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Showing posts with the label Hostas

Garden Edit - Hosta Replacement Project and Stumpery Reset - May 2024

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I'm racing the Cicada clock on a few projects;  the pizza oven foundation.  And...some of my proposed 2024 Garden Edits.  I wrote a post about a number of 'garden edits' that I want to make and started with the Hakonechloa Macra grasses (the green ones ) around the tree swing.  And, this past weekend, I made another large 'garden edit'.    My mantra for 2024 is 'editing' what I have - and that means a focus on planting in mass (larger quantities of the same varieties) that meet three criteria: 1. They work in our yard. Meaning...they thrive, not just survive. 2. Are appealing (to me). Foliage and Texture are key. 3. Have some four-season appeal. I don't want my garden to be 'empty' in Winter. This edit is on the southside.  And this bed - and in particular - the border/edge of the bed have been a hodge-podge.  Mostly hostas to fill-up space.  And, while I put up a few stumps in my new "stumpery" , I didn't plant anything in t

Five Autumn Ferns Planted - November 2023

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#10 on my 2023 to-do list was to do a 'fern upgrade' .  That means replacing the Ostrich Ferns (my first love) with ferns that do better and last longer.  I've written about this a few times before and even tried to implement this last Fall with planting a number of Autumn Ferns late.  But...not all of them made it.  Despite that, I decided to roll the dice (again) and plant Autumn Ferns late in the growing season.  This time, they're slightly bigger, though.  ( Last year, I planted 12 and only six small ones came back. ) Also..of note...I planted two Crested Wood Ferns earlier this year - as part of my #FernUpgrade project . One of the things that I'm evolving on in my garden are hostas.  I was a hosta guy.  But, the thing that I'm starting to notice - over time - is that Hostas totally disappear come dormancy.  That leaves BIG swaths of NOTHING in the garden all winter.  Are hostas going to stay in my garden?  Yes.  But, I'm done dividing any of them that

Abiqua Drinking Gourd Hosta - Two Years Later - September 2023

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I planted three Abiqua Drinking Gourd Hostas a little over two years ago .  And today, I still have those same three Abiqua Drinking Gourd Hostas.  You can see all three of them, planted in a row, in the photo at the top of this post.  I bought these based on a post that I read summarizing various cultivars of Hostas that described these as "One of the true giants".   I had visions of five-foot-spread hostas with giant, cupped, blue-green foliage.   Are they giant?  Not yet.  You can see that.   But, are the leaves large?  Yep.  I can see a future where they'd be 'giant'.   The change in two years is large.  Compare September 2021 (here) to the photo above.   Also, it appears - to my eye - that they're growing when I look back a year (Summer 2022) and count a similar number of lobes/leaves, but the ones come out of the center sure appear larger this season.  

Dolce Silver Gumdrop Heuchera - Silver Foliage - One Left - September 2023

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Last Fall, I bought and planted two (at that time) new (to me) Heucheras:  Dolce Silver Gumdrops.  They were at Lowe's end-of-the-season sale and I said that I was going to plant them in over by the Guacamole Hostas .  Today, there's just one of them.  And, I don't really see *where* I could have planted the other one as there isn't a ton of empty space around.  But that one?  It is showing up well right now - Late Summer/Early Fall with silver foliage and tiny pink blooms about to arrive.  See below for a photo of the current state of this Silver Gumdrop Coral Bells: I've had mixed results with Heucheras over the years.  Some that I've neglected have done great.  Others that I've baby'd have perished.  This one is small, but that's by design.  The listing talks about this Heuchera's size this way : Silver Gumdrop’ is a smaller scale Heuchera, the perfect size for a container. Growers and gardeners alike will be pleased that it is a vigorous gro

Waterslide Hostas With Purple Blooms - August 2023

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Putting this in my garden diary:  waterslide (ruffled) hostas put on short, close-to-the-crown purple flowers in mid/late August.  See below for a photo of the current view of the three Waterslides that we have in the backyard.  I planted the f irst one of these in 2020 from the Morton Sale and added the two others from the orange big box store in 2021 .   Compare this mid/late August bloom time with some of the other varieties like these dark-green Venticosa hostas that bloomed with dark-purple, but very tall blooms in late July .  Having a mix of bloom-times is something that I need to continue to work on - with the ideal being a true four-season garden.

Summer Beauty Allium And Christmas Tree Hosta Divisions - Summer Update - August 2023

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Late last year, I dug up, divided and transplanted a number of Summer Beauty Ornamental Onions (Allium) around the backyard - including four divisions around the tree-swing Northern Red Oak tree .   I also dug and and divided a large Christmas Tree hosta (that I really like) into three new divisions and planted them behind the allium, closer to the tree trunk . How have those divisions done?  In less than one year, they seem to have recovered quite well.  See below for a couple of photos showing the Summer Beauty Allium, spaced with some polka dot annual plants and the Christmas Tree hostas behind them: They are better than what was there before - a ring of hostas.  And, I've learned that I can pretty sharply divide Summer Beauty and move them around.  Note to self for Fall 2023 dividing.

Hosta Flowers Blooming - July 2023

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Nobody grows hostas for their flowers.  Is that a 'hot take'?  I don't think so.  Foliage gardeners (I'm a self-proclaimed foliage gardener) grow hostas because of what they do:  shade-garden workhorses that add some texture and fill in spaces. But...they also flower.  With these tall, odd, scapes of flowers.  Are they scapes ? I think so .  I remember my mom's garden, filled with hostas.  And popping the purple flowers that emerged each Summer.  I don't think I've ever tracked the flower emergence in my own garden, so I figured I'd start a little bit right now. Why now?   Because I was walking around the garden one morning recently and was struck by one set of flowers in back.  On these hostas: The flowers seem VERY dark purple (for hostas).  Thanks to the Hosta Library, it appears that these are Venticosa hostas .   The Delaware Hosta Association has this description : The Dark Green One with Purple Flowers: H. ventricosa This one also has shiny heart-

Bressingham Blue Hostas - Two Years Since Bareroot - July 2023

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In Spring of 2021, I planted eight bareroot Bressingham Blue Hostas from Longfield Gardens along the edge of a new curve in one of our backyard beds .   The plan called for these to be 'Hadpsen Hostas', but I found and admired the Bressingham Blue variety, so I made the swap.   One year post-planting, seven-of-the-eight came back and were putting on their trademark blueish-green foliage.  This is what the Bressingham Blue hostas looked like in late May 2022 .  Started with eight.  By May 2022, there were seven.  Not bad. How about today?  See below for a photo showing these hostas.  The two in the 'back row' are still there. But, at first glance, it seems that there are (now) just four in the front row.   But, if you look closer, there are (strangely) two very TINY tucked in there.  The first tiny one is in the open gap - what becomes the 'second' from the left.  Below is annotated (and zoomed) version of the same photo: And the other tiny one is all the way to

Transplanted Hostas - From Lindens to Oak to Lilacs - June 2023

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One of the big planting projects that I have tee'd up for this Summer is to plant a series of boxwoods underneath the pair of espalier'ed Greenspire Linden trees to add some structure and four-season interest with evergreen shrubs.  One of the things that I've learned from observing the garden over all four seasons is that while I claim to be a 'hosta gardener', I have begun to fall out of love with them (just a little bit).  Why?  Because they totally disappear during the late Fall, Winter and early Spring.  Sure...there's still a lot to love - they grow in the shade, are all-about-that-foliage, their Spring emergence is a fun little gardening moment and...they're forever dividable (meaning...they can be endlessly divided every Fall).  But, when I look at my beds during the month of January or February or March...and you didn't know they were planted out, one might think that the beds were totally empty.  As the hostas disappear. All that to say...I don

Hacksaw Hostas Persisting - Backyard - June 2023

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Last year, we planted a tiny (but unique) hosta called a Hacksaw Hosta in the backyard .  I placed it in amongst some other shade plants and mostly forgot about it.  Then, the rabbits found it and ate it all up.  I figured it was gone.  So, imagine my delight when I see not just ONE small Hacksaw hosta emerging from the wood mulch.  But...two of them.  See below for the pair of (tiny) Hacksaw Hostas: I've already repurposed one of the chicken wire rings to protect these tender hostas from the dang rabbits.  And, I sprinkled a little bit of municipal biosolids around the base of these to try to give them a tiny bit of a boost. 

Ajuga Bronze Beauty - 6 Plugs - May 2023

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Last week, I shared the 14 plugs of Ajuga Chocolate Chip that I planted around the backyard as groundcover near the border of some of the beds.  In that post, I talked about how I had grown in my appreciation of Ajuga Chocolate Chip (and groundcover writ large).  I came across it first from Erin the Impatient Gardener and her talk with Roy Diblik.  I bought the first few containers last Fall .   I recently came across a second Ajuga variety:  Bronze Beauty.  Same deal from Home Depot:  Six-pack of them.  Of note, this Bronze Beauty has a purple handle - and says it is designed for SHADE.   I decided to give it a try in two different situations:  First...tucked in between (and at the feet) of some established hostas.  See below for those hostas and Ajuga Bronze Beauty together: And, I put the other three right along the fire pit metal border - you can see those below.   #17 on my to-do list was to 'keep going with groundcover' - and I now have put in 20 Ajuga plants.  Pretty go

Pair of Mature Honeybells Hostas - May 2023

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I recently took notice of this pair of hostas that are planted right in front of the hops vine in our backyard (photo below) and thought that they were a really nice shape and foliage structure.   Why?  Because, I didn't divide these last Fall.  Last August, I included these in a roundup of 'dividing candidates' , but it appears that I left these as-is.    What variety are they?  They had white and purple flowers last year .  And they turned 'green apple green' color, too.  So....know that and using the "What Hosta do I have?" tool, I'm *pretty sure* that these are Honeybells Hostas .  I have a bunch of what I'll call 'ratty' or real common Lancifolia Hostas in the borders that I'd like to replace over time - and these beauties (ahem...Honeybells Hostas) are (once again) 2023 candidates for dividing and popping into the location of the 'ratty' ones.  

Island Breeze Hosta - Planted May 2023

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This second post featuring a new (to me) plant (in this case...a hosta) from the Morton Arboretum 2023 Plant Sale:  An Island Breeze Hosta.  The sign from the sale is below - and this one came in at $16.95...which is more than I'd normally pay for a more-common hosta.  This one is unique and one of the kids liked it, so we bought just one.  My rule of buying more than one is easy to break with hostas - because I know that with a little bit of patience, I'll be able to divide them in a couple of growing seasons.   This is the child of the child of Fire Island Hosta.  According to Walters Garden, at least : First came ‘Fire Island’ which was followed by its variegated progeny ‘Paradise Island’. Now there is ‘Island Breeze’ which is the third member of this “tropical” family and a sport of ‘Paradise Island’. The improvements in this cultivar include more impressive variegation due to its wider margins, thicker leaf substance, and a strong growth rate. More impressive variegation,