Design Strategy?

BungalowMonkeys(6-VA)July 12, 2014

I've done some searching and can't seem to pull up any past posts about actual planning. When it comes time to plant a new bed or area, what do you do? It is overwhelming looking at all the beautiful colors, textures and sizes of hostas. Do you plan sizes and placement first, then break it down to colors and then find plants to match?

What do you find to be the most pleasing flow of colors and textures? Bunch of similar colors together, then bounce to a new color? Or possibly bounce from one color to the next, freeflow style? Then the question of sizes, is it always big in back, then mediums, smalls, with tiny guys out front?

Any tips you can think of would be very appreciated. I'm going to be planting the side of my house. It's a clean slate, nothing there except a box that will be built around the ac unit. The bed right now has gentle curves. It's roughly 30ft long and will have a walking path on the other side.

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mstrecke(z8 Seattle)

Oh boy, this is a tricky one. I have struggled with this many times!

If you go by the plant description and expect the plant to do what the description says you are in a boat load of trouble. Most hostas are registered young and the dimensions they give you are a bit... smaller then they will eventually end up being.

First off you must note that most hosta will look different in each situation... Zone, climate, light, size, moisture etc. If you are trying to plan everything ahead of time and expect every plant to stay in place, it is a bit of a crap shoot.

I would just go with a few that you really like the look of, then buy some plain green, blue or yellows to fill in. Live with it for a year or two then move as needed.

Going by pictures on the internet may help some, but they can be HIGHLY variable in vigor and looks dependent on where you grow them.

It may be best to post your planting ideas / preferable hosta on this board and ask fellow people in your zone how certain hosta grow and what they would recommend for companions.

That way you can tailor it a bit to your growing conditions.


    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 12:57AM
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Jon 6a SE MA

Hey 'monkeys', as above and also:

- I personally like a border such as Patriot or Minuteman. If you have the room and won't block the rest of your hosta then you can go bigger with Victory of Liberty.

- Remember that the more light you are planting in the lighter the hosta should be. If you want to grow blues and dark greens you should plant in the shade. They generally have thicker leaves and don't need as much water as well.

- Decide whether you want to have a 'wave' garden where the hosta are packed in and touch or whether you want each to be in a setting with its own identity and allowed to arch or spread to its potential.

- If you plant a lot of the same color everything will blend together and nothing will stand out. If you want a hosta to be noticed plant where it will contrast and the eye will travel to the 'standout' A 'sea' of all the same color is dull, no matter how nice the plants are. Chaos loses everything as the eye bounces all over. Setting the 'standouts' and using a contrasting color as a background works or 'staging' each hosta individually in its own setting will make each special.

Companion plantings will do the same.

- Of course tall in the back and smaller in the front. Some are just big and dome shaped others are vase shaped. IMO the vase shaped should be set apart so that the shape can be appreciated.

- If you plant an area with trees do not expect 'dainty' hosta to survive under maples for example. If you plant larger, more robust hosta they have a good chance of doing well.

- Do not plant minis with larger hosta as they will disappear. If you want them, then make a small area dedicated to them.....or skip them altogether.

- The same rules as other garden plantings apply. Never use even numbers. 3-5 for multiples. Repetition works with hosta as with anything else. One at a time should be a specimen and treated as such.

With the gentle curves you have started with and a walking path it sounds as if you will end up with something real nice. I hope some of my thoughts will if I would only do as I say.


    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 7:45AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

I've done some searching and can't seem to pull up any past posts about actual planning.

==>>> apparently.. in this forum.. there is only one plan ..


step two.. slowly remove everything else ..

step three... when everything is gone.. and hosta fill every space.. start thinking about all that wasted time encouraging grass ...

step 4 ... start removing grass ...

step 5... when all mother earth is covered ... go vertical with pots ...

step 6 ... lose interest .. let them all die


    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 10:05AM
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