Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Posted By: in Shade Gardening

I have written about hosta (Plantain Lily) before but I cannot emphasize enough how wonderfully versatile these perennials can be.  A garden is not a garden without a hosta and even in these days of shrinking lots, decks and balconies the humble hosta comes to the rescue.

From tiny little dwarf forms like 'Blue Mouse Ears' to the titanic ....well "Titanic'!, there is a hosta to fit just about any location.  I have long grown hosta in containers as they are just about fool proof and so hardy they can be left out without fear of losing them over winter.  I even drove across Canada during one of the worst winter's in 66 years with several hosta in my trunk.  My stopover in Wawa Ontario got down to below -50, the hosta were fine but the antifreeze in the engine froze!!!

So before you pooh-pooh the hosta as being just a common perennial, stop and take a closer look - you just may be surprised at the diversity and selection there is available out there now.

Blue Ivory Hosta

Hosta ‘Blue Ivory’

WOW, an absolutely stunning hosta!  This sport of ‘Halcyon’ has ice blue leaves with a broad, clean ivory-white border.  Forms a medium size mound of thick, slug resistant leaves that hold well into fall.  Tall scapes (flower stalks) of lavender flowers appear in midsummer.

Height:  45cm  Spread:  75cm   Zone:  3

Blue Mouse Ears Hosta

 

Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’

Adorable miniature hosta with slightly cupped, round blue-green leaves resembling little mouse ears.  Lavender flowers in midsummer.  Plants have good substance and form perfect, tight little mounds.  ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ makes an excellent container or rockery specimen.

Height:  15-20cm  Spread:  30cm  Zone:  3

El Nino Hosta

 

Hosta ‘El Nino’

One of my absolute favorite hosta's, a sport of ‘Halcyon’ it retains the thick, ribbed chalky blue leaves but with an added pure white margin.  This “must have” hosta is simply stunning and forms an elegant mound with scapes of lavender blue flowers in midsummer, very slug resistant.

Height:  40-50cm  Spread:  60cm  Zone:  3

Fire Island Hosta

 

Hosta ‘Fire Island’

A bright and fresh looking hosta with round, pointed leaves that are a brilliant golden yellow in spring becoming chartreuse by summer, for added interest the leaf petioles and scapes are a contrasting purple-red.  The perfect specimen to bring some "living sunshine" into the shade garden; pale lavender flowers in summer.

Height:  30-40cm  Spread:  60-75cm  Zone:  3

Hosta ‘Great Expectations’

Stunning selection having broadly ovate leaves that are thick and puckered with a wide irregular blue green margin around a bold golden-yellow center which changes to creamy white by summer.  Very slow grower that may take several years to establish- but worth the wait.  Near white flowers in June.

Height:  50-70cm  Spread:  1-1.25m Zone:  3

Hosta ‘Hadspen Blue’

Powdery steel blue leaves that hold their colour all summer set this hosta apart as being one of the best blue forms ever.  Foliage is thick and cupped with heavy texture which = slug resistance.  Plants will form a nice rounded mound and sport tall scapes of pale lavender flowers midsummer.

Height:  40-50cm  Spread:  60-75cm Zone:  3

Hosta ‘Loyalist’

Reverse sport of ‘Patriot’ with leaves that have a deep green margin with a pure white center that is not prone to melting out.  Leaves have a heavy substance which affords them greater slug resistance.  Plants form a neat mound.  In summer creamy white scapes sport pale lavender flowers. Height:  40-50cm  Spread:  60-75cm Zone:  3

Stained Glass hosta Hosta

 

Hosta ‘Stained Glass’

Superb sun tolerant hosta that will form a mound of wavy, corrugated, heart-shaped, leaves.  Colour is chartreuse to golden yellow (some direct sun will bring out more gold) with an irregular dark green border.  Slightly fragrant pale mauve flowers, 2006 Hosta of the Year. Height:  50cm  Spread:  90-120cm  Zone:  3

Hosta ‘Touch of Class’

Specimen type hosta having very thick pointed leaves of powdery blue-green with a pale yellow center streak.  Plants are very sturdy and form low mounds, pale lavender flowers in July.  A sport of 'June' that is very classy indeed. Height:  40-60cm  Spread:  60-75cm Zone:  3

* Photography courtesy of HarkAway Botanicals

All of these Hostas and many others are generally available at Art's Nursery. As always, please call in advance to confirm availability as our stock changes frequently.

Lyle Courtice A.H.

Lyle Courtice A.H.

Lyle is a certified Horticultural Technician (Niagara College), Landscape Designer, Nurseryman and the proprietor of HarkAway Botanicals.

Since 1980 Lyle has worked in both the retail and wholesale sectors of the horticultural trade; he operates his own wholesale nursery, which focuses on an eclectic mix of rare and choice plant material from Asia, Europe and North America. Lyle has appeared on The Canadian Gardener and is a contributing author to A Grower’s Choice (Raincoast books 2001).

His horticultural expertise makes him sought after as a consultant, lecturer, photographer, instructor and writer. An industry veteran, Lyle is esteemed within the horticultural community for his passionate and often humorous enthusiasm for plants.

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8940 192nd Street,
Surrey, BC, Canada,
V4N 3W8

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