Saturday, July 9, 2011

My Hosta Collection

Quite by accident, I've stumbled into being a Hosta Collector, swayed by the ease and charm of this most reliable perennial for the shade garden. There are endless varieties of Hosta, they range from giant-sized to teeny-tiny, with colors from dark or silvery blue to electric variegated creams and green, and many are fragrant. Hostas feature prominently in my Shade Perennial Border, as well as in many containers on my deck, and with my collection growing every year I think now it's time for me to begin compiling a list of them all. So far I have about 15 different cultivars. Perhaps one day there will be 100!

My Hosta Collection
Hosta So Sweet
Hosta Big Daddy
Hosta Striptease
Hosta Zounds (?)
Hosta Hadspen Blue
Hosta Masquerade
Hosta Royal Standard
Hosta Frances Williams
Hosta Golden Tiara
Hosta Wide Brim
Hosta Patriot
Hosta Fragrant Dream
Hosta Fragrant Bloom
Hosta Stained Glass
Hosta Elegans

Hosta Wishlist
Hosta Risky Business
Hosta Rainbow's End
Hosta Orange Marmalade
Hosta Hush Puppy
Hosta Pandora's Box
Hosta Lakeside Cupcake

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Essence of Summer

If I have another daughter, I may be tempted to name her Daisy, as I adore the cheerful sunny Shasta Daisy 'Becky' and all the other flowering perennials which mimic her. The Rudbeckia 'Goldstrum' and Echinacea 'Magnus' pair spectacularly with Shasta Daisy, and the trio are super easy to grow and require practically no maintenance to boot. My Butterfly Garden has really come into its own, with all the flowers now in peak bloom, and the Shasta Daisy is the star.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Shade Containers

Recently I cooked up a couple of new container combos, and I'm really liking the effect of perennials grown in containers. Delicate miniature hostas that would get trampled or eaten by rabbits in the ground, can be appreciated and enjoyed up close and personal when in a pot, and of course perennials tend to be more cost effective in the long run when compared to annuals. To liven up my deck, I'm gradually expanding my collection of planters each year, and it's fun playing matchmaker when choosing a container and its contents.

Ingredients: Coleus, Hosta 'Striptease', Fern 'Autumn Brilliance', Fuchsia, Impatiens

Ingredients: Polemonium, Hosta 'Hadspen Blue', Impatiens

Finally this year, I decided to make good use of this shelf which has been with me forever. There are 2 houseplants summering outside (Pony Tail Palm and Pothos), a pot of Impatiens and Begonias contributing the flowering power of annuals, and a couple of "specimen" perennials.

-- Hosta 'Masquerade'

-- Heuchera 'Midnight Rose'

I love all the new shades of Impatiens. No more having to settle for basic white or pastel pinks and purples, as there are so many vivid and interesting colors on the market these days. A shade garden just wouldn't be a shade garden without Impatiens, and this is one annual that I will never tire of.


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