Hosta Garden Design

ronlarimer_zone7May 5, 2008

I have started my backyard gardens on my new build, I have tackled the foundation beds near the house and I have an 180sq ft bed that I want to dedicate to hostas with early spring bulbs for early color when the trees are still bare.

How did you go about planning the placement of your plants (given their different sizes) to give a full look without being too crowded. I would prefer to plan it out rather than frequently replant and disturb the bulbs.

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

plan .. smlam..

buy 10.. plant them.. buy ten more.. plant them.. inject crack.. buy more.. build new bed.. buy more... you are hooked ...

i dont need no stinkin plan ... lol ..

big ones in back.. little ones up front.. all the rest in between ....

anyway ...

what does 180 sq ft mean .. one foot wide by 180 feet??? .... 9 by 20????

now about a pic ...

put a couple large near the back .. they will take 5 to 10 years to get to size ...

3 mediums ... and a few smalls ...

i cant really go further.. without a more precise description of the bed size ... and what you are trying to accomplish.. color, size, texture wise .... fragrance?????

how much sun... whats the budget ... what type of soil .. what kind of tree competition, if any ...

and most important... what water is available ....

and where are you beyond z7 if that is what you name means ....


PS: welcome.. dont recognize the name .. hope you have a sense of humor ... very willing to help if you provide a few more facts .... i can name 2 hosta which at maturity ... can cover the area.. but i bet that isnt what you want ... lol ..

    Bookmark   May 5, 2008 at 4:53PM
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I like intentional planting in groups often 3 of the same variety. This was 4 Junes planted like a diamond then one reverted to blue. Or, try to replicate this basic Japanese design with plants; it is a temple stone in the back with the kneeling stone in the front and the sentries on the side. Then you can see how I replicated this design around the little pond.

Many have seen this before so ignore.

BTW, I donÂt always follow my advice but IÂve planted 25 Wide Brim to look like a snake going down a hill with a head on the end, havenÂt figured out the eyes yet.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2008 at 6:16PM
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In addition to a sense of humor I have extremely think skin.

All of your questions would be the ones I would ask, if I knew what I was talking about, but my question was meant to be more about process than suggestions of specifics.

That said, here you go...

The 1st 2 pictures are of the cleared bed behind my new build. Some of the trees will likely come down as they build my rearward neighbors house.

But as it stands now I expect to have a an Acuba, ferns and hostas in the back left with a small blue stone path separating it from the previously mentioned Hosta bed diagrammed in the last picture.

In the middle of the clearing I plan on putting in a blue stone patio with a fire pit and some sort of screening plant behind it.

The far right will be a collection of interesting pines under the 2 hardwoods with a dry stream bed cutting through it to take advantage of a natural gully.

Lastly I plan on having a number of Azaleas "naturalized" from the back of the property in the shade garden to the front of the pine trees, diagonally with the center of mass being around the firepit. Make sense?

The lot is a northern suburb of Charlotte.

The budget? Hmmm, never been too good with those. I buy what I want, expensive projects just delay the next one, but high enough that the hosta bed is a project to keep me busy until I start buying pine trees.

The soil is clay with some decayed leaves from before they cut the trees down and some top soil from a recent raised bed build. I will need to amend some soil for my Azaleas and ferns so that can bee done here as well.

Water,,, the whole property is irrigated and that area is currently covered by the same heads as the lawn. Additional misters or drip irrigation if necessary, the Hostas should be fine if not slightly over waters.

What am I trying to accomplish... A lush leafy green mound with some blues and white margins, but so that the main feel is green. I would like a medium overall texture with maybe 1-3 larger plants and some smaller ones near the edge. Flower color and fragrance are not the goal.

As a final comment, I am not a gardener, I do it because of the design aspects and to feed my project/planning need. I am building a motorcycle and have sewn quilts to fill the same need.

Does that answer all of your questions?

    Bookmark   May 5, 2008 at 8:30PM
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You don't have to amend the soil for hosta, dig the most minimum hole and stick it in and mulch. I've done just as I describe with the reddest red clay you have ever seen.

There is probably an azalea list here to help with proper azalea planting.

You can not I repeat you can not over water hosta. Check my name and hosta in a stream.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2008 at 9:01PM
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Hmmm my edit didn't take... I have THICK skin...

    Bookmark   May 5, 2008 at 9:12PM
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No tips... Nothing like space plants 80% of thier full size distance apart? No don't put a white centered hosta next to a white edged? No this that space is too large for a Huge Hosta? No keep the blue ones towards the back to maintain their color?

I realize that I may be asking wine afficianados what blush goes best with Pizza... or photographers what their favorite disposable camera is... but I really do what your opinion.

Ideally when I am done it will be something that not only looks good to me, but might have some interest for you as well.

For example I now want to include a "spilled milk" hosta in the grouping just so I can point it out and there are a variety of textures I want to include that I didn't know about last week.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2008 at 1:44PM
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Annette Holbrook

I'm a long time hosta lover, my dad had a pretty large area dedicated to hosta in my childhood home. I have no ideas what varieties or anything, but I always loved them. When I finally carved out some space here at my house for hostas I was so excited and asked here. What I finally figured out was to go to the gallery section and look at as many pics as I could of the fabulous hosta gardens from the talented folks here. I discovered that there was no "formula" for a beautiful hosta garden (except maybe LOTS OF WATER LOL). I just started buying what I liked and what I had read about and put them all out and moved them around until I liked what I saw. The best thing about hostas is that they are very forgiving and don't mind a bit of abuse or being moved if that is what needs to be done.
I have probably broken a dozen garden design rules, but with hosta it still works, I have blues next to blues sometimes, or tall ones in front of short ones, but no matter, I'll move them and try again. I have some in the ground and some in pots and like what I see mostly.
This weekend I will be moving about 6-8 around and next weekend is the annual Georgia Hosta Society sale, so who knows what I'll end up with!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2008 at 2:29PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

great spot.. and lots of future grass to give way to more. ... lol ...

under giant trees .... dig hole.. bare root the hosta.. plant in native soil... mulch and try to drown them ...

you have the water ...
you have the budget ...

only thing you have is fear of actually doing it ...

the only thing else i/we need to know.. where are you ...

start a new post... hosta sellers within 100 miles of ABC ....

take the list of sellers.. map it out.. gas up the vehickle.. and go spend the budget .. come home.. plant them ... and be done with it ...

when they need to be moved because you planted them wrong.. move them .. thats how we all did it.. at least 100 times ...

depending how far south you are.. blues may be problematic.. since its a waxy coating which melts off faster, the further south you go ...

just do it ..

ken the enabler ....

PS: if your screen behind is going to thin.. think about some redbuds or under canopy trees to fix that.. before the house goes in ...

note how the big ones are in back.. the mediums in the middle.. and the smaller out front .... note how don stevens was supposed to be medium.. and just seems to be bigger than the others.. if i cared.. i would move it ...

    Bookmark   May 7, 2008 at 3:28PM
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Alright, I know the varieties will change based on what is available when I order, but this image is made up of 19 varieties that are indicative of my vision.

What are your thoughts?

    Bookmark   May 9, 2008 at 11:56PM
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What a cool way to do your planning! I'm assuming the size of the sample is the anticipated size of the plants you're proposing.

How did you do that? Is that special software?

Very cool!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2008 at 11:22AM
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Nothing special just the image editor I bought in 1996. I laid out the bed in the photo above at 1' = 30px. So when I found a hosta, I cropped out a circle, then looked at its size to see how big it should be.

12" = 30px
18" = 45px
24" = 60px
30" = 75px
36" = 90px
40" = 105px
48" - 120px

Sum and substance was to big for this bed so I didn't go any bigger than that.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2008 at 11:28AM
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