About me

About me

My name is Rob.  I was born on June 2nd 1958, have a lovely wife, Riet, and two adorable little kids, Arno and Romy.

This is Arno and I

Why do I collect hostas ?

I think it's in my blood.  For as long as I can remember, in my leisure time I've been occupied with hobbies that have four things in common:

  • nature

  • collecting

  • breeding

  • knowledge

My old love: cacti

Up till now my longest lasting hobby was the growing and breeding of cacti; I did this for about 17 years.  The first years I collected whatever cacti I could find. But after 3 years, I gradually stated focusing on the collecting and breeding of one genus in particular, Mammillaria.

Mammillaria carnea

Mammillaria albicans

Mammillaria herrerae    

Photo's Louis Van Tulden

Every Year I used to collect seeds from my own plants and order seeds of the species I didn't have in the USA and Mexico.  This eventually lead to a collection of about 5000 plants, in a heated greenhouse of 6 m x 3,20 m (19,7 x 10,5 ft).

The main drawback for this hobby was the heating of the greenhouse.  With fuel prices that kept rising, it became to expensive for me.  In 1999 the entire collection and the greenhouse were sold.

My new addiction: hostas

Earlier that same year, at a local flower market, there was a man that sold only one kind of plants, hostas.  It was a difficult choice, but after long and careful consideration, I went home with a nice blue plant, with a powdery white surface, brand new out of the States, and rather expensive.
A new addiction was born: it wasn't long before I was reading everything I could find on this lovely genus.

A little over a year later, December 2002, we moved into a new house, with a large garden: the beginning of the Hosta Mill.