Top 10 'Must-Have' Hostas

ptilda(3/4)July 1, 2009

I'm fairly new to serious Hosta collecting, although I've been growing them on a lesser level for 20 years. So, I'm interested in hearing the "Top 10" lists from the old-hands here in the Hosta world, so I know which ones I should be looking for...

To start off, here's my OWN top 10, and keep in mind, these are the ones I currently HAVE, not the ones I WANT. In addition, these are all young plants, added to my collection within the last 3 years:

  1. ('Cause that's how Letterman does it)

Twist of Lime (for it's compact mini-size, brilliant color, and extremely fast growth)

9. Gold Standard (color, again, and size)

8. Fortunei Albopicta (for the markings and unique growth, but It grows SO slowly!)

2008

2009 (same plant, no divisions)

7. Lakeside Little Gem (ADORABLE! And fast growing, and it gets these gorgeous degrees of green-to-blue hues)

6. Blue Cadet (one of the most gorgeous blues I've ever seen, neat medium size, and decent growth)

5. Golden Tiara (gorgeous color, great growth, a perfect focal point)

4. Regal Splendor (amazing color, interesting upright growth, great size)

2008

2009

3. Queen Josephine (slow growth & medium size allows it to be put in a focal point, beautiful patent leather sheen, lovely color)

2. Paul's Glory (show-stopper, large leaves, gorgeous texture & coloring)

1. Tokudama Flavocircinalis (coloring, size, texture (as plant matures))

2008

2009

Of course, this list will likely change tomorrow, and CERTAINLY will change by next year. I can't wait to see what you all have!

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paul_in_mn(4b)

Ptilda, can't do it - got to top 20 but thats it, and only one is a 09 purchase (Popcorn) and one from 08 (Guardian Angel) - so gonna get even tougher next year as they mature.

Top Twenty Hosta (not in order)

Row 1 - Aristocrat, Blue Arrow, Dream Weaver, Fair Maiden
Row 2 - Frances Williams, Golden Prayers, Guardian Angel, Jimmy Crack Corn
Row 3 - June, Liberty, Love Pat, Montana Aureomarginata
Row 4 - Paradigm, Popcorn, Sagae, Striptease
Row 5 - Sun Power, Whirlwind, Wide Brim, Krossa Regal

I'm just a wimp to cut those last 10 - lol.

Paul

    Bookmark   July 1, 2009 at 11:34PM
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ptilda(3/4)

How cool! NONE of yours were mine... which means you obviously have a much more exquisite taste in Hosta! lol But I have both June and Striptease on their way to me (along with a dozen others), so I'm SUPER excited about that.

Can you give me an idea of why these are your favorites? I don't need all the dirty details, just an overview of what you look for in a "favorite".

    Bookmark   July 1, 2009 at 11:47PM
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caliloo(z6/7)

My Top 20 tonight (subject to change tomorrow or whenever I see someone elses list) if you only want 10 - sort them in a random order. I am not cutting any of them off the list!

Sagae
June
Blue Mouse Ears
Whirlwind
Guacamole
Royal Standard
Regal Splendor
Liberty
Stained Glass
Old Glory
El Capitan
Cameo
Little Doll
Halcyon
El Nino/ First Frost (either one)
Olive Bailey Langdon
Savannah Supreme
Guardian Aangel
Rainforest Sunrise
Niagara Falls
Inniswood

Alexa

    Bookmark   July 1, 2009 at 11:55PM
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paul_in_mn(4b)

I don't know about taste - unless you consider box wide exquisite - lol. Twist of Lime is on my short list for '10. I love Gold Standard, Regal Splendor, and Paul's Glory; my Toku Flavo is too young, but I know for some this is one of the most beautiful hosta.

Alright here goes for reasons-

Aristocrat - dusty grey blue with nice margin as matures - some struggle with this one
Blue Arrow - Great leaf and mound shape, holds blue for me, good grower
Dream Weaver - Not great grower for me, but great leaves - think more sun would help - I think DonR and Papou have huge specimens
Fair Maiden - Variety of Colors is beautiful and not common - can be finicky, a bit thin so can look worn later in season
Frances Williams - Great Colors, Leaf Size, Presence - burns easily for many, but usually pretty clear of burn for me
Golden Prayers - like this more each year - getting pebbled look and holds color pretty well, smaller
Guardian Angel - whats not to like - growing well, colors, texture
Jimmy Crack Corn - Deep veins, wavy, pointed, just have to look at this one when I walk by
June - Good grower, color, changes nice form, must have
Liberty - great spring color, must have
Love Pat - nice dusted blue that holds for me, good consistent cupping, growing well, wife's name
Montana Aureomarginata - the one I look for (notice) in every hosta garden - see a mature one and you'll know why
Paradigm - Texture, colors, changes color, handle sun, good grower for me
Popcorn - new for me in 09, love the small look, nice substance, great colors - hope it keeps current color even gets better
Sagae - must have, vase shape, margins cut into center color
Striptease - 1st one showed hvx when getting bigger - then bought nice sized end of season - this year, wow! Nice mound and color.
Sun Power - Made a jump over last two years - nice form, wavy edges, long pointed leaves, color
Whirlwind - pointed twisting, cream/misty green center, very different and unique
Wide Brim - as it is maturing with wider margins and textured leaves I just like it better each year.
Krossa Regal - tall, nice dusty blue early, Vase Shape. Another of the see a mature one and you'll want one.

I've added a lot of wavy/rippled edges so I know this list will change quite a bit as those mature.

Paul

    Bookmark   July 2, 2009 at 12:34AM
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paul_in_mn(4b)

can't proofread either - make that box wine not wide.

Paul

    Bookmark   July 2, 2009 at 12:37AM
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melati(5)

My top 10 tonight
Earth Angel
Sagae
Liberty
Regal Splendor
Rainforest Sunrise
Tattoo
Jewel Of The Nile
Gold Standard
June
Spilt Milk

    Bookmark   July 2, 2009 at 12:43AM
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mary52zn8tx

These are my favorites this year. How about top 30? I cheated even more by listing families. Sorry, I couldn't go any lower.

June/ Touch of Class/ Ann Kulpa/ Halcyon
Blue Mouse Ears
Guacamole/ Tortilla Chip/ Stained Glass
Krossa Regal/ Regal Splendor/ Regal Promenade
Liberty/ Majesty/ Sagae
Old Glory
Brother Ronald
Silver Bay
Blue Jay
Bressingham Blue
Millennium
El Nino/ First Frost
Olive Bailey Langdon
Earth Angel/Guardian Angel/ Blue Angel
Maui Buttercups/Rainforest Sunrise
Bright Lights/ Tok. Flavo.
Abiqua Recluse/ Paradigm (Slow for me but getting there)
Sum and Substance
Potomac Pride
Jade Cascade
Mount Everest (great grower this year)
Alex Summers
Alligator Shoes
Ventricosa Areomarginata
War Paint
Golden Meadows
Golden Waffles/ Golden Sculpture
Spilt Milk
Dream Queen/ Thunderbolt

    Bookmark   July 2, 2009 at 7:27AM
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frdshox3

Top 10 must haves: (only 10 ;( ! )

1. Kossa Regal
2. Regal Splendor
3. Sagae
4. Blue Cadet
5. Dream Weaver
6. Gold Standard
7. Sum & Sub
8. Gand Tiara (any Tiara)
9. Gaucamole

  1. Earth Angel (any large blue)

Just a list of the basic Hosta many of us had as a start to our obsession...

    Bookmark   July 2, 2009 at 8:34AM
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dbowemd(z5 OH)

Your hosta labeled #8 albopicta is not labeled correctly.
It looks like Great Expectations to me. There are a few look alikes to GE, but definitely is not Albopicta.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2009 at 10:07AM
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Pieter zone 7/8 B.C.

Your hosta labeled #8 albopicta is not labeled correctly.
It looks like Great Expectations to me. There are a few look alikes to GE, but definitely is not Albopicta.

I'm with Dave on this one, soon as I saw the picture and then the comment about its growth, GE has a reputation for being a slow grower, none of the Fortunei family are that I know of.

On to my top 10 list, in no particular order:

Blue Mouse Ears - I call it my desert island Hosta
Holy Mouse Ears - see a theme here....
Sea Octopus
June
Maui Buttercups
Fire Island
Monashee Blue Cup
Blue Moon
Dream Queen
Twisting The Night Away

I'll go hunt for some pix and will post those later...

    Bookmark   July 2, 2009 at 10:59AM
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melati(5)

Here're my top-10 pics.. with cpl extra's LOL!!!

a young Liberty.. hope she get bigger soon :)

    Bookmark   July 2, 2009 at 6:04PM
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ptilda(3/4)

Melati, I assume that #5 on the left is Tattoo? I can not quite make out the label & there does not seem to be a name on the photo itself.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2009 at 6:44PM
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melati(5)

Yes Ptilda... not enough sun this year to brighten the colors.. so the tattoo on the leaves are not as visible... hope July will be better... it rained 21 days out of 30 in June lol!!!

    Bookmark   July 2, 2009 at 8:12PM
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botanybabe

Here are my top 12 must haves for any garden. Some are oldies but there are so many fabulous new ones that far surpass the oldies that I prefer them:

1. Sum and Substance
2. Blue Mammoth
3. Jewel of the Nile
4. Rainforest Sunrise
5. June
6. Queen of the Seas
7. Embroidery
8. Liberty
9. Grand Tiara

  1. Sea Fire
  2. Pineapple Upside Down Cake
  3. Fair Maiden

Bear in mind that I'm not crazy about greens with white or gold edges, unless they are magnificent. That's why Fair Maiden and Liberty make the list.

Lainey

    Bookmark   July 2, 2009 at 11:57PM
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greenthumbz4mn

Here goes with my top ten [plus] list:
Montana Aureomarginata--outstanding vase shape, size, colors
Yellow River--same as above
Blue Cadet--a wonderful blue, neat size, grows fast, gorgeous blooms
June--great colors and shape--slug proof--very dependable
Striptease--wonderful colors--fast grower--nice sized
Shade Fanfare--I have never seen a more exciting green in a hosta
Dream Queen/Thunderboldt--visitors always ask what their names are--very striking in color , size, and form
Royal Standard: magnificent size, color, adaptability--gorgeous aromatic flowers
Patriot--every garden needs the pop that only a green and white Hosta offers
Liberty--the biggest "eye popper" of all
Sun Power--every garden also needs a large gorgeous dependable yellow
Spilt Milk--I love the uniqueness of the colors --and the name of this H

Now when is someone going to ask for a top 50 list--that would be so easy!!! LOL Mary

    Bookmark   July 3, 2009 at 11:37PM
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Janice

Hmmm, only 10?

Okay--my list will confirm so many others:

Sagae
Regal Splendor
Krossa Regal
Jewel of the Nile
Summer Breeze
Cutting Edge
Sum and Substance
Blue Angel
Earth Angel
Guardian Angel
Paradigm
August Moons (many of them)
June
Halcyon
Jimmy Crack Corn
SunPower
Dick Ward
Stain Glass
Liberty
Parhelion
Titanic
Wolverine
Fragrant Bouquet

Okay--that's 23--sorry--I don't think I can eliminate a one of them either!

    Bookmark   July 3, 2009 at 11:49PM
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Janice

Oops--I didn't mention 'Fragrant Blue' (gotta have it) and 'First Frost' (another must have)

Okay--so it's up to 25--I COULD go to 40 easily!!!

    Bookmark   July 3, 2009 at 11:55PM
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joebar(pnw8)

top ten:

striptease
kiwi full monty
liberty
patriot
june
gypsy rose
key lime pie
risky business
brother steven
sagae

    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 11:20PM
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ken_apolloconcepts_com

Here is my must have list...which I have
1. Liberty
2. Great Expectations
3. Touch of Class
4. Golden Tiara
5. Captain Kirk
6. Stained Glass
7. Sum and Substance
8. Blue Angel
9. Royal Standard

  1. .....Williams
    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 7:47AM
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on_greenthumb

Thanks for the shopping list guys ;)

LOL - my favs are different yet again (and in no order, order changes daily):

1. NOID (I know helpful right - but I posted a pic yesterday asking for the ID)
2. June
3. Night Before Christmas
4. Captain Kirk
5. Blue Mouse Ears
6. Patriot
7. Gold Standard
8. First Frost
9. Spilled Milk

  1. Paul's Glory
    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 7:55AM
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on_greenthumb

How could I have missed Lovepat (hubbie's name), Dream Queen and Dream Weaver.....

I should just admit that I love them all....only one that's been a really slow grower for me is Sum and Substance....but even then I don't dislike it.....*sigh*

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 7:58AM
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franknjim

1) Empress Wu
2) Lemon Lime, Twist fo Lime, Lemon Frost
3) Pineapple Upsidedown Cake, Pineapple Punch, Pineapple Juice, Pineapple Poll
4) Dark Star
5) Ani Machi aka Geisha
6) Cherry Berry
7) All Mice
8) Blue Ivory
9) Tequila Sunrise
10)Samual Blue

  1. Clovelly
    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 8:13AM
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Steve Massachusetts Zone 5b

1. Blue Angel (IMO, the best big blue)
2. Sum and Substance (grows for me in all day sun)
3. Sagae (right at the entrance to my garden)
4. Liberty
5. montana Aureomarginata
6. June
7. Dancing Queen (right now it dominates my deck)
8. Lakeside Cha Cha
9. Regal Splendor

  1. Dawn's Early Light, Key West, Mississippi Delta, Brother Stefan or anything else that Olga Petryszyn creates.

This list may change next month.

Steve

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 8:27AM
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KaylyRed(5a)

My top 10 from MY small (so far) garden would be...

1 - Regal Splendor. (Growth rate, habit, color. Amazing hosta.)
2 - Sagae. (Becomes a show-stopper as it matures!)
3 - Twilight. (Underrated, IMO. The coloring is beautiful and it grows well for me.)
4 - Blue Ivory (The bluest blue, the whitest white. Stunning.)
5 - Krossa Regal. (It's a classic for a reason!)
6 - Golden Tiara. (Small, tidy, pretty. Grows like gangbusters.)
7 - June (Another one that's a classic for a reason.)
8 - Queen of the Seas. (New to me, but there's nothing not to love.)
9 - Paradise Island (Also new, but it became an instant favorite. Decent substance, dimpling, amazing color!)
10 - Clovelly (Also new to me, but good gods is it gorgeous and growing beautifully.)

This list could change at any moment, but that's it in THIS particular moment. :)

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 9:46AM
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Janice

Adding to my previous list of '09:

Satisfaction (awesome wide yellow margins, stands med/tall with draping leaves--I have 3 of them now--I'm SO satisfied)
American Icon (very substantial leaves, longish with nice yellow margins)
First Frost (love, love, love it--nice blue with creamy yellow margins espec. right now)
Atlantis (Abba Dabba Do on steroids)
Blue Jay (nice aqua blue and smallish)
Pizzaz (thanks to Phil's pix and recommendation--very nice bluish green with crinkly cream edges)
Carnival (that one has surprised me--I have it in a very bright location and it's just an awesome sort of leaf with a cream edge, slightly undulating and round)
Climax (definitely a climax of my garden as you round the bend of our octagonal deck in the yard--nice limey margins and big leaves in my setting)
Flemish Sky (love it--gorgeous Mediterranean/pale turqouise blue, undulating and pointy leaves that multiplies rapidly for me)
Gunsmoke (nice grayish blue and ruffly long leaves)
Island Charm (bought it but wasn't sure I'd love it, but I do--very small, a neat mound of dark margined with gold centered leaves)
Katie-Q (a gift from diggindutchman with an order and a side of choco-chip cookies and I'm absolutely loving it with it's smaller leaves coming to a point with wide gold margins and multiplies like crazy for me)
One Man's Treasure (Naylor's told me I'd love it and I do--stands tall on very dark burgundy pedioles with long dark bluish green and pointing leaves--so lovely in a pot)
Powder Blue (totally awesome big and puckering dark aqua leaves and did I mention BIG?)
Ventricosa Aureomarginata (an oldie but very much a goodie--love the shiny dark green and wide margins of creaminess)
Spartacus (still new--2nd year but looking very good, ruffled edges and all)
Ginsu Knife (if you have it, you know why it's a keeper)
Dick Ward(Wow--it's taken off this year, dark margins light yellow/gold centers--very puckery and the leaves are just HUGE--not S&S huge but BIG)
Pineapple Upside Down Cake (love it's long slender ruffly leaves in a pot on a stand--looks so lovely and different)
Wolverine (have several and they complement so many of my groupings with their wide creamy margins, with dark centers, long and draping mounds that stand out)
Summer Breeze (pretty sure it was on my previous list but I have to still say it's a standout in my garden, intensely golden wide margins with the lovely grassy green centers, more rounded medium-sized leaves)

I have no idea how many I've just listed and so I won't feel I have to cut any, I'm not going to count them! ;o)

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 10:32AM
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ademink(z5a-5b Indianapolis)

1) Jade Cascade - the best ever
2) Montana macrophylla - WOW...this year it blew me away
3) Flower Power (hmm...I see a trend in my choices lol)
4) Krossa Regal - what a stud
5) Garden Party
6) Lady Isobel Barnett
7) Ebb Tide
8) Atlantis
9) Tidewater

  1. Vim and Vigor
  2. oops....11...Blue Mouse Ears...how could you not??
  3. yeah...still going...Metallic Sheen
  4. Moonlight Sonata
  5. Sagae
  6. Monument Circle...for many reasons (thanks friend...you know who you are :)

ok, I will quit now :)

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 11:12AM
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i_dig_it(z5a - Illinois)

I lost my list of hosta I have when my computer crashed and I haven't got it back yet, but since I only have around 70 different ones I'll try to come up with some favorites off the top of my head.
In no particular order...

Cherub - just the right size, not too big or small
Prairie Sky - great color
June - 'nuff said
Whirlwind - neat and unusual form
Popo - cute little blue and great grower
Great Expectations - I know, but mine has done great
Liberty - awesome in the spring
Salute - like the ones that stand up ;-)
Gypsy Rose - nice color combo
Lakeside Dragonfly - longer leaves and nice form

I can't remember the names of a few others I really like, but it's dark out, so I'm not going out to check the names.

Janet

    Bookmark   May 28, 2011 at 12:34AM
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chris-e(7 MD)

I am not going to list 1o since all of them have already been mentioned. But one I didn't see on the list which lept last year and blew me away was Spring Fling. If you are looking for a large, vase shape with varigated, piecrust leaves, this is the one!

chris

    Bookmark   May 28, 2011 at 10:33PM
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hostabff

I love the addition of the pictures - nice touch. Here's my top ten - not in order:
Dawns Early Light - magnificent dome shape and ruffles
Moon Lily - Dusty gold and cute
Lakeside Cha Cha - glows in the shade
Great Expectations - Even if I have to treat it like an annual - it is worth it.
Striptease - Definitly one of my garden visitor's favorites
Halcyon - Gorgeous blue that holds up into fall
Coldheart - love the limey color and ripples
Dream Weaver - big lush leaves on pinky stalks
High Society - love the color combination and the way the blue holds up all season
Wolverine - beautiful and can take a lot of sun
I can't stop...
Aristocrat - I agree with everyone else here - a must have

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 7:25AM
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cindylouhoo(6MidTN)

Twist of Lime
Captain Kirk
Queen of the Seas
Paul's Glory
Guacamole
Lakeside Shore Master
Liberty
Halcyon
Striptease
June

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 8:08AM
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on_greenthumb

I totally hit up the hosta farm on the way home today and got some newbies to the garden. Thanks for the suggestions folks.

My new hostas are:
- Blue Cadet
- Stiletto
- Spilt Milk
- Tokudama Flavocircinalis
- Rainforest Sunshine

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 7:25PM
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jmcdmd

Tough Question. Don't have a lot....so best way for me to answer is to tell you which ones I would definitely replace if I lost them.

Lakeside Shoremaster [Wins the prize in my yard this year]
Hanky Panky
Patriot
Golden Tiara
Grand Tiara
Touch of Class
So Sweet [Because of the fragrant blooms & vigor]
Captain Kirk
Sum & Substance [Doubt this one is capable of dying..HUGE]
Sagae
Vulcan
Halcyon

Sorry that's 12, but I'd replace any of them.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 9:57PM
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oliveoyl3

bump

    Bookmark   July 2, 2011 at 11:59AM
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andi_mn(z4MN)

i love this thread! i love the pics! kind of lets me know if there is a couple that i Have to have. andi (a couple? lol )

    Bookmark   July 2, 2011 at 8:28PM
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danimal77(5a)

Liberty
Stained Glass
Great Escape
Atlantis
Kiwi Full Monty
Dream Weaver
Ice Age Trail
Gunther's Prize
Big Daddy
Montana Aureomarginata

So hard to pick just 10...but these are my favorites!

    Bookmark   July 2, 2011 at 9:38PM
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Pieter zone 7/8 B.C.

Funny how one's list changes over the years. I just looked at the ones I posted in '09 and there certainly are changes.

2 years ago they were:
On to my top 10 list, in no particular order:

Blue Mouse Ears - I call it my desert island Hosta
Holy Mouse Ears - see a theme here....
Sea Octopus
June
Maui Buttercups
Fire Island
Monashee Blue Cup
Blue Moon
Dream Queen
Twisting The Night Away

This time around they are:

'Blue Mouse Ears'
'Dawn's Early Light'
'Ray of Hope'
'Sea Octopus'
'Fortunei Hyacinthina' - don't know why I left it out the 1st time
'Rhino Hide'
'Maui Buttercups'
'June'
'Blue Ivory'
'Fire Island'/'Paradise Island'

Pieter

    Bookmark   July 2, 2011 at 10:39PM
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