Newbie Here with pic

DelawareDonna(7A)June 12, 2013

Hi Hostanistas -I've been lurking around for awhile, and I'm fascinated with your knowledge, passion and devotion to your hosta collections as you seek the latest and greatest. I love the photos (do your hosta get a bath before a photo shoot?

I live in an active retirement community. Years ago they installed a walking path around the perimeter of the community creating an unsightly island (filled with weeds and a few other sad, straggly azaleas and forthysia bushes along with a lilac bush that never bloomed) under a canopy of trees forty feet from my front door.

Four years ago, I rescued two hostas that were planted behind a park bench and one of my own continuing to clean up an area whose soil is riddled with roots and stones. I received permission from the grounds committee to create a small hosta garden for the residents to enjoy at my expense. Three years ago I started planting. It was difficult digging holes, and I just plopped them into the ground and filled in with the existing soil.

Last year the committee removed the stragglers on the right side of the garden. The two year plants are going great. This year I've planted 11 new hostas: Dream Queen, Dancing Queen, Devon Green, ADG, Orange Marmalade, Linda Sue, Independence, Revolution, Golden Tiara, and Royal Standard. Looking forward to next year.

The hostas get morning sun, and always point in that direction. The island has a small downward slope. I've planted some astilbe, daylilies and ajuga, also.

Lucky for me - no deer, no voles, no slugs, few insects - not so lucky with the bird poop, though.

The hosta are not spaced closely. They stay were they lay. I'm too old to divide and conquer.

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Welcome, Donna. I really like what you've done with that area. Looks like a perfect place for hosta. We love pics here, as you've gathered, so feel free to send more anytime!

Don B.
Westminster, CO.

P.S....If bird poop is your biggest nemesis in your garden, you're doin' OK! : )

This post was edited by Don_in_Colorado on Wed, Jun 12, 13 at 21:25

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 9:21PM
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chris-e(7 MD)

Wow Donna, What a great thing you have done for the community! Your garden looks great. It's a good thing you didn't plant too closely, I did that at first and have spent too much time since then moving them. It's a real pain in the back!

Thanks for sharing.


    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 9:23PM
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That's a really lovely bed you've created there!

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 9:37PM
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Hi Donna, I just love what you've done. I like the dig a hole and plop em in approach too. I just recently joined the forum myself and have gotten loads of advice from the folks here. Only problem is I want every hosta I see. Thanks for sharing your pics and welcome. WW

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 9:58PM
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newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada

This retirement community is lucky to have you beautifying the property! You have done a great job. Keep planting the hosta with a lot of space between them. You can always plant a perennial or something should the empty space not get filled up in time.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 10:11PM
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Hey, Donna. I just replied on your other post, and I scroll down to see this more detailed version of the landscape photo.

You have done a beautiful job with this space. "Brighten the corner where you are" is always a good motto.

In recent days, you are the third gardener posting here who took steps to beautify a public or community space. Ultimately, you must do it to please yourself, since not everyone in every case gives two cents for beauty or appreciates the efforts expended without HAVING TO or being paid to do it. Sadly, some folks are thinking, "Why bother."
The joy of doing it to please yourself is its own reward.

Glad you are sticking around and broke your silent mode.
Are you thinking about other projects now? Any ideas?
Is there a Keep America Beautiful chapter in your area? I'm sure they would be interested in a volunteer with your skills. Not all jobs are heavy ones, you know. If you have a county extension agent, sometimes they can advise you of groups needing volunteers for community projects. An interested involved skilled gardener is a treasured volunteer.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 1:55AM
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stoc zone 6 sweden

That looks really nice,you did a great job!

    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 2:35AM
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Donna. . .What a wonderful area you have created! Very nice!!
Watch it now. . that ole hostamania can strike at any age. . lol
Oh yeah, you probably had slugs. . they were just 'recycled' in the form of 'fertilizer' via the birds. . the perks of feeding those chirpers. . lol One year I had green herons in my garden. They nested under Frances Williams and by the end of the season she looked like a birthday cake. . . .Boyo, was she ever increased in size the next year. . .hahaha
Thanks for sharing the fruits of your labor!

    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 4:53AM
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Gesila(MI Z5)

What a wonderful job you've done. The hostas seem to thrive in that bed.

Welcome to the forum!


    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 5:07AM
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Thanks for all your lovely comments. I have been a passionate gardener for at least 40 years. I'm an oldie and a newbie, Ha!
I've also created beautiful spring and summer gardens around my home. You know how it is. I spend hours just looking, deadheading, etc. When the daylillies bloom, I go out every morning and remove the spent blooms so everything look fresh. I'm not crazy here because you're all do the same thing! Moccasinlanding you have a good suggestion. I might look into that.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 10:30AM
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Wow, I never thought about my hosta being improved by the wild birds coming to my garden. Naturally, I feed the birds, and place bird baths and water bowls on the ground as well, for the turtles.

One thing you may think about doing at your retirement community is having it certified as a wildlife habitat. Or , choose to go the route of a Bird Friendly Habitat. You get the signs after filling out the check list of what qualifies you, and then you pay something like $35 to get the sign....from the National Wildlife Federation. My small garden is certified for both Wildlife and Bird Friendly. The biggest stumbling block for my qualification was a pile of brush. That is what gives cover for the rabbits and other more timid wildlife. But we used the neighbor's brush pile just on the other side of the fence, and she leaves it there permanently. Screened from view by our jasmine climbing the fence, and with vines crawling all over it, you'd never know it was there.

May I suggest for your Hosta Island, a water basin sitting on the ground, which a turtle could get access to? Last summer, during the droughty dry times, they were dying of thirst. And a high birdbath is not accessible to them. The one visiting my garden tried to suck moisture from a brick and the wet dirt. S/he never ate a hosta. They do eat garden pests....and tomatos and strawberries, but not enough to hurt.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 11:16AM
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Unfortunately there are deed restrictions in a condo community. We are limited to two pots per patio. In years past we were allowed two bird feeders, but were forced to remove them because they drew "varmits." My son gave me a lovely Victorian wind song bird feeder years ago as a gift. It had two monitors - one in the feeder and a portable one for the house. You could hear the birds feeding and chirping. It was wonderful. It stood for ten years until the condo council decided it had to be removed.

There was a red fox strolling through the hosta garden last night. There are folks out here who will not use the walking path for fear of running into one. The other day a badger came running out of the woods and last week a large turtle crossed my lawn. The next morning there was dirt scattered where she decided to lay her eggs and uprooted my petunias in the process. I think its wonderful, but the chances of having this declared a wildlife habitat even though it is are NIL.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 11:35AM
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ilovetogrow z9 Jax Florida

Welcome Donna, you have done a wonderful job.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 1:03PM
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jan_on zone 5b

Way to go Donna! Dedicated gardeners are pretty creative in finding ways to garden no matter where they hang their hat! And you have found a way that can be enjoyed by lots of your neighbours. Whenever my husband and I discuss downsizing, leaving the yard is the real stumbling block - a smaller house would be fine, but I can't leave the hostas! You have found a wonderful way to express your passion.
Happy digging!

    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 2:40PM
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chris-e(7 MD)

People are afraid of a fox? Our neighborhood has them wandering through here all the time and I haven't heard of anything bad happening. They usually just run from people.

Now the man three houses up from me bought Guinea Fowl three summers ago because he had heard that they eat stink bugs. I don't know if that is true but I do know what around here eats Guinea Fowl!


    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 9:10PM
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Foxes have controlled the rampant bunny population that were eating my flowers. As a matter of fact they are practically extinct now.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 10:19PM
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idiothe(4 MN)

nice work!

Now you mention rescuing hostas from behind a park bench... any chance of rescuing the bench as well? Such a pretty hosta garden along a walking path should have a bench to rest on and enjoy the view...

    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 10:27PM
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    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 8:22AM
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Lady, you are amazing! That is a marvelous spot to have a bench. You now have yourself a PARK, because all it lacked before was a bench to be one.

We call them "pocket parks" here in Mobile. Is that the usual term for a small jewel-like space?

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 11:25AM
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idiothe(4 MN)

as the youngsters say... Suh-weet!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 11:31AM
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