My Favorite Plant – use of the hosta in gardening

My Favorite Plant – use of the hosta in gardening – Brief Article

Richard Simmers

After a long day at the office, I can’t wait to relax in my shade garden enjoying the daily changes of my favorite plant, the “hosta.” It is the most special perennial to me for many different reasons, not the least of which is its diversity. It comes in a various range of sizes (from a few inches to four feet tall), many different colors (shades of blue, green, yellow and gold), different variegations, and different size, shape and texture to its leaves. Hosta grows in all types of shade (though some in full sun if given adequate moisture) and produces beautiful, interesting flowers and papery, wind-swept seed heads as an added bonus.

Hostas are very hardy and easy to divide, typifying the expression that “gardeners multiply by division.” I’ve found that it’s not necessary to completely dig up the entire plant when dividing it. In the spring when the noses are a few inches above the ground, simply divide them with your spade between the noses, dig out the divisions and then backfill the resultant hole with topsoil.

Hostas require very limited maintenance, are generally pest free and do not require fertilizing. They can be used as specimen, background, border plants or as groundcovers, giving added insurance to the gardener with time constraints by allowing the garden to have an attractive and well-kept appearance with minimal upkeep.

Although I use hosta as border plants, my favorite site for them is in a woodland setting. The different colors, sizes and textures of the foliage transform the bare woodland floor into a cool tropical island. The contrast of their foliage with that of ferns, astilbe, solomon seal and epimedium further enhances the woodland surroundings. Some of my favorites include: `Gold Standard,’ `Blue Umbrella,’ `Frances Williams’ and `Golden Tiara.’

If someone were to characterize the “perfect plant,” I think that the attributes of the hosta do it remarkably well.

Dr. Richard Simmers Cherry Hill, NJ

(To order your hostas contact Savory’s Gardens at 952.941.8755)

COPYRIGHT 2001 KC Publishers, Inc.

COPYRIGHT 2001 Gale Group