What's your hosta story?

franknjimMay 6, 2012

How did you get into hosta? When did you realize that you have an addiction?

Over twenty years ago when I was in my mid twenties I liked to garden. I believed that you needed lots of direct sunlight so I cut down as many trees as I could to grow sun loving annuals and perennials. I had one dark shady spot under two mammoth Pin Oak tree that I wasn't allowed to touch. Nothing would grow there. I was introduced to hosta and bought a dozen varieties. I memorized their names since I did that with all of the common and Latin names of my perennials.

Over the next two decades I lived in a couple other places and I always took my hosta with me but I never bought anymore. After living in this current house for 10 years it allowed the original hosta I bought long ago time to mature, my Samual Blue became enormous. Grass wouldn't grow here so I decided to go look at some hosta in the summer of 2009. I bought 40 new varieties from a local trusted hosta nursery. I didn't know what HVX was until I got on this forum. I learned about it very quickly. I am kind of grateful that I missed the coming of HVX and the whole process where no one knew what was happening. There is still much they don't know about it but at least there is enough known now that a person can take precautions and change their gardening habits to reduce the risk of infection.

I went from 12 varieties in the Spring of 2009 up to 260 varieties now. I bought 20 new ones a month ago and have 8 more on order. I realized after the first 40 new ones in two decades that I was in trouble. Hi, my name is Frank and I am a hostaholic!

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Frank-it started subtly as a kid playing in my grandmothers field of Lancifolia. But it fully bloomed when I had a acre of creekbottom land with 1/4 oak forestin the Ozarks of Northern Arkansas. The high forest on rather steep rising ground made mowing a pain, but a natural for terracing using native rock (it WAS Rockansas, after all) using my own rocks supplemented my roadside pick-ups and (I hope it wasn't illegal-if it was, don't report me to the Feds. Keep it our secret!) attractively shaped rocks from the base of bluffs on the shores of Lake Norfork and Bull Shoals Lake while pontooning.

The land also had a spread of black walnut trees which I hated, but if I had known then how well hostas and heuchera, and even some daylilies do under a black walnut I would have been "hooked and stringered".

I've got my pic-posting straightened out. When I get home I will take shots of my now 3 year old Theresa's Angel Garden (under a black walnut) and post them. I am concentrating some of my "Angels" (Blue A., Guardian A., Earth A.) there with others like Krossa Regal, Regal Splendor, Whirlwind, Parhelion, OBL and more with drifts of Lancifolia and U. Albomarginata.
That is when I began learning how to propogate plants. One of my step-sons is now working in "hort" propogating new varieties of peonies.


    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 5:43PM
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Wendys_garden(5b Great Lakes)

It kind of crept up on me, then bam! I didn't know what hit me. I had 10 albomarginatas that I brought from my old house to my current one. That was all I had for years, until 2003, when I picked up 2 Loyalist to plant next to my kittycat's grave. Then in 2005, when I was on a buying spree on ebay, I picked up Risky Business & Revolution. They came with a free Golden Tiara. Then I bought alot more from my local nurseries. I didn't buy any in 2006, not sure why, maybe I was trying to rein myself in? But 2007 I went crazy buying from online sources, and haven't looked back since. I went thru phases, the Variegated phase, the Blue phase, the Yellow & Green phases, the Ruffled phase. Now I am in the Hybridizing phase, and I think that's where I will stay. I have one large garden reserved for my seedlings.
My gardens are filled, I made a new garden this spring, and expanded another. Not much more room here, so I have started planting in pots. Next I am sure will be hanging hostas, LOL.


    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 7:02PM
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Oh, Frank, you poor man! Let me help you kick this addiction!
I got my first hosta in the spring of '05. Those green and green and white ones from Walmart. The following year, I ran my first co-op on Daves. Shady Oaks catalog was it for me, I had to have everyone there. And from there, well, you know how restrained I am!

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 7:28PM
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I am one of those O/C type personalities. When I start something, I go way overboard. My obsession started in 2003 when a friend gave me a piece of ventricosa to compliment my many "green and white ones". The previous owners had a "landscaper" plant everything in the yard and his idea of "landscaping" was to put a clump of undulata univittata every 6 feet with a Rose of Sharon in the middle of the clump (insert eye roll here). I had to learn as much as I could about the plants in my yard (read obsessive compulsive) and discovered there are more than 2 types of hosta. With lots of shade and space available... well I am now over 200 with many multiples of the same variety to boot!


    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 7:39PM
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Pam, You didn't mention how many varieties you have now. Have you broken the 2,000 mark yet? Only 5,000+ more to go. You'll be there in no time.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 7:45PM
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My story is simple...had to get in on the action. My mother and brother-in-law started it, and it rubbed off on me. I have a limit of about 150 based on available shade, so I have been vigorously planting and watering trees, no maples, by the way. I am 35 years old, and hope I never get over my addiction.

Please, don't support my recovery,



    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 7:53PM
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jan_on zone 5b

I'm a real amateur compared to most of you with only 50 hostas, and quite space challenged. HVX got me here. I first planted hostas in 1975 (the usual 3 suspects), and much later, one at the cottage. The cottage specimen is a beautiful thing with fabulous splotches, streaks, smears. Undertaking some research to find out what variety it is I stumbled onto the Hosta Library, and from there to this forum. Sadly I discovered my fabulous plant has HVX and will have to come out this year. But meanwhile a new interest has been fueled, a neighbour sent me to a great local grower, and I've found a new use for my spare pocket change!

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 8:11PM
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Steve Massachusetts Zone 5b

My first encounter with Hosta was mowing down my mother's 4' diameter Undulata Erromena's as a teenager. Hey, they were green weren't they?

When I got my own property I did the whole Victory Garden thing, vegetables, annuals, followed by perennials then shrubs and trees. I was a Jim Crockett groupie. Had all the books. Watched all the shows. Before I moved I had 50 different cultivars of Lilacs, a daylily border with over 100 cultivars, a peony border, rhodies, crabapples, dogwoods the whole 9 yards. While looking for peonies I found Roy Klehm's catalog. That was an education in itself. Due to that catalog I started my first Hosta garden. Just a few, Krossa Regal, Sum and Substance, Golden Tiara, Love Pat, Elegans, and Frances Williams. Back in the late 80s those were cutting edge Hostas.

Then I got a new and more time consuming job. We moved, leaving all of those gardens behind. Our new property was about an acre of land, but I had little time to garden. Finally, in 2010 I took early retirement. I began by putting in a 60 foot daylily border. Then I bought 6 Guacamole basically because I like fragrant plants. That summer I added S&S, Blue Angel and Blue Mouse Ears. In the fall I ordered 15 more. Last year I build 5 different Hosta beds and I think I have over 200 now. I haven't updated the database yet. This Spring I've started a full sun garden in order to diversify my gardening, and have signed up for the Mass Master Gardener's course. I don't work at Frank's incredible pace, but I have lots of time to garden and am loving it.


    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 8:43PM
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leafwatcher(zone 5)

As a kid my Parents were always into gardening, food ..and flowers.. I always saw it as punishment ;)

My Mom drug me along to flower arranging shows and such as a kid, that was back when you did as told... and accepted it :)

Many times I heard my Mom say many men seem to just get obsessed over Hostas, I heard it quite a few times and mostly forgot about it.

My wife and I bought a house and it had a small corner of the yard with the GREEN ones, Mom gave us a few green and white, and I started splitting and planting them until they were everywhere, I saw it mostly as weed and garden work avoidance mechanism .. nothing more.

Well my Mom had a few different types of Hosta, and her friends had some insane collections ..

Then suddenly my Dad was diagnosed with cancer and gone in 28 days, leaving my Mom alone on their small farm.. There were a lot of sleepless night not knowing what yo do.

I had just quit my job and was going to try a new line of work ..( this was right before the economy tanked) well I started cleaning up the mountain of loose ends and maintenance at my Moms and decided that my wife and I could easily make it awhile on her pay.. ( we both worked hard and saved when we could have spent)

So I have been looking after my Mom, which seems to make any job seem unimportant in comparison.

I help her quite a bit with the gardening and a million other little things, she quilts a lot ...having made over 200 of them, so she ALWAYS has a knotted up machine, or two :)

After seeing more and more of her Hosta and working with them I visited her friends.. those large showy collections lit a fire that made me want to turn my yard into a sanctuary for big beautiful leaved Hosta.

And it sure is tough to stop the desire to add more !

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 8:57PM
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I forgot to mention my collection. I had to leave some behing when I moved from Arkansas to my current home. I now have 58 varieties counting my IDing of clausa var. normalis, and about 80 total plants with room to grow.


    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 9:00PM
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It started at a friends party talking with a guy who started telling me about his hosta collection. I've always loved gardening, and had the "two" varieties that I thought existed. I found you people here and just started buying on line. I have plenty of space and find myself looking for new shady areas on the property out of necessity. This is my third year addicted and have over 150 varieties. Still waiting for my latest auction wins to arrive!

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 10:22PM
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Babka NorCal 9b

I'm not telling...It started before the turn of this century.


    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 11:59PM
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I moved to my current 1/2 acre property back in '89 - no gardens, just a clean slate. I had a fair amount of shade in the early years and started buying a few hosta in 2000. Over three years I had accumulated 25 hosta and could remember their names without tags. That same year I attended a local garden tour and met a woman with more than 250 hosta. I spent considerable time chatting with her about her plants and she could see that I was very interested. Following that visit I immediately started carving out gardens in all my shady areas. However my collection did not really explode until around 2007 when I discovered this forum. All the pictures and information on mail order suppliers influenced a large lust list and annual purchases of up to 60 plants. My collection is now 336. I can probably grow about 350 on a 1/2 acre lot.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 6:43AM
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My father had a daylily garden surrounding a pond; after his death in '77 I maintained it just as he'd designed it (I add new varieties but throw away older ones to keep the space the same). Visiting fancy daylily gardens, I learned about fancy hosta and bought a five or six which I eventually planted in a section of the daylilies that got too much shade. Those 5 included: Sum and Substance, Krossa Regal, Striptease, Fragrant Bouquet, and Abiqua Moonbeam. In just a few years, S&S and KR, the two at the ends of the row, had grown so large they were crowding out the other three. Since I had to move those three, and I already knew that Ventricosa did well under the hemlock tree, I decided in 2006 to begin a hosta garden under that tree. I've been expanding, adding more gardens and more hosta, ever since. When my order from Hallson's arrives this week, I'll have about 200 varieties.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 7:37AM
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bernd ny zone5

I started with hostas when we bought the present house in 1987. I bought hostas from general nursery catalogs and the local chain nursery. Some were $1 per pot in late fall, no leaves showing. Finally I had 35 different cultivars, kept splitting them up, planting them, giving them to friends.
Then in spring of 2009 I retired from working part-time in retirement, and suddenly had more time. While waiting for picking up my grandson from pre-Kindergarten I saw this beautiful Atlantis hosta in a park. That was looking so much different to the ones I had! So I investigated, joined the local hosta society and bought 141 more varieties of hostas. I also have 35 seedlings after I cull other seedlings, but they are not named varieties.

I also have 63 different conifers, mostly dwarfs and minis, all on less than 1/2 acre. My new plants replaced other not so desirable plants and weeds. I got my grandson to become a vegetable and fruit gardener, as my grandfather trained me. In spring my frontyard has the most spring flowers blooming, and the most interesting conifers (with labels) in this and other neighborhoods, though that was not the plan. I simply love gardening.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 10:14AM
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hosta_freak(z6 NC)

I started in 2002,before I even had heard of a plant called hosta. I live in a wooded area,on the side of a small mountain. Very little open areas,so lots of flowers were out of the question. I went to a local nursery and bought 9 hostas,and planted them on the north side of the house,after amending the soil and putting in rocks from the property. Well,voles promptly attacked,and ate 6 of the hostas. That was when I realized it doesn't pay to make nice flully soil,because voles love to dig in it! I almost gave up then,but I kept going. In 2003,I made steps down into what is now my garden,and mulched what looked a perfect path down the hill through the woods. This is across the driveway,and south of my home. There is a small creek down at the bottom of the garden,and I planted hostas all along the path down to there. In 2006,the power company cut down a lot of trees near the power lines near the road,and that opened up a whole new area for the garden. I had to clear out nasty vines,and junk in the whole area,before I could plant anything there. Plenty of rocks were there,so I made paths throughout that area. Now,I have well over 300 hostas,not including seedlings,with over 200 cultivars,and still growing. I guess I'm hooked but nearly as much as some of ya'll! Phil

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 1:10PM
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I started collecting sometime in the 90's. I lived on a small lot on the south side of Chicago. I didn't have a whole lot of room, but the bug came after going to a garden center and seeing how big Elegan's grew. I already had the green one, and the white and green ones. So I added my first blue. Then I found Hornbaker's gardens, and saw all the varieties that they carried, and became hooked. I have close to 200 varieties, I add maybe 5 new ones to my collection a year, more if I am doing the hosta forum trades. I have plenty of room to expand, but wonder at the age of 52 if I'm soon going to bite off more than I can chew! I try to convince my Husband to garden with me, but no he is not a gardener. Happy growing to you all! Mary

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 2:44PM
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I started growing hosta in 1978 when my neighbor let me dig up 3 varieties of hosta that she didn't want; the green cascading one, the white and green curly one, and the large green leafed one. After moving in 1993 and having to leave all my perennials behind I started over by planting a joint hosta bed along the property line with my neighbor. I now have over 280 varieties of hosta spread over my 3/4 acre lot with most being in the more shaded back yard.

Right now I am going through what Mary is worried about. How will I maintain my garden as I am having heel surgery which will keep me house bound for 6 weeks, My tendon will be cut and reattached so I have to be very careful as I can't put any weight on it. After that a walking cast for 6 weeks and then freedom again. My hubby won't weed anything except the vegetable garden so everything will be waiting till I can garden again. He tells our sons that he can take care of the weeding problem by mowing everything down. I hope he is kidding !!!! I really hate the idea of downsizing but the time is coming, big sigh.

Falling apart at 70,


    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 4:18PM
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Steve Massachusetts Zone 5b

Tell him if he won't pull weeds, you will hire a landscape company that will.


    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 6:12PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Hi, Frank. My name is Cynthia and my addiction started in 1996 when we moved into this house. The previous owners had a few green and white hosta. It was love at first sight, but I was not an active grower. Then, a little over ten years later, I discovered the hosta forum. The place was full of enablers. Their photos lured me into the shady world of hosta gardening. I lurked for a while, but finally admitted defeat and came out into the open. You have saved my garden. I now have about 200 hosta (yes, I guess I am still a newbie in that respect), but I am determined to make my garden worthy of this forum.

Thank you all for your inspiration, advice and wisdom.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 8:11PM
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bkay2000(8a TX)

I have to share that this forum is at fault for my addiction. I was on the passionflower list for quite a while and stumbled over here accidently one day. I swear, I was totally innocent before I came here. They showed me these gorgeous photos and I knew I was home. I had to have those. The deep satisfaction I felt when I held my first namee hosta was indescribable. It was a moment I will never forget. I had to have more...and more...and more.


    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 9:07PM
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Mine started about five years ago-moved into our current house and they had lancifolia hosta everywhere-everywhere. I googled hosta online and saw how many more varieties there were and knew with that with the yard we had, hosta would do really well here-and they have. I love seeing the variety and taking in how amazing their leaves are so different (much to my husband and daughter's stance in that there isn't a difference) I'm not even near the number of hosta that some have on this forum, but I'll add a few each year and get myself caught up. :)

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 1:27AM
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When I married my college sweetheart 50 years after we first met, we began living half south and half north. Never having gardened in a 4-season climate, I was happy to embrace the style of gardening and try all the nice plants I'd never been able to grow in Mobile AL. First it was nasturtiums, and I went wild with 200 feet of rampant unruly blooms everywhere I could place them. When I caught DH mowing their borders to make them tidy, I realized our gardening styles were nowhere near the same. He had some hosta there which were from plants he bought over 40 years before. So I thought, hmmmm, and got the idea while browsing the Plant Delight Nursery catalog to ship some to him up north, before I arrived in June. It was the plantaginea which did me in. It was gorgeous. And the literature said it liked more heat than most hosta. After I came home that fall, I was wondering if I could grow them in Mobile. Come early spring of 2011, I ordered a Fragrant Queen from PDN to put out in Mobile. Then at Lowes one day, I saw real hosta offered for sale, and I got a Winter Snow and a Blue Angel, into the ground beside my Fragrant Queen.
I was beginning to get hosta fever, and while I was up north, I also visited Bob Seawright and his display garden in late September, struck me to the core. It looked to be a simple thing, but to move just 20 plants or so 1500 miles they had to be dormant, and we had to pay for a big PODS to just about empty out the house up north. Essentially, we spent $2400 so I could move my hosta to Alabama, the furniture was inconsequential!

Then late this winter, the January sales, ahhh, so many tempting bargains to be shipped later, no idea how big these things were, or how small, and I kept going. At one point I thought 68 hosta was the total. Now for some reason, if no more bonus plants are included, I will wind up with 137 unique hosta, not counting the ones I bought 3 of or 2 of. My plan is not to own them ALL. Just to grow what I have well.

I must admit that there is a very big yard with a house on it, sort of connected to our back yard, and it is for sale. The house has been empty for as long as we've lived here. Who cares about the house--it is all that nice shade, a garden with a swale in it where water can be sort of dammed up to create a pond with a bridge and plant lots of hosta, have a safe aviary for my parrots, a place devoted to gardening.

Perhaps I should consider that at 75 I am not going to see all these plants mature, but I also remember when I was 35, recently divorced, and felt an incredible rush to do everything before life passed me by. There is a certain bit of acceleration you feel when you try to slow down, or slow down time, and there is not a moment to waste. All we have is our time, and who knows how much of it remains. I'm a big fan of Alfred Lord Tennyson and his Ulysses.

I cannot rest from travel: I will drink
Life to the lees: All times I have enjoy'd
Greatly, have suffer'd greatly, both with those
That loved me, and alone, on shore, and when
Thro' scudding drifts the rainy Hyades
Vext the dim sea..................
I am a part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethro'
Gleams that untravell'd world whose margin fades
For ever and forever when I move.
How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnish'd, not to shine in use!
As tho' to breathe were life! Life piled on life
Were all too little, and of one to me
Little remains: but every hour is saved
From that eternal silence, something more,
A bringer of new things; and vile it were
For some three suns to store and hoard myself,
And this gray spirit yearning in desire
To follow knowledge like a sinking star,
Beyond the utmost bound of human thought.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ulysses

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 1:33AM
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Gesila(MI Z5)

This will be my third season as a hosta addict. It all started the day I realized that a) there are more than two kinds of hostas and b) the only plant I am capable of growing for more than one season are hostas. I started researching the internet about hostas and stumbled upon this forum. I read every single post.

At the end of my first season, I had about 75 varieties and over 325 by the second season. I am at 421 unique varieties this season with a total of about 480 hostas (more if you count the ones in my neighbor's yard and the ones in the park behind me).

I started growing hostas from seeds this past winter and have been growing my seedlings with hydroponics. I'm working on creating a "rabbit resistant" hosta and have dedicated a room in my house to growing my own seedlings.

I like to experiment. I have a whole bed of hostas that I soaked in a bleach solution last year before planting. I was surprised, they all came back this year.

I am also growing them in full sun and am experimenting with cooling them with a mist of water when the temperature gets over 80 degrees.

And, the best thing that hostas have done for me is that increasing my hosta budget was a huge incentive to quit smoking after 35 years. Quitting has added $2,737.50 annually to my hosta budget!


    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 2:12AM
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sandyslopes z5 n. UT

Two things got me... undulata albo marginata and a winter Hosta alphabet.

One early spring morning I found my DH placing paver stones in the vicinity of some hosta that hadn't yet risen. As a beginning gardener, I'd ordered some bareroot hosta (and other things) from one of those catalogs that sold generic plants. You know, one of those where they double the order for a penney.

Some of them grew, and it was when I thought the best of the bunch might be buried under a paver that I realized how much I looked forward to seeing this plant every year. I was so relieved when I saw those little pips breaking ground. Turns out it was a common undulata albo marginata, and I loved it for being so reliable, beautiful, and continuing to grow next to the bbq, ...the reason for the pavers.

The next step was finding this forum and all of you enablers. I'd already been visiting perennials, and noticed hosta had it's own place at Gardenweb. I admit that at first I thought you all were a little over the top about these plants, lol. Hosta Societies, a Hosta Journal, specialty nurseries for hosta, and a website called the Hosta Library. Hmm, what did I stumble onto?

And then, I think it was Ken, started that winter's Hosta Alphabet. As everyone posted their pictures, I began to see the differences and learning about all the variety in the hosta world. On top of that, they all had individual names which appealed to my nurturing side. I started making a list. From then on I was hooked.

I'm more of a cottage gardener with lots of shade, and hosta are an important part of the mix. I'm up to 192 and awaiting some more. My DH doesn't pay much attention to the gardens, but he surprised me the other day by pointing to two hostas in the yard (Liberty & Sagae - good choices!) and declaring that he likes those plants, too! Hosta love, it's contagious!

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 3:38AM
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Frank - what a great idea to post this topic. I see a tiny piece of me in virtually everyones response.


    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 7:38AM
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When I bought my present home 15 years ago, there were a few hosta already planted: Ventricosa, Lancifolia, and another medium green unidentified variety planted in a circle around a maple in the front yard and around a large japanese maple in the backyard.

The ones around the maple in the front did OK the first few years, but then started dwindling so I moved them. Around that same time a neighbor friend of mine bought a house that had the green & white variety, and was kind enough to share when she had to edit her overcrowded beds. I started really seeing what healthy hosta could look like and then found GardenWeb and the beautiful photos posted here and that was it!

Since then I have added about 30 varieties and wish I had space for more and have no desire to stop this addiction. My hosta beds give me peace and satisfaction that is way beyond whatever work it takes - Thanks to all of you for enabling what I hope will be a hobby I can continue forever!


    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 3:31PM
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I fell in love with the big old green one and the green and white one when we moved here and found them, this was preinternet. Gave a bunch of them to the neighbors, loved the look and the ease. I became friends with a woman who was a gardening junkie, and the first summer I saw her backyard I was in awe. MASSIVE old plants in various colors just blew me away, I stood there dumbfounded.
While at Lowe's years ago, I found the COOLEST looking Hosta! It was labeled S and S, but I knew enough to know this must have been a mistake, as the plant, the last one on the shelf, had all these awesome streaky colors going through the leaves. Snapped up that puppy for $5 bucks, sooo happy that I found something unusual.
OOPS! It was different, all right. HVX. :(
When I got my first PC, I swear this is true...the first thing I searched was Hosta. The first site I found was TheHostaPatch.com. I SWOONED. I DROOLED. I was elated and starstruck at the variety.
About 90 hostas later on a city lot, I'm almost out of room and now choosing new varities very carefully. My love affair with them has only become stronger.

Gesila...the only plant you can grow???
I KNOW you can grow these, too!
Once you click, there's no going back!


Here is a link that might be useful: Heuchera forum

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 6:18PM
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Gesila(MI Z5)

Michelle.... nope, I have lost at least 10 Heuchera. The 7 or so that are left are slowly fading away too.


    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 7:10PM
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ilovetogrow z9 Jax Florida

3 year hosta-ette here. I picked up two plants from Kmart one day as they were cute. Planted them up and was happy. Later that summer I picked up this cuter little guy with blue little ears. They did well for me that summer and come fall the blue guy died. The other 2 were looking tired so I rested them for the winter all 3 exposed to the elements of a Florida winter dumped on the back patio. Come February needing a green fix I was poking around the pots to see what was good and darn there were pips there. Even the dead guy. I was thrilled. I had managed to save the tags and they were called Hosta. I have been on and off the GW site for 15 years so I came back and started reading. I did not even know they had names or the the blue guy was Blue Mouse Ears. I now have +75. My son has joined me also. Have a great day all.Paula

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 7:41PM
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marquest(z5 PA)

I purchased a house that was totally shade. I only had one little tiny corner that was sunny for more than 3 hours.

Someone said how about Hostas and Ferns. I said I hate Hostas. All I knew was the green (Ventricosa) light green (Lancifolia ) a green and white and a white and green. (Hosta 'ventricosa Aureomarginata)

Then I started reading forums and found Garden Web and someone said how about a trade. I signed up then I realized no one would want my Ventricosa. Thank goodness I had that much sense after reading how all these Hosta crazy people were talking about them. I had to make a dash to the nursery. I went to a famous Nursery here in my state that someone told me about and I was shocked at the beauty of rows and rows of beautiful Hostas.

The rest as they say is history.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 9:13PM
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They sneaked up on me. I worked at a garden center for years, drug home every new plant that came in, scoured the area for wildflowers, planted a huge herb garden, and even tho the garden center focused some on hostas, I didn't really get hooked on them. Back then, the hosta craze had not really begun yet, there were maybe a couple hundred varieties. I had a few, but I planted them as a part of the composition of a bed rather than the focus, and not for themselves.

It wasn't until I got married to my present DH, who just happened to be the previous owner of the aforesaid garden center, my former boss and best friend, and in the process of selling his house and moving his plants to our garden, we moved some 50 hostas. Which required digging a bed to put them.

Which led to hey, those look pretty cool, First thing I knew, there was another big bed as we extended the garden imto the woods, and we needed plants..........why, hostas would work out here! And maybe some more down this way, lets look for some different varieties....then I found hostalibrary.....and Wow! Look at all of them! We went to Hilltop Farm, talked to our friend Oscar, bought a few, got a few more from some other garden center owner friends, then started looking on line for something new and different. Found designer hostas, Naylor Creek, found the GF, found trouble! Lol!

Even tho I still love to acquire new and different varieties, I have in a way come full circle. I am back to using them as components in designs rather than entire beds of just hostas. I've gotten over having to have them ALL and one of each, and more to groups of a variety as part of the woods gardens as I rearrange and re-invent them this year. The minis are going from having their own bed to being part of the wildflower and moss garden along the dry creek. I've gone from 'where can I put a new hosta bed' to 'how can I use them to set them off with my other plants and trees', and I'm having more fun with hostas than ever!


    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 11:24PM
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kskaren(z5 MO)

As Les said, I can see a bit of myself in almost everyone here. And, I can truly say that you all are to blame for my hosta addiction (and, I might add, my growing heuchera addiction!). Not sure how I found this forum, but I also never knew there were more than the plain green and the green and white ones.

6 years ago when we bought this home with its 1/3-acre shady lot, I began to transplant some Royal Standard, Honeybells, U. Albomarginata and Lancifolia that were growing on the north side of the house, to other areas of the yard. I didn't really have the budget, nor the desire, to add other varieties, but as I would go to the local nursery or even big box stores, I would notice something striking and buy it occasionally. I ended up with probably 10 different varieties before I happened upon this forum somewhere around late 2009.

After reading every single post for more than 65 pages back, I was hopelessly in love. That spring I started buying what I could afford, and try to add about 50 new varieties a year. I now have 145 varieties, with a total of around 200 hostas, counting multiples.

I'm now in the process of planning where I'm going to move those (now huge) clumps of Plain Janes that I planted 5 years ago, in favor of the ones that are on my wish list. I'm still very stingy with my hostas, even the plain ones, and when someone asks if I'm ready to divide, I pretend I don't understand English.

DH just rolls his eyes, and asks if I left us enough money in the bank to buy milk and bread. But I can see that he recognizes how happy these lovelies make me, especially when they first start popping up in the spring, so he lets me be.

That's my story, and I hope my love of hostas doesn't end until they cart me out of here in a box (decorated with hosta leaves, I hope!).

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 11:03AM
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irawon(5a Ottawa)

My DH is to blame for my love affair with hostas. He suggested that they would look fine under the spruce trees planted among the tree roots around which he was having trouble manoevering his tractor to cut the lawn. He moved one hosta from another part of the garden under these trees.

We moved to our present home in the 70's and I became a gardener to beautify our property. I made the same mistakes that many gardeners make. I planted shade loving plants in sun and sun loving plants in shade. I bought a few hostas but abandoned them because of a problem with slugs. I moved them to spots where they weren't center stage.

So this is where the power of suggestion came in. While he was on a golfing holiday I started a little hosta bed. I bought a few hostas from the big box stores and while researching them on the internet I came across HVX. My 'Krossa Regals' were infected. I returned them to the local big box store and they refunded my money. I've only had one other variety ('Blue Cadet") infected since then.

My first hosta gatden was comprised of the old cultivars. I enlarged the bed while researching some of the newer varieties and added those (Aristocrat, High Society, Touch of Class) which were only newer vareties to me. I don't know how or when I was introduced to the various hosta forums and the Hosta Library. I lurked for some time before joining in.

Anyway my love of hosta gardening has been made difficult because my hosta beds are all under evergreen trees but that hasn't deterred me. I am now growing over 250 varieties and loving every one of them. My hosta expenses are matched by my DH's passtimes. I don't deny his and he doesn't deny mine. The only difference is that he enjoys the results of mine whereas I can't enjoy the results of his.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 10:06PM
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vicky_sheboygan(zone 5)

I got into hostas because I was sad... I was recently divorced, my sister and mom died unexpectedly a few weeks apart, and it was a long Wisconsin winter. I needed something to look at that was alive and green, so late one night when I couldn't sleep, I looked for plants online. I had always wanted to grow one of those really big hostas, but didn't know what they were called, so I googled "really big hosta," which led me to websites and photos and this forum. I had no idea...

Without knowing what I was doing I ordered five: Liberty because someone named Papou loved it and he had pictures of beautiful gardens; Pilgrim, Dance With Me, June Fever and Great Expectations. That was in the winter of 2008.

I read every message on this forum, and lurked for a long time before I ever dared write something -- but felt a connection and a similar joy that comes from watching these beautiful plants come alive in the spring. I have limited space, but have started digging up the grass -- I must have over 100 different varieties by now.

Through this forum I discovered that there were local growers, that there were "societies" of all things, and that there were lots of people who REALLY loved hostas.

My kids roll their eyes, and say "you love your hostas more than you love us!" (which on some days might be true) or "why do you look at pictures of hostas on the computer when you can go outside and look at them?" I tell them someday they will be just like me and they will love them too.

Hostas are beautiful, easy, they don't complain, they do their best to grow even in the worst conditions -- I left one out of the ground all winter and it still came back just fine -- what's not to love?

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 10:22PM
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newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada

I was browsing previous postings and found this one. I loved reading each of your personal stories. Here is mine (a bit late, but what the heck)!

I've always liked to garden. It brings me joy to see something flourish.

I do not recall where or when I got my common hostas. I have been in my current house for over 25 years. (Yes, I am that old.) I remember going to a nursery and seeing other better looking ones (maybe 5-10 years ago). I purchased a few "newer" ones like Fortunei Aureomarginata, Wide Brim and one other one. I didn't know that there were so many different hostas and that the nurseries didn't carry all of them.

Life seemed pretty good until we began a journey in our lives that would last almost five years---a part of life filled with illness, hospitals, nursing homes and then death (my father and father-in-law). As if that were not enough, the will settlement began---a stressful nightmare. So when I was able to pick myself up again, there was a "nice" hosta in my garden that I realized just hadn't been growing very well. So in spring of 2011 I took about half of it, potted it and placed it in more sunlight. And that hosta put on such a fantastic show---it blew my socks off! And that was the beginning of my love of hostas. So what was that particular hosta I potted?---Great Expectations.

I especially relate to leafwatcher "So I have been looking after my Mom, which seems to make any job seem unimportant in comparison" and moccasinlanding's view "My plan is not to own them ALL. Just to grow what I have well."

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 10:34PM
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jan_on zone 5b

Hi Newhostalady - this was a great thread. Thanks for reviving it, and for sharing your story. After a full planting/growing season many of the plant counts here are probably quite out of date!! Once people have enough down time to do a final tally we should start a new 'head count'.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 11:03AM
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MadPlanter1 zone 5

I started with "the green and white" one, purchased at a garage sale. I picked up an Elegans the same way, and they moved with me to our house in the woods 18 years ago. I picked up a few more at Walmart and Menards: three Sagae, which took forever to look like anything and three Sum and Substance. Then I found Blue Angel, Abiqua Drinking Gourd, Patriot, Clifford's Comet and Clifford's Stingray. Most were planted in multiples, and they made a nice landscape. As the years went on, I'd see a hosta I liked, always at a big box store, a garage sale, or at a 2 day fund raising sale in April. Somewhere I turned from "hostas all look alike" to "ooh, look at THAT one". Then I started reading the hosta forum, discovered hosta nurseries, and it's been all downhill ever since. Last year I dug the brush out of a big chunk of the woods so I could have a specimen area, and this year convinced myself $80.00 wasn't too much for Gunther's Prize. Even the horrible year we've had hasn't cured my lust for "just a few more". Yup, I've caught hostaholism. The picture's just part of what I hauled home from a trip to Iowa this summer.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 4:19PM
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gardenfanatic(MO zone5b)

I miss Frank. I did a double take when I saw his name at the top of the page.


    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 8:37PM
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Babka NorCal 9b

Gardenfanatic- I did the same thing. I miss Frank. Does anyone know what circumstances caused his sudden departure? I know "stuff" happens, but he flat out sold all his hostas and went away. After all his hard, hard work making room for them. His Empress Wu probably ate him.


    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 11:46PM
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I miss Frank a lot, too. The lovely pictures and all of his so creative ideas. I wish that I had discovered the forum sooner so that I could have enjoyed his contributions longer. I, too, have wondered what happened in his life to cause his leaving the hosta world. Whatever it is/was, I hope that he's finding his way and doing OK.

Wishing you well, Frank.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 9:48AM
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Seems I missed this last spring, so here goes.

It's really easy-peasy. Back in '95 one of my wife's sisters gave her 3 'K-Mart' Hostas and told her to plant them in the shade. That was easy since our entire front and side yards are a pine forest. My wife enjoyed the splash of green in an otherwise boring brown pine needle yard, and has since pretty much filled it all up with Hostas. O.K., there is some more room in the west yard area, but the seedlings are starting to expand into that zone. At this point, the almost 2 acres of plants are about all that can be kept up with, watering-wise, during a dry spell, so I've been suggesting to her that we replace duplicates (just how many June do you need ;-) with any newbies she gets.

Only time will tell...


    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 6:47PM
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Love this posting and unlike you all, I still feel like I am not the hooked type even when I turn on my computer in the morning make the coffee, check the emails,facebook and the hosta forum. My last Last beds were made this past fall so now I would like to see what I really planted and wonder where the heck I will be putting all the large and giant ones once they have hit their true size. I think I may have got caught up in the moments and sales but it is such a thrill to see the different varieties and changes through out the season. Myrle got me started when I saw her beautiful Niagara Falls and her June and it was all up hill from there. Now being close to the 200 mark I think I had best coast for a while and enjoy what I can water and look after. As HH says only time will tell

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 12:10PM
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1995. New (old) house. Small city lot. Mostly shade. Zero gardening experience. I want roses. Peonies. Delphiniums. I know nothing. Hire a landscaper for the front yard. He keeps saying the word "hosta". I don't like hostas. Not enough colour. What a rookie. He's seen it all before. He gives me 2 years of "being a gardener" before I discover what every gardener eventually learns. Forget the flashy colours. Colour doesn't last. It's all about texture. Wonderful leafy shapes and textures. That's what makes a garden. Of course he was right. He dug the hosta hole and I fell into the bottomless pit. With a smile on my face.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 3:21PM
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does anyone else recognize denial, teehee?

    Bookmark   December 13, 2012 at 12:35AM
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