general question

andi_mn(z4MN)April 27, 2012

am wondering how most of you/us persue our hosta addiction:

do you really really look and buy for looks or substance? or do you buy to collect by name, pretty much as collection to increase numbers? or by theme? how many of you fall in love with a type-ie blues, miniatures, etc. and how many of you plant multiples of ones you super like?

me? so far i've gotten one of a kind that i like/love the looks of. downloaded a notepad app for my phone and now have a list (thanks mostly to pics here) to carry...may 12th the mn landscape arb sale..woot!

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Gesila(MI Z5)

I tend to buy in "groups". For example, red stems, Paul's Glory and his family, Olga Petryszyn's hostas, Sum & Substance in it's blood, ruffled edges, heavily corrugated, etc.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 3:32PM
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Just looking for ones I like, though if price is right will try out some that I happen across. Have about 50 or so on wish list - most I will probably never buy and will get deleted and something new added to the list.

Do get in moods where I fancy light centered or blues for a while.

If I like it a lot, yes I am likely to have a multiple....or if some are slow to perform, I will buy a new one if I come across a plump potful.

My gardens are getting fuller and this year I have slowed buying down a lot. Have some streakers on order, and an order from local society, and hope to make the Midwest convention in Rochester, MN to find a few recent introductions.


    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 3:34PM
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My garden is quite small, so I have to be pretty choosy. High priority for me is slug resistance, so all mine have thick leaves, just about. The slugs still get them, of course, but I refuse to have anything that makes their work easy.

I choose ones that work together in terms of color, form, etc. I don't just plop them down anywhere...I like to think about what makes a good composition as much as possible.

I think group plantings of the same hosta looks great, but I don't have the garden space to do much of that. If I had a lot of property, I would do more of that...mass plantings of hosta and other shade perennials. I have one group of three Lakeside Beach Captains and a dew duplicates planted apart but that's it.

I never buy based on name or theme. I don't even have markers anywhere, I just keep a list on my computer and remember where they are.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 3:48PM
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jan_on zone 5b

I only have about 50, and since I have never mail ordered I have those that the local hosta growers like! I am easily led -- so my wish list is derived from those that all of you particularly like, those on the HOTY list that I don't alreaady have, those on the top 100 list etc. But anything really showy and big and healthy and affordable is coming home with me. Limited space, so sadly not planning any duplicates, although I love that look in anyone else's garden.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 3:57PM
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hosta_freak(z6 NC)

I usually get what looks good to me,different than in the past,when I bought one I didn't have,when I saw it. Now,I look for size that will fit in a certain space. I am not partial to minis,because they get lost in my'Land-of-the giants'! Phil

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 3:58PM
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If it is a hosta, I buy it if I like it. It can be the look of it, the name, the size. It doesn't matter. Hosta make me happy and you can't take the money with you when you die so I might as well spend it on hosta.

I have 260 varieties. I have 60 new ones in pots waiting to be planted and I am still thinking about buying more. I usually shop with a prepared want list but I am thinking of doing the next shopping trip as a buy by what I like that I see as I see it. I don't know if it will cost more or less this way.

I think that the higher the number gets, the worse the addiction gets.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 4:12PM
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Babka NorCal 9b

I get what looks good to me at the time. Only bought one for the name, "Komodo Dragon". It hasn't been one of my best performers but it has sentimental value. Since mine are in pots, I can move them around depending on which characteristics strike my fancy at the time. I'm fickle.


    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 4:18PM
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I generally only buy what is pleasing to my eye. I also collect the rare or unusual but still has to look good to me. I have been a plant collector since I was a kid and first started with orchids. Have a number of groups I collect but again all acquired for looks. I currently have about 160 hostas with a wish list of more than 200. Many are quite rare and only occasionally offered by the originator. So many may never be acquired.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 4:38PM
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I look for what catches my eye, if it doesn't look like a dozen others I have. A hosta that makes it into my garden usually has to be one that fits at least the 10' rule. I do plant in multiples sometimes, like Lemon Lime or Kabitan as a ground cover or edger for a bed; June or First Frost to fill out a corner and make a dramatic sweep; a whole border of Honey Bells to define the back of a bed of other perennials. I don't always plant a hosta just for itself but as a component in a combination of plants, and if I see one that fits, I hunt it down.

I aso will buy end-of-the season hostas on sale, and put them down at the end of the woods where deer might graze, pretty and fillers in the woods but not so valuable that it would break my heart if something ate them. That's also where extra divisions go. They fill up space and look great without breaking my budget. If they stay safe, maybe I'll replace them with more collectible varieties at some time in the future.

The "good" plants are closer to the house where I can keep an eye on them and not as likely to be in danger from invading critters. I'm running out of room in those beds, however, lol! I lose track exactly but I have 300+ varieties, another hundred or more duplicates.

I'm slowing down some now, however. I have over a thousand seedlings I'm watching, so it takes a really outstanding hosta for me to want it bad enough to buy. I do have a "want list", but if a plant isn't on it, I usually give it a pass unless the price is too good to resist. If I do get obsessive over a particular hosta, I usually TRY to have patience and wait until the price comes down!

I'm not much into streakers, after a while they all begin to look alike to me and don't fit my 10' rule. A few outstanding specimens are enough to put some variety into the mix.

I have a few minis, but they aren't my focus. I still haven't found the best way to display them in my garden, maybe a shady rock garden somewhere but I haven't found a good spot yet. Along my small dry creek, maybe, with the ferns and ephemeral wildflowers. That might make me expand my collection.

But there is always that special plant that catches my eye, doesn't fit in my plans anywhere, isn't even something I collect, but I just HAVE to have that blows all my good resolutions out of the water!


    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 7:18PM
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Up till about 3 years ago, I bought for numbers.
Now I buy based on looks or heritage.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 7:40PM
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As this year progressed and I added many hosta to the original three, then the second set of 7 or so, and then I started doing plantaginea heritage. Then the slug battle began and it was substance which I liked, then it was the the tetraploids of some great looking plants, then mediums of any color except blue, I did not think blues would hold up in my environment. I like colored petioles, I like white leaf centers, I like ruffled/piecrust edges, I like white backs, I like vigourous growers. And, I discovered the tiny mites can be big personalities in small packages. Mostly I stay away from the XL or VL plants, but do covet a Sagae!
I also buy plants which I call "memory plants." Because of their names, recently I got Teatime because of my college buddies, and I also named my studio the Teahouse.
Brother Stefan was chosen because of my son Steven, Irish Luck for my dear Irish husband, Captain's Adventure because of my seagoing career. You get the idea. I'd also like to get a Millie's Memoirs because they say it is slug-proof, even if it reverts. Don't want any wimpy plants.

You might say I went from 0 to 60 in nothing short of warp speed, and then proceeded to reach 135, present count of unique plants not multiples of the same. That is, what the count will be when all orders are received, not counting any glorious little bonus plants...sigh.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 8:10PM
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bernd ny zone5

Until 3 years ago I had mostly older types, then bought new hostas based on new leaf design. I have 170 different hostas. When you make a table of your hostas and group them based on leaf design, you quickly find out how many green with yellow margin, i.e. you have, and many with different names will duplicate each other in appearance. This year I only bought 8 which seemed to be unique. Now I started growing hostas from seed, which shows interesting leaf and plant designs.

I group my plantings to create interest, large ones in the back, small ones in the front, mix yellow, green, blue, piecrust, outer white/yellow border, center variegated, etc.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2012 at 8:17AM
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I've gotten to the point now where I'm trying to figure out which of my own seedlings I want to keep. It has to be a pretty great hosta for me to buy one anymore. Last year I added Earth Angel and my second Orange Marmalade. And only those because there were spots that cried out for them. Spots that were already filled but with hostas that weren't quite right.

Don't really anticipate buying any this year.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2012 at 8:47AM
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I started buying BIG hostas with a lot of substance. They only fueled the fire. I have gone on sprees based on leaf shapes. More recently I have been buying along color lines, depending on what I see, or don't see in my gardens. My Sagae "hooked" me on bold creamy white margins like Diana Remembered, Fragrant Bouquet, Liberty and Sweet Innocence.
But I also feel that mini hosta need to be shown where they aren't dominated by larger plants, so I am preping a new garden around a twisted, gnarled lilac-a mini version of my larger beds and more prominently located. So I have opened a new interest in the wide variety of mini hosta available. I find I am building a mini wishlist just as I did a BIG wishlist.

My southern side of my house is totally unshaded, and I am thinking of designing a smallish shade creating feature where I can grow more mini-hostas out front for all to see. This would create another mini-surge of interest.

But at any time I may see a hosta which seems to have the"perfect" color, leaf shape, size, texture, whatever; and I feel I just HAVE to own it. lol Whatever floats my canoe!

Theme planting is fun. But it seems to only open the door for the wide spectrum. (smiling-a mile wide) My hobby had a beginning; but there is no end in sight. I love it.

I would love a "species Hosta only" bed, but I may have to talk one of my daughters into having it on her land. My namesake daughter, Leslie, would be the most likely. She suffers a slightly lower fever than mine, but it is growing.


    Bookmark   April 28, 2012 at 9:24AM
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I buy based on looks/color. I like to put contrasting colors in flower beds for the WOW effect. I love sitting in day room looking at my beds saying that sure looks pretty. Some of my friends have come over who only have the old green hostas and say I did not know they came in different shades.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2012 at 10:29AM
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harryshoe zone6 eastern Pennsylvania

I'm a relative newbie with 40 hosta. I'm no collector. I buy what works in my landscape. I'm partial to the look of randomly placed hosta beneath a specimen shade tree.

At first I was attracted to blue hosta and have 12 including 4 Halcyon. Then it was the "edge types" like Frances Williams and Olive Bailey Langdon of which I also have 12. Lately I find myself admiring hosta I call "center flame" types like Dream Weaver, Touch of Class and Lakeside Beach Captain.

Last fall I ordered online because I wanted Kiwi Full Monty and Spilt Milk. Ended up with 9 including 5 edged types.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 10:51AM
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marquest(z5 PA)

I buy looks and it has to be different. If it is to close to what I have already I do not buy.

Some I have seen here I buy because it looks prettier than I thought it would look or it looked to close to what I had so I can be persuaded to buy a almost look alike but it better be a pretty look alike for me to give up my money.

I have 4 acres and lots of space but I do not want the space filled with the same looking hosta 50 times.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 11:03AM
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