Hello, My name is James and...

stoc zone 6 swedenApril 6, 2013

I think I may be in the early stages of hotaholicism. I have been lurking on this board all winter reading old posts and looking at pictures.

I am an American living in Stockholm,Sweden.I live in an apt building.We have a pretty nice backyard. Being a frustrated gardener I asked the super if I could plant some flowers back there.We already have lots of lilacs,a big Birch tree and other things.Since I don't have access to a car I dragged lots of things home on the bus and subway.

There was a toolshed and sandbox which I got them to take away this year.

Lots of shade but morning sum and reflected light.
I thought I guess I will have to get some boring hostas.
Then I found this site and realized how wrong I was.

I finalized my order with h.j. van den top yesterday.
Here is what I ordered.

1 x Hosta 'Halcyon'
1 x Hosta 'City Lights'
1 x Hosta 'Regal Splendor'
1 x Hosta 'sieboldiana 'Elegans'
1 x Hosta 'Blue Cadet'
1 x Hosta 'Sum and Substance'
1 x Hosta 'Jurassic Park'
1 x Hosta 'Midwest Magic'
1 x Hosta 'June' EU367
1 x Hosta 'Blue Angel'
1 x Hosta 'montana 'Aureomarginata'
1 x Hosta 'Minuteman'
1 x Hosta 'Empress Wu'

We had a really wet summer last year-I was getting between 25 and 50 small slugs every day.So my first choice was slug resistant plants.Next was price,the oldies were cheaper and I really liked the way they looked.I also wanted big.I added the Empress Wu yesterday and am going to put her where the old shed was.

I am really looking forward to my shipment in May and will post pics.

Thanks for all the info that you all have given in your threds.

James

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don_in_colorado

First of all, welcome James! Of course you're a Hostaholic, and that is a GOOD thing! :)

Second of all, those are some great choices you made with your order. You're going to have your apartment building looking so beautiful, the owner might raise the rent. Please do send us pictures, and if you have questions, don't hesitate to start a thread, OK?

Enjoy!
Don B.
Westminster, Colorado

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 4:43AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

welcome

get a one gallon sprayer.. and some vinegar in the pickling aisle of the grocer.. mix it to 10% .. and spray the ground and the undersides every few days.. to beat slugs ... should be a link somewhere for that ...

ken

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 8:25AM
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beverlymnz4

Agreed, nice list and good criteria. Here is my experience with some of those.

I have a mature Elegans under a red maple. It seems to tolerate root competition a little better than some others, like June for example. It may be a nice one for under your birch.

I have a large Sum and Substance. Some people claim it is likes full sun. In my area, where days in June have over 15 hours of sun (lattitude 45ú), my Sum and Substance burns, even watering twice a day. Mine is in shade until mid morning then has sun until late in the day when a tree shadow hits it, a few of hours before sundown. Part sun, morning is best, to keep the yellow would be better. (I am moving mine this year.)

I helped my sister plant and grow Regal Splendor and Blue Angel. Both are huge beautiful hosta. Regal Splendor is her favorite, it has an upright habbit and is slightly taller than her Blue Angle. Both of them have been passed over by the deer - only a taste- for other hostas (not on your list) so they must be tough.

Have fun planting
Beverly

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 8:47AM
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hostafreak

Good list,James,and welcome! I have all of those on the list,except Jurassic Park. I garden on the side of a mountain in western NC,and have over 300 hostas at present. You are on your way! Phil

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 10:57AM
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jan_on zone 5b

Hi James

Great that you found us, amd that you are discovering the pleasure we all get from growing hostas. Your new project should make you pretty popular with the other apartment dwellers in your building, and will perhaps make your back yard a nice place to hang out! Good luck with the new 'hires'.
Jan

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 12:34PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Can't wait to see your pictures. You can also sprinkle crushed egg shells around under the plants to kill the slugs. Maybe all your neighbors will donate to the cause!

Cynthia

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 1:04PM
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stoc zone 6 sweden

Wow! What a nice welcome.I feel as if I almost know some of you from reading your posts.

I'm glad you like my list.As I said cost was a factor,and i figure what I am spending is a nice dinner out with a friend so I'm not too concerned there.

I guess I have been bitten when I don't even own the land that I am going to plant them on.

Every summer I would go back to the USA and spend time with my mom and work on her gardens.She and my dad loved flowers.Also would work on my sister's place.It would be fun to come back and see what had happened while I was away. My sister lives in South west Michigan,I looked on the map and she is reeeeally close to Halsons.
Next visit we are going there!

Thanks for the tips with the slugs,I hope they are not as bad as last year.I appreciate the information about planting tips.I have made a map of where I think I want things to go. A little concerned with the Birch,but it is not the River birch that I have seen discussed here.

I like everyone else am really eager to get out in the dirt.I think it is has been an awfully long winter in the whole northern hemisphere.

A friend told me today that there are 4 birds who come back to Sweden in the beginning of April.A newspaper article today said they have stopped in Germany and are waiting for warmer weather here. So it's not just us, the birds are pissed at the winter weather tool.

Thanks again for the welcomes!

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 2:11PM
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irawon(5a Ottawa)

Hi James, that's a nice group of hostas you have ordered.I have some of them. My Midwest Magic doesn't keep its variegation all summer and I'm wondering whether it requires more sun to keep it.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 6:47PM
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Steve Massachusetts Zone 5b

James,

What Ken said, except use ammonia not vinegar. Vinegar is used by organic gardening peeps as an herbicide. Ammonia breaks down in the soil and becomes nitrogen which is used by the plants as fertilizer. A 10% solution of vinegar won't really hurt your plants, but it won't help them either. You can use the ammonia as a soil drench in early Spring before the plants emerge also.

Nice list you've got there. Welcome.

Steve

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 8:49PM
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stoc zone 6 sweden

Thanks for the advice. Steve I'm wondering if it would be too much to spray them and the ground with the ammonia solution when they are newly planted?
I was thinking I should wait awhile?

I bought some slug pellets.Not sure what people think of them.Last year the slugs ate my Clematis like it was candy.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 9:19AM
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Steve Massachusetts Zone 5b

Slug bait will work. Just follow the directions and use it sparingly. Usually you need less than you think. I use an iron phosphate bait and the ammonia and water solution both. I haven't had it show any effects on the plants at all (new or old), but being careful is not a bad thing. It sounds like you have more slugs than you can deal with through hand picking. You can try setting traps like boards or shingles in or near the garden and dropping them in a cup with ammonia and water. That's a lot of time and work. But you may need to fight this battle on several fronts.

Since you are in Europe you may want to try Nem-a-Slug. I know it's available in the UK but not yet in the US. It's a beneficial nematode that is supposed to eat slugs. If it's available to you, it's worth trying.

Steve

Here is a link that might be useful: Nemaslug

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 9:48AM
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stoc zone 6 sweden

Thanks again Steve! Last yea I used empty flower pots stuffed with wet newspaper and every morning go in and get the little suckers and drop them in a bucket of soapy water.They are the little gray field slugs.Last summer was one of the wettest in history so that didn't help any.

I had heard of Nematode but didn't know what it was.Thanks so much for the tip,sounds like they can work great! Like most things in Sweden very expensive,but I think I found a site in the UK that will ship them for about a 3rd of the price here.

I'll let you know if they work,if we ever have summer,it snowed again today.Sigh...

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 3:54PM
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don_in_colorado

Hang in there, James. It's supposed to snow here on Tuesday.

Don B,
Westminster, CO.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 3:58PM
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Moccasin(z9aMobileAL)

James, welcome welcome!
About the ammonia sprayed on the ground around the hosta.....I was told not to spray it on the leaves. Just around the base of the plants. 1 part household ammonia, 9 parts water.

I think Ludisia started a thread on this today.

Love the selection of hosta. Boy, you are starting with the biggest of all, Empress Wu. Your garden should be a lovely spot in about two months. A little bistro table and two chairs would make a great spot to watch the plants and meet your neighbors too.

Our birds are on site, and today they seem intent on nesting. It is a lovely time of year. Happy Gardening!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 9:49PM
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stoc zone 6 sweden

Our birds are still waiting in Germany. Lots of birds come back here every year to nest and migrate great distances to do so. I admire them.

I'm glad that thread got started,so I can glean more info.

We actually already have tables and chairs,the backyard is shared with the building next door on their side are the tables and lots of Lilacs.
My side has a small lawn with the Birch,etc
I will post pictures one day.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 4:38AM
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