Maybe it’s that we’re lucky to live in places where there are lots of big trees (read: gardens with lots of shade) or maybe it’s because we’re looking for plants that reliably show up every year, do a great job of quickly filling up an area with lushness and look quite elegant in the process. Whatever the reason, hostas seem to be a big hit in Southern Ontario, particularly in the burbs. And that’s not a bad thing. The clincher for many a hosta fan, myself included, is that there seems to be a never ending supply of new hostas to discover. Like Carrie Bradshaw and her shoe closet, if you can never have enough hostas, there’s a garden nursery ready to tempt you with a brand new infatuation. Here’s what’s on my wish list for this spring:
Hostas come in all sizes, including tiny. Here’s a new addition to the H. ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ collection: super cute H. ‘Mini Skirt’ with ruffled edges. Perfect for a spot at the front of a flower bed or in a container. Find it at Goldenbrook Hostas.
With a maximum height of only 18″, aptly named H. ‘Wheee!’ PPAF is another hosta that can pack a lot of interest into a small space. The cream coloured margins emphasize tightly ruffled edges. In mid-summer, light lavender flowers appear.
Another mid-sized hosta, the twisted, upright leaves of H. ‘Electrocution’ practically vibrate. The yellow margins on the slightly shiny leaves lighten to creamy yellow in summer. Shot on location at the Sheridan Nurseries container farm.
This is Goldenbrook Hosta’s #1 seller this year and it’s no surprise. H. ‘Curly Fries’ shorter than Electrocution at only 6″ with extremely rippled chartreuse leaves. Photo courtesy of Walters Gardens Inc.
The American Hosta Growers Association has voted H. ‘Abiqua Drinking Gourd’ 2014 Hosta of the Year. Its dark green leaves with a seersucker texture are very deeply cupped, making for a distinctive silhouette. In mid-summer, almost white flowers bloom. These young plants were shot at the Sheridan Nurseries container farm in Southern Ontario.
H. ‘Autumn Frost’ is another short-ish hosta (max. height of 12″) that will work well lighting up dark areas of a flower bed in shade.
Photo courtesy of Proven Winners.
The nearly round leaves of H. ‘Brother Stefan’ are deeply textured and splashed with an amazing gold colour. Almost-white flowers bloom in early summer. Find this trophy at Goldenbrook Hostas. Photo courtesy of Shady Oaks.
If you want big, invite H. Empress Wu to the party. Easily topping 4 feet in height with a spread reaching 6 feet, she’s a large presence in a shade garden. Photo courtesy of Proven Winners.
Debuted last year, H. ‘Humpback Whale’ is another huge hosta. Blue-green leaves form a dome 3 feet high and 7 feet wide. White bell-shaped flowers appear in early summer. Find it at Goldenbrook Hostas. Photo courtesy of Walters Gardens Inc.