North Gardens - tune up discussion

paul_in_mn(4b)July 8, 2014

Someone asked for pics of my garden, so combined pics and a bit of talking aloud about changes I've been thinking about.

Expanded my North Gardens a few years ago (2011) to make room for my potted purchases. Older pre-expansion areas have starting to get a bit overrun with ground covers and shade has gotten denser. Here is pre-expansion pic.

Newer addition is out to about tree drip line, so bright shade and seem to be good conditions for hosta.

I've rescued a few hosta that needed better light to this area, but I'm now to point where need to move a few and tune up the colors. Also planted quite a few seedlings from 2011 to fill out the bed. Some have earned a place and some will need to be moved.

Krossa Regal, Jaz, Fire Opal and Blue Cade anchor this side...quite a few light colors together in this border each a bit different....solid, margins and size. At least one in the border needs to be changes and maybe two.....I have Blue Flame (Fragrant Blue sport - soft blue with cream margins) that is getting squeezed that might look good along the border.

Next pics flow to the right in the garden.....Lakeside Shore Master I really like toward the front.....the two big yellows may need to be moved due to future size - one a nice seedling of On Stage that keeps its color(to right) and the other is a Captain's Adventure (Gold Standard genes) tissue culture that probably should have been culled in production, but growth and color are great.

Blue Flame is in the middle and mentioned for possible border in a prior pic, I didn't figure the yellow to the left would get so big. The dark centered one is Dark Shadows and from tour gardens I expect this to get big.

This is the next section to the right - need a bright in the upper left quadrant amongst all those blue-greens... There are a couple of smaller trees that will be removed and this will brighten area a bit more.

Mostly smalls or sm-med in this area. Sitting pretty is getting overgrown and may need removal, but overall this area is good for me. Lots of texture and decent scale to each other.

The big light green seedling toward the middle is probably getting moved out, along with Christmas Pageant next to it. CP is getting ratty edges and too similar and close to the brighter edged Patriot. Thinking about moving one of the Striptease sports like Gypsy Rose to this spot. Also the two side by side yellows...the bigger leaf is another seedling and will get removed.

Lots of future big hosta in this area - Hoosier Dome and Blue Mammoth and behind it along with Krugerrand are the anchors. The blue-green seedling in front of Krugerrand is a keeper as well.

I think the solids don't get considered enough in hosta centric gardens....sometimes too much bright variations in an area look busy for my tastes. The solids help to set up adjoining hostas.

Thanks for taking a look. Please share your thoughts and ideas.


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Don B.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 5:44PM
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I was the one who asked for pics of your gardens. Thanks, really enjoyed looking. You have lots of very nice hosta.

You sound like me, every time I walk through my garden I start talking to myself "that's getting too big, maybe I should move it over there, and put this other one in its spot, but then that leaves a hole, so what could I put there?, too many variegated next to each other, need some solids,.." and on and on.....

I also agree, I like the solid colored ones, it just seems I keep buying variegated this year and then searching for a spot to put them in.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 6:56PM
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This is just beautiful. I like the dabs of colour from the impatiens tucked in there.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 7:33PM
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hostatakeover swMO(6a)

Sorry I took so long to respond, Paul. Think I fainted after seeing your beautiful beds! Wow, are they gorgeous! Just the perfect mix of solids, variegated, blues, golds, greens and like Marta said, dabs of color from the impatiens.

That's a Hosta garden with genuine WOW factor tilled in.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 7:51PM
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hosta_freak(z6 NC)

Beautiful gardens,Paul! But,aren't you in Minnesota? Wouldn't ALL of your gardens be north gardens? Lol! Phil

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 9:15AM
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A progression pic Sept '13 to Jul '14


    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 10:09AM
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I've returned to look at the photos of your garden several times because there is something just wonderful about your arrangement that I'd like to put my finger on and try to get happening in my garden too. These photos of your expanded bed have really inspired me.

The pre-expansion photo is so... regular. Small cute ones in front, big beefy ones in the back, all lined up and arranged like a kindergarten class photo.

I am just smitten with the photos of your expansion. The jumble of contrasting sizes, textures, and colours is marvelous. My first post noted the companion impatiens in particular, but that's just because they add an obvious "pop." But that's not it.

You have something more subtle going on that I particularly like. It took some looking to realize that your "secret" (probably not to you) is that you have created paths to separate clusters of plants. This leads your eyes and maybe even your feet past the front row and draws you right in. It FLOWS. And it's not obvious. It resists the temptation to tuck another plant into a perceived "space".

What also appeals to me very much is that it looks all jumbled yet tidy both at the same time. How do you keep the lawn from encroaching?

Thanks for sharing your beautiful garden. When mine grows up, I hope some of it will look a bit like yours. :o)

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 10:27AM
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Phil, true ;-) some we are Midwest or Flyoverland. I wish I could get my west garden to grow like this west garden gets limited light - I call it 'the place where hosta go to get smaller and languish or die garden' seems a bit long though don't you think.


    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 10:28AM
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jays_gw(2b Sask.)

Lovely gardens, Paul! Could you tell me the name of the small, narrow-leafed hosta in the 3rd to last photo?


    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 10:39AM
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irawon(5a Ottawa)

Gorgeous hostas Paul. I've looked at them over and over before posting, trying to identify some of them, to see if I have any and what I would do. Wonderful colour combinations.You transition your hostas exeedingly well. I'm still learning. Love your nice and full...mine is slow filling in. I see quite a few hostas that I would like to get.

You asked for opinions and suggestions:

Picture # 7. I wouldn't move that light green seedling, if you don't mind my saying so. It ties the two hostas on either side so nicely echoes the edge on the one on the left and the center of the one on the right. I can see Gypsy Rose in there somewhere. I have trouble integrating the white and green hostas with the yellow and green ones. Looking forward to seeing what you do.

Pic #5: For the bright one are you thinking of an upright? What about one of the Sagae sports? Or L Cindy Cee or Simply Sharon? Or Emerald Ruff Cut? Or Arc de Triomphe?

I'm looking forward to see your fine tuning, Paul. Are you waiting for next spring? BTW, your seedlings are definitely keepers, every one, IMHO. Love the shade of the blue/green one.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 11:05AM
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Marta, thanks for all the nice comments and insights...I like paths that make me look ahead to what is around the corner. Yellows and curves lead my eyes. The original border I was buying plants that I could get cheap and dividing Paradigms and Blue Cadets to fill the area.....then as I discovered more local and internet sources the gardens had to get bigger and the opportunity to revamp. I'm at the point where I probably have more hosta than I have good areas to plant them if I were to spread them out a bit, so my buying has really slowed down.

Here's a pick from 2008 of the pre-expansion area....currently it needs reworking as it has become more shady and less vigorous.

And here's 2005 after clearing all the buckthorn and scrub (laying out on the lawn ahead of me)....I'm standing just past the curve in the path above.


    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 11:17AM
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Thistle and Maize(Zone 5a- Eastern IA)

I just love those flip flop stepping stones. I want some for my garden now! I imagine I could make them even once I figure out how to make a flip flop shaped mold. Just beautiful. Love those iron gate sections too. I love seeing other people's gardens - so much inspiration and idea sharing.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 11:21AM
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Jays, the narrow yellow wavy leafed hosta is Curly Fries - pick below is last year, just moved it 2 weeks ago to give it some room

Is that the one you were asking about?

irawon, thanks for the comments and suggestions. I'll have to review what I have that is bright that I could move....have most of those you mentioned (lost Simply Sharon in a pot to winter) plus Celestial, Cuyahoga, Ivory Coast, Earth Angel and a couple of others that could use some light.

ThistleAndMaize....I think the flip flops were from a craft show. Always adding something, was looking for a revolving kinetic metal piece to add this spring, but decided too slow.


    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 11:57AM
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You always have a vision and you are always working toward fulfilling it. How wonderful it would be to have "seedlings" the size of those you show us. Especially all those big GOLD HOSTA. ....sigh....

And I think you are right that Dark Shadows gets to be quite large. I bought two of them. The older one is getting some size on it since it arrived in 2012. It is on the Fragrant Flowered Hosta list, so of course I had to get it. I also like dark greens, and this one has nothing but green tones.

I'm also looking at lighting up major pathways by a gradation of golds. I think the colors persist until real nightfall, and the reflection of a lighter leaf makes it nice to walk out of the garden without stumbling. I truly do not want to interfere with the night pollinators and fireflies, and thus keep my solar lights to a minimum. But in deep shade areas the batteries don't recharge all that dependably anyway. When I expect a visitor to walk through the garden, I have the individual lights out in the sun all day and tote them under my arm to pivotal pathway points (love alliteration, don't you?) to show what is next....or WHERE is next. I've checked those lights up in the wee hours, and they stay operable for a long time when given a good dose of sun on a clear day.

Love the way you chose to take out some of the sapling trees as you developed your bed expansions. Less problems in future years because it would be overcrowded, and nature would take some out at an inconvenient time for you.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 12:04PM
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jays_gw(2b Sask.)

Yes, it was the 'Curly Fries' I was asking about. A distinctive hosta & perfectly placed in your garden.


    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 1:13PM
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