I must give thanks to the patron goddess of Squirrelhaven, Inertia, for her guiding influence and wisdom. If it wasn't for Inertia, I would have needlessly removed and destroyed a healthy Hosta 'Striptease.' Last year I thought it was diseased with Hosta Virus X. I should have removed the offending plant immediately, but I did not. Then, in July, I suspected more of my Hostas were diseased with HVX. Instead of panicking, I ordered some HVX Immunostrips. After receiving my HVX test kit and using it on several of my Hostas, including 'Striptease,' I found that they were all clean! Yes, I didn't have HVX. I was instead suffering from Horticultural Hypochondriac Syndrome By Proxy (HHSBP).
That is a strange thing for me, as I am not a hypochondriac as regards my own health, or the health of my children or pets. I can only chalk it up to another malady, Obsessed Gardener Syndrome (OGS). Yes, I'm afraid I must admit that I worry more about the health of my garden than about the health of my loved ones. But I ask, is it wrong? If I have concerns about kids or pets, I can call a health professional, or bring them in for a checkup. Or, more frequently, the children's grandmothers bring things to my attention. The garden and its plants are reliant on me and my paltry expertise. Yes, I could call the Chicago Botanic Garden's helpline or the one at the Morton Arboretum or I could bring in bits of plant for them to see, but I have to be on the alert for problems in the first place. Gardens need their gardeners to be aware of the myriad problems, insect infestations, and diseases that threaten their well being. I think, in this one instance, I can be excused a little paranoia. When I discovered the availability of a test, I immediately sent for it. I can't help it if I had the mantra "better safe than sorry" ingrained into me since childhood. At least Inertia was watching over the garden and saved me from a mistake. And yes, I'm feeling much better now.