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Hostas for your shady garden

by dig the dirt editor

Hostas are one of the most satisfying plants to watch emerge from the ground. In the early spring, hostas send up green rocketlike shoots. Then, almost as if captured in time-lapse photography, a few warm days coaxes them into unfolding their large, heartshaped leaves.





Their foliage  of the hosta is striking and diverse. The uninitiated eye sees green leaves, but once you enter the world of hostas, you’ll see details you never noticed before. Some leaves pucker, some are almost quiltlike. Their color ranges from chartreuse to deep green blue. Their foliage wears racing stripes. And the icing on the cake is their fragrant flowers that appear late in the summer. Here’s a list of our favorite hostas. Plant now and enjoy them next spring, and for years to come:



‘Variegata’ (Hosta fluctuans ‘Variegata’) This large-leafed hosta has thick, blue-green leaves that are generously etched at the edges in a creamy yellow. A huge hosta, growing 60 inches tall, this popular foliage plant should debut in every shade garden.



‘Sum and Substance’ has huge, rounded, puckered leaves and grows to 3 feet tall. Sum and Substance retains an upright appearance.



‘Love Pat’ is what many hosta aficionados search for--a blue hosta. Its thick, green leaves have a quilted appearance.




‘Halcyon’ is a blue-leafed, short hosta that looks great in the front of a border or edging a path. It grows to 18 inches and has very beautiful pale blue-violet flowers.




‘Elegans’ (Hosta sieboldiana) has earned a reputation for being beautiful and hardy. It has huge, roundish leaves that are very textural, and turns more blue green every year. The plant reaches 30 inches.



‘Great Expectations’ is a variant of ‘Elegans’ with the same large leaves. The leaf center is gorgeous blue and green--edged with a creamy yellow blotches. The plant reaches 3 feet tall.




‘Frances Williams’ is an old beau of hosta gardeners. Growing to 36 inches tall, and spreading out 48 inches wide, this large hosta adds light to the shadow with its green-yellow leaves.




‘Gold Standard,’ as its name implies, is something special. The golden green leaves are edged with dark green and add light to shady spots. Plant ‘Gold Standard’ in your garden to include the wildly popular color of the season--chartreuse.




Hostas, shade lover, plants for the shade


I always wanted to try hostas in my flowerbed. I may try them next Spring!
SKAOJB08 commented on 10/25/10
Although they all look alike in photos- they are just the easiest and really the most textured plants you can put in your garden. I love the blue shades of the Hosta.
butterfly commented on 03/19/10