Let’s hear it for Hostas

While wandering round the garden recently photographing all the flowers for various posts, I couldn’t help but notice all the hostas that were doing so well and I thought it such a shame that I was the only person to appreciate them. I have so much shade in the garden so when planting up each shady bed I have automatically reached for hostas, ferns, astilbes and heucheras as the low level planting.

Hosta Great Expectations with a yellow heuchera which picks up the yellow in the hosta. Campanula has seeded itself there and is joining in. This area is a mass of snowdrops in February.

Hosta Twilight, this is a fairly new one which hasn’t grown very much yet.

I’m afraid some were planted so long ago, before I was writing a blog and the names escape me now, even though I have got my hosta books out and tried to look them up. This and the next few are all planted in the bog garden, they all seem to like the extra moisture.

Growing nicely whatever its name is.

Is this Hosta Patriot or Minuteman? They both look the same and grow to the same size, my vote goes to Patriot.

I know this is H. Striptease, I mean, who could forget that name! I think some editing needs to be done, something has seeded itself too close to my hosta.

A small blue hosta with beautifully shaped leaves, happy in the bog. Can anyone help with a name, it is quite tiny, but not one of the “mouse” series.

Dwarfing the previous hosta is H. Snowden, what looks like a white leaf at the right side is a flower of the Zantedescia next to it.

H. Krossa Regal at the drier end of the bog garden, I hadn’t realised that it spreads so much, it is coming up in between all the astilbes and ferns. I could move some of it to the woodland before next spring maybe.

Hosta undulata, now getting a bit swamped by astilbes either side of it, something will have to be moved!

Hosta Halcyon in a semi shaded spot on the rockery, it seems very happy here.

Just about 4 ft away where it gets more sun is H. June. I had to move her 3 times before she showed signs of being happy, she is now spreading beautifully. When she was in more shade the yellow variegation almost disappeared.

H. Sagae, a super large hosta which has a lovely gold edging to the leaves. This is in the back border by the woodland and is one of my favourites. We stayed at a friends cabin in the mountains in Canada some time ago which was on the side of Lac Sagay, different spelling I know, but it reminds me of a wonderfiul holiday.

This hosta is planted in the woodland and is called Super Sagae , it was planted about 5 yrs ago but hasn’t grown much at all, nothing super about it, so it will be moved into more light in the autumn. Beautiful leaves though.

also planted in the woodland is H. Liberty, growing well so obviously happy.

Also looking happy in the woodland is H. Sum and Substance, a really huge hosta, with massive tough leaves that little slugs don’t like. This plant is just 2 yrs old and already quite a size, it will eventually grow 5 ft in diameter.

Enjoying part shade in the gravel area at the back is H. sieboldiana elegans growing in a pot. This is a very large hosta normally, so I will repot it into a larger pot ready for next spring,  but I am hoping to keep it to a smaller size by keeping its roots restricted.

This is what H. sieboldiana elegans looks like when grown with its roots in the soil, it is at least 3ft tall by 4ft in diameter. I have planted special snowdrops round the base of the hosta as the hosta will just be starting to come through when the snowdrops are flowering, then the hosta will hide the dying foliage of the snowdrops -win win! This hosta was growing by the front door and was being squashed by a hydrangea and winter jasmine until this spring when I asked Derek to move it into the back where a conifer had died.  It has loved the move, it has room to spread and now the blackbirds, thrushes and hedgehogs can get round the plant to eat up all the slugs and snails which used to reduce the huge leaves to lace curtains every year.

Having mentioned the dreaded slugs and snails, I must also mention the army of helpers that I have in at least 3 families of blackbirds, one family of song thrushes and at least one hedgehog which visits the garden every night, judging by all the poos that I find on the lawn each morning! I do get the odd hole on my hosta leaves, but that is a small price to pay, knowing that I am not harming the rest of the wildlife in the garden by not using slug pellets. I try to have room round the hostas so the birds and hedgehogs can root through the leaf litter, eating any slugs and snails as they go, this was why the one by my front door was such a mess, the birds couldn’t get in there to clean up for me. People have told me that they only use organic slug pellets, but I feel that anything that kills a slug or snail is a poison and when a bird or hedgehog eats a few poisoned slugs etc then they are poisoned too. Please correct me if you feel that I am wrong, I’ll come down off my soap box now!

I think my little team do a wonderful job without any help from me. This has been a wonderful year for hostas, maybe all the rain we had in February did them a lot of good!

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10 Responses to Let’s hear it for Hostas

  1. Denise says:

    I love hostas Pauline, they really are one of my favourite plants. Mine are also mostly without names though if I was to choose a favorite it would be Praying Hands. I also have Sum and Substance which is considerably bigger this year, already beyond its allocated space. I had no idea that it grows to 5ft!! Thanks for the warning. I also do not use slug pellets of any sort.

    • Pauline says:

      So glad that tou are a kindred spirit Denise, I thought you might be! Sum and Substance will only grow 5ft sideways, not upwards, I have mine underplanted with lots of snowdrops, then the hosta foliage will hide the dying snowdrop foliage, I think I might have to move a hellebore though! So pleased to hear that you don’t use slug pellets.

  2. snowbird says:

    What a stunning variety of healthy hostas!!! I couldn’t agree more about slug pellets, we have seen so many hedgehogs poisoned by them, it’s a slow and painful death too.xxx

  3. Shirley says:

    Hello again Pauline, ah this post brought back memories making me smile. I love your collection of hostas. There was a time, pre blogging, when I had borders full only of hostas. I was a serious foliage gardener. I’ve only a few left now and was delighted to see one of them here doing so well – June. Her main problem is I keep moving her and she doesn’t get a chance to bulk up like yours. I will try and keep your image in mind, the next time I go moving plants around her. It’s great you leave space around yours, I always leave a pathway where possible for hedgehogs too.

    • Pauline says:

      I’m so glad it made tou smile Shirley, I too am serious about foliage, it is with us much longer than flowers! I am very fond of June too, she is a lovely hosta and well worth the space.

  4. Shirley says:

    Hi again Pauline, I’m thinking I missed something when leaving my comment the other day. I was saying that I loved this post as it brought back memories when I had a hosta only bed many moons ago. I used to have a very foliage dominated garden pre blog. I was delighted to see June in your impressive collection. I see this is how it can look when in a spot she likes. Mine keeps getting moved along the borders when I shuffle plants around. I’ll now keep your image in mind the next time I go near her. Yours looks a beauty!

    • Pauline says:

      Sorry its taken so long for me to reply to both your comments Shirley, I found both of them in my spam box, goodness knows how you got in there! I had H. June planted in too much shade to start with, she does like a bit of sunshine to make all the colours stand out.

  5. Anna says:

    Oh I will have to come back with notebook and pen Pauline. You have some beautiful hostas there with very few nibbles.

    • Pauline says:

      A few nibbles are a small price to pay Anna, by the end of the summer all the hostas will have a few holes, but hopefully nothing too drastic! I always find lots of empty snail shells on my paving so someone is working hard!

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