hatsumi has most definitely done both.
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Lisa
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« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2011, 19:02:13 »

Andrew, Justin's Song is one of my favorite c-a hybrids.  I got mine from her, of course, although when I asked if she had a pup to spare, she cut me one and said "I think this is it."  She wasn't 100% sure (even before her kids started potting things up she would lose tags), but I think it is too.  

This is her clump:

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and how it looks in my shadehouse:

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I also got to meet her grandson Justin, for whom the plant was named, on that day.  Now a handsome young man in his 20s, I wish I'd gotten his picture too!  


« Last Edit: June 06, 2011, 19:04:01 by Lisa » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2011, 10:41:26 »

Well said Andrew, I agree it's a wonderful thing we have Hatsumi's work to inspire us and look back on. I was lucky enough to have a 'Justin's Song' to use in a some hybrid crosses this season. While I don't expect to be so lucky to breed better looking plant than JS - to use something so stunning and with such great parentage and history as part of a new creation, is something to cherish and look forward to...Thanks Hatsumi !...I'll be sure to show some pics of what emerges in a year or so.

Cheers,
Graeme
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Lisa
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« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2011, 21:26:12 »

Update:  there was an informal memorial gathering of friends and family at the house this past Saturday.  Since I figured this would be my last visit, I took the opportunity to take a few more pictures.  Hopefully this will be of interest to somebody besides me.  If not, thanks for indulging me.

Hatsumi's daughter Marilyn had obviously been working hard to clean the place up.  I have to say, it was neater than I'd ever seen it.  Wink 

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Her other major hobby besides bromeliads was ceramics.  She often combined the two.

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I found this little guy tucked away in a corner of the fence where you wouldn't even notice it:

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Only because I mentioned him earlier, grandson Justin with Hatsumi's sister Betsy:

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The lowest level shadehouses had been dismantled and the shrubbery cleared from the back, making the valley below much more visible.  I can recall her late husband Warb (who was the garden "brawn" to Hatsumi's "brain") telling me that whenever she'd ask him to thin out some of the rubbish, he'd wait until she wasn't looking and just toss it all over the back wall! 

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The middle level shadehouses are still packed full of plants, though:

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BTW, does anyone recognize this Tillandsia?  Sorry the pic is not as clear as it could be.

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« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2011, 23:31:59 »

Thanks Lisa.

Those tillandsia look amazing just hanging off the trees, gives the impression of a Dr Seuss jungle scene.

Are the family holding onto the house...and her plants?
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« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2011, 00:11:31 »

Thanks for taking us with you on your last visit to Hatsumi's place, Lisa.  I'm sure that in spirit, she was also there.  And that she will linger,  and inspire through her creations that stayed behind, for years to come.  In a way, immortality through the physical evidence of what we created that we leave behind.  And she has left beauty: in the plants she created; the ceramics that she sculpted and the inspiration that she left in living hearts.

And her Till funckiana look as stunning as ever!

Japie
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« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2011, 01:07:12 »

Lisa,

Those pics and the wonderful plants and gardens make a beautiful tribute.  Thanks a lot for sharing it.  It means a lot to be able to appreciate even just a little bit of the lives of the people behind our marvellous plants.

Cheers, Paul
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Lisa
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« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2011, 01:39:09 »

Naturally I asked about the house, Andrew.  All four of her kids live on the Mainland, so that makes it difficult.  Her daughter still plans to come over every few months and try to keep things going, and she has friends who are willing come by and water occasionally, but who knows?  I suspect they just need some time to process things and make some tough decisions.  Having been in a similar situation myself, I know how that is. 

She gave all of her friends and members of the local Bromeliad Society a chance to come and get whatever they wanted last year before she left, so it's not as if there are any rare treasures that will be lost.  Still, it's a shame to think of all of that stuff just getting tossed out or abandoned.  Such is life....   
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