Liberty will win over a Hosta 'fence sitter' ?

rouge21_gw(5)November 8, 2012

I feel I am a bit in the lions den with this my first post to this forum (now that I think of it maybe I have posted once or twice earlier?).

Anyways I must come clean in that hostas are not really my 'thing'. But I do have a few scattered around my property

- a couple of "First Frost"

- a couple of "June"

- a "Grand Prize"

Now late this fall I did some of the basic work starting a new corner garden which has a significant shade aspect and compettion from neighbouring trees (see below).

And so with all this shade I feel I need to revisit the use of the hosta.

From the pictures I have seen "Liberty" looks like the hosta for non-hosta lovers. Does that make sense?

And so to this end I was thinking of planting 3 equally spaced "Liberty" on the front border arc with some

all season flowering plant in between and on either side of these "Liberty". (I would like this to be some shade impatiens but this will likely not be feasible given my experience with "downy mildew" this past summer.)

(In the very back corner I am thinking of putting a Eleutherococcus [Acanthopanax] sieboldianus 'Variegatus' shrub. And so there is still an arc between it and the "Liberty"...maybe some "Ligularia"?)

What do you think of my use of "Liberty" in this garden?

Of course I am open to any suggestions.

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hmacflower(Z4 Ont.)

Yes! Liberty is one of my favorites...a beauty! Primula for spring, campanula persisfolia (blue) for summer and
Sunrise echinacea for fall make good companions.
heather

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 7:52PM
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rouge21_gw(5)

Thanks Heather for the reply; nice to see another wonderful picture of this hosta. How old is this "Liberty" and what is its size?

Since this area receive almost no direct sun something like an echinacea or even the campanula will not work. It will need to be all shade plants for this area.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 3:52AM
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Jon

A 'Variegatus' would have a 6 to 8 foot spread which is equal to one section of the fence shown. Your plan will simply not fit into the area laid out.

I would suggest you set a Victory at 45 degrees in the 90 degree circular segment you have laid out and 3 feet from the intersection of the edges. A mature Victory will fill out much of this area. You might then form a border of 4-5 smaller hosta. I would suggest something like Lakeside Black Satin which would form a dark border and a nice contrast/compliment for the Victory, IMO. A variagated leaf would be a brighter, less formal alternative. Since you are leery of impatients, you might consider heuchera (I would go with a heuchera 'stainless steel' if you accept my Victory/Black Satin pallet Astilbe or any number of other shade tolerant plants could also be used as 'fillers'. Once again you would decide whether you want to go with a brighter 'country garden' type of motive or a darker, more formal, style.

Jon

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 8:29AM
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hostaLes(5)

Me thinks a lot of us out here have the same question b4 we try to answer, so I'll pull the trigger. What kind of tree is that? If that is dry-shade of Maple or similar shallow rooted tree, which it looks like it might be, you may find an experiment in hostas disappointing.

I don't mean to scare you off. That is why I asked! If not, with almost no direct sun don't expect fast development of massive hostas. Hostas are shade tolerant, and do their best with sun or perhaps reflected sun, and the many cultivars have varying light requirements for optimum show. My Liberty isn't old enough to give me right to say this, so this is what I have read written by others: Liberty shows best with a generous amount of direct sun. How much depends on how north or south you live.

Given the right conditions you are very justified in your interest in Liberty. In my opinion it is one of the most beautiful of all hostas. There are several similar but their names elude me right this moment. One that I relate to the British in particular causes me a problem every time I see it because it looks like Liberty to me. Someone jumpin and help here.\

Regardless, b4 offering any other help we need to know about the tree roots.

Yes you have posted here b4, and I welcome your return and encourage your becoming more involved in growing hostas.

Les

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 8:33AM
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Jon

...and a nice semi-circular stone wall a couple of blocks high would be frosting on the cake.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 8:47AM
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Jon

The tree has multiple trunks which is unlike any maple I know of. It certainly isn't a notoriuous Acer, saccharinum 'Silverleaf'. I have no problem with planting hosta under my Norway Maple or Crimson King Maple, so not all maples are hosta exclusive territory. The site looks promising to me.

Digging into the soil in the area desired will show if there is a root problem or not. Dig in the spots you anticipate planting and see what you have for roots. If you hit some larger roots then move over and plan on planting there. Smaller roots that can be cut out with a spade, should simply be cut out. If the roots are very dense then your choice is spin-out bags (cloth bags treated to inhibit root intrusion with lead, copper...) or Plan B.

Jon

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 9:07AM
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rouge21_gw(5)

What kind of tree is that? If that is dry-shade of Maple or similar shallow rooted tree,

Thanks for all the interest.

It is definitely not a maple tree. I believe this 'wild' tree (on the public park side of the fence) is a Basswood.

When digging up the lawn in this corner I did my best to remove or significantly cut back as many of the roots as possible. And then given the slope from front to back (hard to see in this picture...a drop of about 12" over 12') I then had the opportunity to add many bags of leaf and grass mulch and over 2 cubic yards of soil. I am anticipating all this material will sink over the fall and winter and so be ready at the right level for planting next spring. So if roots are any issue it still may take some time for them to cause difficulties with this new garden.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 10:27AM
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rouge21_gw(5)

and a nice semi-circular stone wall a couple of blocks high would be frosting on the cake.

That is my intention. I wanted to more easily wheelbarrow in all new soil and amendments prior to making the defining stone border. (In fact you might be able to see the first stone of this border at the bottom left corner of the front edge).

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 10:31AM
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rouge21_gw(5)

Given the right conditions you are very justified in your interest in Liberty.

Thanks for the confirmation.

I recently emailed an independent nursery which specializes in shade plants...particularly hostas and they do carry "Liberty" but they did warn me that it was a quite slow growing plant and instead strongly suggested I consider "Guardian Angel".

As a non Hosta person the colours of "Liberty" I see in pictures are so impressive, particularly in a shady area. I know "Guardian Angel" is a larger plant. Is it faster growing? Is it as 'eye catching' as "Liberty"?

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 10:57AM
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rouge21_gw(5)

jonnyb023 wrote: A 'Variegatus' would have a 6 to 8 foot spread which is equal to one section of the fence shown. Your plan will simply not fit into the area laid out.

Thanks for your input. It is my understanding that this shrub, especially in the conditions it will be planted (dry and lots of shade) will be slow growing. As well corresponding with another gardener having this same bush has told me that it can be successfully pruned to keep it a manageable size. I believe the back corner in question can accommodate this shrub being say....4' by 4'.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 11:05AM
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Jon

Rouge,

If trimmed it could easily be kept 4' x 4', which is just about out to the first fence post. The Victories could then fit nicely.

I noticed the lonely stone and a low wall will look great, as will the Victory. I have Liberty and you would be happy with it, I'm sure. I don't have Guardian Angel which is 9 inches or so shorter, but has the same footprint as Liberty. Judging only by photos, I like Liberty better.

Besides when you expand the garden your Liberty won't get lost in the background as easily as it stands prouder. :)

Jon

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 1:18PM
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Jon

Please excuse my use of Victory instead of Liberty in a couple of places.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 1:22PM
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Steve Massachusetts Zone 5b

IMO, there is nothing like Liberty coming out of the ground in the Spring, but Guardian Angel is beautiful. Slightly larger than Liberty, but it's not a giant.

Guardian Angel

Here's Liberty as a 3 year old plant. It's about 3 ft in diameter, but not fully mature. It's not fast but with good water and fert it will do fine.

Leaf close up of same plant.

Steve

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 2:31PM
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rouge21_gw(5)

Jon (and others) I am enjoying reading your suggestions. I know it takes time and thought to put together such posts.

Given your votes of confidence re "Liberty" I think I will go with it instead of "Guardian Angel"; and positioning 3 of them in the outer border arc i.e one on each corner and the 3rd in between.

Interesting thought about using heuchera (or I guess even heucherella) in place of impatiens but I just didn't want this garden to turn into a "hosta, heuchera garden". In fact these 3 "Liberty" will be the only hostas in this shady space...so I wanted the chosen hosta to be an exceptional one. But it seems it may take a few years for them to reach their prime i.e. not the most vigorous?

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 2:31PM
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rouge21_gw(5)

Great pictures Steve!

"Liberty" looks like it could glow in a shade garden and
3 feet in 3 years is good enough for me in terms of a growth rate.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 2:43PM
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hostaLes(5)

GONG! Did that bell sound as loud outside of my head?
The ringing bell is my recognition of H.'Victory' being the name I couldn't remember; like HMS Victory of the British Royal Navy. Now I can go back to bed. LOL

Having eyeballed both face to face as mature hostas, I would give the edge to Liberty (or Victory if Liberty weren't available)over Guardian Angel. But that is my personal opiniion. I have both Liberty and GA as "teenie-boppers". I would like to have Victory also/to compare with V. I have Paul's Glory and Old Glory living side by side for comparison. IF I had to pick one and give one away I would really be torn to make the right decision which to keep and which to let go of.

Just from pics, that is how close L & V are to each other.

Les

    Bookmark   November 10, 2012 at 3:47AM
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rouge21_gw(5)

Thanks Les for that comparison of L & V.

Do each do equally well in deeper shade? (In part I have this plan to put my hostas on the front edge as there is a touch more sun on the perineter and less as one proceeds towards the back corner.)

How do L & V compare in terms of final size and growth rate as I have heard L is slow growing.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2012 at 4:39AM
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Steve Massachusetts Zone 5b

Victory is a true giant. This is a pic of Mark Zillis measuring the one in Paula Lehtola's garden.

He reports the largest size as 38" high by 88" wide, but this one may have been larger. The only drawback with these nigresens types is the 7' tall scapes. IMO, these look way out of proportion to the plants. Of course, you can always remove them.

Steve

    Bookmark   November 10, 2012 at 7:00AM
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rouge21_gw(5)

Thanks for that telling picture Steve. Given the dimensions of my new garden it would complete overwhelm the space. I am back to three "Liberty" on the border.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2012 at 7:17AM
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hostaLes(5)

Steve-I wasn't aware how large Victory is. Thanks for the great pic. I'd like to meet Mark Zilis some day. Thanks for the pic of two I have great admiration of.

Victory is now on my next to get list.

Here is my young Liberty from this spring. It is also a lesson for newbies as to what a couple of vole-holes look like. The sleeve saved Liberty but the Serendipity behind took a hit. :(

Les

    Bookmark   November 10, 2012 at 8:16AM
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rouge21_gw(5)

Jon, yesterday I added almost another cubic yard of 'garden soil' (which will make about 2.5 cubic yards of such soil in total + many bags of shredded leaves and garden clipplings just beneath the surface) and then I added stone edging to finish it off. I now have about 150 square feet virgin shade garden to plant in starting this coming spring.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 10:33AM
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Jon

Great job rouge. That is going to be a sweet garden tucked in the corner. With the stone wall in place it easy to see how much work you had dealing with an irregular surace. Your precise quadrant will suit your formal plant orientation very well.

Please make sure you share some pictures in the Spring.

Jon

You know if you spray paint that galvanized fence black it will disappear...or maybe ivy or something climbing on it??? ...or something with height to block it??? ...or...

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 5:58PM
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rouge21_gw(5)

Thanks Jon but the quadrant isn't really a quadrant :(. It is 16 feet from the edge of the gate to the back corner along the fence but only 12 feet from the back corner to the top right front. If I did a 16 foot radius it would eliminate the shady spot on our lawn where 2 comfy Muskoka chairs are positioned. You cant see all the other gardens (which were once lawn) not far from this new one leaving very little grass lawn remaining. I am sad to say this is the last expropriation of lawn that can be done on our residential property.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 6:49PM
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rouge21_gw(5)

The fence looks its worst from late fall and on into winter due to the lack of surrounding vegetation. For example in the summer months I usually hang bags of impatiens or begonias from the top links. And given that there are wonderful perennials flowers just on the other side I wouldn't want it completely blocked out. And finally I am confident that when the new garden fills in one will notice very little of the metallic links.

(But it might be interesting to see the fence painted black...although it would be a messy job with the spray?)

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 9:24AM
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tsbccowboy(Minnesota zone 4B)

You have made an excellent choice in Liberty. Whatever you do, it is going to look great.

Here is a link that might be useful: Photos of my Liberty for the last few years

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 10:21AM
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Jon

A can of Rustoleum spray paint, a quick wire brush, if needed, a drop cloth or plastic on the ground in front and a big piece of cardboard (or a smaller piece and keep moving it along) in the back to prevent overspray. Tie back the arborvitae (?)

Sounds like about an hour or so work (for the 2 sections) and not too messy if you put on some latex gloves and old clothes. The entire fence could be a major project. I have a chain link kennel that I would like to vanish some day.

I had to search to see what a Muskoka chair was; it looks similar to what we would call an Adirondak chair in this neck of the woods.

Jon

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 10:35AM
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rouge21_gw(5)

I am speechless 'cowboy'. That is a stunner. I looked at your link and it seems that it went into the ground in 2007 and within 2 years ie by the summer of 2009 it was a good size, a real eye catcher. Do I have that right?

How much shade does this particular specimen experience?

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 12:52PM
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tsbccowboy(Minnesota zone 4B)

Rouge21,

My Liberty was actually planted in 2006. I purchased it from a local nursery (Savory's) and it had one large eye.

It may get late morning sun. My house is just to the east, a large Sunburst Maple is just to the south and large White Pines are just to the west Liberty.

Here is a photo of the area from my deck, the top of the photo is to the southwest. The branches of the Maple almost reach to Liberty.

If there is a moon out at night, Liberty will almost glow in the dark.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 2:51PM
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almosthooked

Cowboy.. I love your link on your hosta and the grouping for each picture and have saved this site n my favorites to look back on in the long winter . I would love to know how your site was set up and what an awesome way to keep track of the growth through the season and the years. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. My tiny Liberty has an honorary place ovelooking my pond.
Faye

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 4:29PM
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Jon

A real specimen cowboy, and well staged against the darker hosta and plants. Here is my Liberty which I got from Naylor this year.

I think it is in a good spot and I hope I can duplicate your success over the years.

Jon

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 8:10PM
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rouge21_gw(5)

That is a quality plant photo Jon.

(Is the growth that one sees in your picture equivalent to 1 "eye" or can one not tell this after the fact?)

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 2:08AM
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Jon

It is one eye. A very close shot (putting the background out of focus) and there is a slope behind it which makes it look even larger; I think.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 8:53AM
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tsbccowboy(Minnesota zone 4B)

Almosthooked or should I say TotallyHooked,

I will try to explain how we set up the site as best I can.
All my photos are in http://imageevent.com/tsbccowboy/theyardplants

imageevent.com is the best photo sharing site in my opinion. You can see how I arranged the photos in the site. Please check out the different sizes of the photos if you are looking at them.

We (my brother did almost all of the work) set up a website and databases in GoDaddy. Without going into too much detail, the databases point to the photos in imageevent.com. We have screens for data entry of the photos; on these screens, I basically just put in the address of each Hosta photo. We don't have all the entry perfected and sometimes I have to go directly into the databases to make changes.

I also utilized slide.com in the hostagardener.com website, which had real nice slide shows. I just noticed it has been shut down since March; now I will have to update hostagardener.com.

If you want more details on this, you may send me an email (the bottom of the hostagardener.com home page has a place for sending me an email). I know quite a bit about imageevent.com and I would probably have to ask my brother about questions on the hostagardener.com website.

Cowboy

Here is a link that might be useful: imageevent.com - photos of my gardens and Hostas

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 10:56AM
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Moccasin(z9aMobileAL)

I'm wondering just how much trouble I'll be in about ten years from now? BKAy may be right, I'm over my head!

Having looked at the GIGANTIC Liberty specimen, then over to Cowboy's albums and in particular one blue NOID that ate his air conditioner and seems to be consuming the window behind it, I may be in some deep trouble before ten years. Sharpen the machete. If I wind up with even ONE hosta that large, I will be ecstatic. So yeah, I envision putting some of my hosta near the street where neighbors can see how impressive a Sum And Substance or a Liberty might be.

Inspirational! Thanks for this series of photos, folks.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 4:25PM
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mctavish6

Great to see you back Cowboy. I'm excited to see additions on your image event site. I guess I know how I'll be spending the morning.

You're right about almosthooked. Totallyhooked or aroundthebend would be more appropriate for my friend and neighbor. I can't wait to see what her garden looks like in the spring. Every time I was there she was finished creating the 'last' garden. Within the next couple days she was doing another one.

Off I go to look at your albums. Myrle

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 11:04AM
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Moccasin(z9aMobileAL)

Totallyhooked.....or just plain HOOKED....right!

Cowboy, your remark about Liberty glowing in the dark....I know now that mine must go in the ground where it can be seen after dark. Preferably from my kitchen window. I'm into twilight walks in the garden, which is why I'm fond of white flowers in the shady areas. So Liberty is added to that scenario.

My young year-1 Liberty is now officially dormant, and has its place in the Hosta Sanctuary as of this morning. By next spring, maybe its permanent location will be prepared for it. Because of this thread, Liberty is more respected than ever.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 3:31PM
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almosthooked

Okay you guys ... quit picking on me!!I still don't believe I am totally hooked but de nile is a river??? I have a passion and that is all. Anyway I keep trying to lose my want lists but somehow they seem to reappear or some has their spring order and I see some that I really LIKE LOTS
Faye

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 12:17AM
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dougald_gw

hey moc ... you remarked on the GIGANTIC specimans you see in photos. You only need patience.

When I planted my first hostas 8 years ago, I did not pay any special attention or have any great interest. They were just shade tolerant plants. Now, the Lady Isabel Barnett planted those many years ago defies description - it is much larger across than the size given in the literature and has eaten the area around it.

Your Liberty will do the same if you can just be patient and don't kill it with love!

I also planted Liberty last spring and am really looking forward to seeing it fill the space around it - the pictures here are of some gorgeous plants.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 7:56AM
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rouge21_gw(5)

hostales wrote: we need to know about the tree roots.

Although this is not a maple tree in behind, I am considering using some type of "root control bags" when planting in this bed; likely the Tex-R Agroliner (5 gallon size).

Maybe this deserves another thread but I am wondering if any of you 'hostiers' have had positive experiences using such a product extensively?

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 10:44AM
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rouge21_gw(5)

if you can just be patient

After a certain age one often doesnt have the luxury of the time needed for patience ;).

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 10:45AM
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dougald_gw

There is an old adage that says only old men plant trees ... probably because only with age comes the wisdom of patience (and in the case of trees, the planter will never see the result).

Patience with a hosta that is well planted and watered is probably only 3 or 4 years. The reward of enjoyment is available to all, even folks like me who are not exactly teenagers.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 1:34PM
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Moccasin(z9aMobileAL)

Rouge21, I'm with you, kid!
I once thought I was a patient person, but that was a LONG time ago. I suddenly realized time it was a flying, and I was sitting still. No more time to wait for things to happen later, get on with it. I'm gonna quote you though...I love it:

AFTER A CERTAIN AGE ONE OFTEN DOESN'T HAVE THE LUXURY OF THE TIME NEEDED FOR PATIENCE :)

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 8:40PM
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rouge21_gw(5)

UPDATE

I attended a garden show yesterday, on the same day as an ice storm and with this too long winter it made me feel good picking up my first LIBERTY from one of the indoor vendors. Although it is in a small container this specimen appears to have 3 eyes.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 8:37PM
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Moccasin(z9aMobileAL)

You do not have to spray the fence black. Nope. Get yourself a nice wide roller that has really fluffy long nap, and just roll er on there. No overspray that way.

And this spring I have my Victory coming out quite nicely. But I did not know to expect it to get THAT HUGE, such as the photo of Paula Lehtola's garden! Oh boy! Not far in the distance will be my First Look winning of a hosta from Paula Lehtola, the darling small gold hosta, STUD MUFFIN.
But I digress.

Let's see if I have that recent photo of Victory, this spring, coming on strong. Got "2 for $20" from Bob Solberg late in 2011. So would this be its 3d year?

Victory

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 8:52PM
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almosthooked

This is such an exciting time of the year and from my one eye Liberty last season , as of today there are 5 eyes poking out of the winter sleep. I can hardly wait!

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 9:10PM
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rouge21_gw(5)

You do not have to spray the fence black. Nope. Get yourself a nice wide roller that has really fluffy long nap, and just roll er on there. No overspray that way.

Hey guys, I do promise that when gardens surrounding both side of this fence are in full swing the chain link fades away to insignificance. However I should be painting my deck this summer...anyone want to come help with that job? :)

This post was edited by rouge21 on Sun, Apr 14, 13 at 16:12

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 10:46PM
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rouge21_gw(5)

UPDATE

I am the original poster.

Here is the corner garden now:

And an upclose shot of one of the 2 "Liberty" one year later. It survived it first trying winter just fine.

This post was edited by rouge21 on Sun, Jun 1, 14 at 7:41

    Bookmark   June 1, 2014 at 7:13AM
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gardener-in-wi(5 SEWi)

Looks great Rouge! What else do you have planted in that garden? I think I see a couple Heucheras and what is the tree to the right of your garden?

    Bookmark   June 1, 2014 at 12:08PM
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unbiddenn(5)

It's beautiful.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2014 at 1:24PM
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Moccasin(z9aMobileAL)

Rouge, thanks for coming back and telling us the rest of the story. I love happy endings!

And there will be more to come. I hope you smile every time you enter your drive, such a lovely bed you put together.

If you play around with hosta long enough, they will grab you. Just be aware. It can happen. And what a great passion it becomes. Remember this forum because you'll visit it often.
Look forward to your next appearance. Have fun this summer.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2014 at 7:06PM
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rouge21_gw(5)

Thanks everyone for your encouragement.

- the tree to the right is a Acer shirasawanum "Aureum"

In the garden are the following perennails:

(- of course 2 "Liberty" hostas)
- 2 bergenia
- 2 heuchera "Havana"
- 2 "Burgundy Lace" (Japanese Painted Fern)
- 2 Aruncus "Horatio"
- Rodgersia "Bronze Peacock"
- Eleutherococcus [Acanthopanax] sieboldianus
"Variegatus"
- Polygonatum "Double Stuff"
- Syneilesis aconitifolia ("Shredded Umbrella Plant")
- Chrysogonum virginianum ("Allen Bush" and "Pierre")
- several Epimediums
- "Silver Heart" Brunnera

Yikes! Now that I have enumerated all the plants I can see there are way too many!

This post was edited by rouge21 on Mon, Jun 2, 14 at 19:10

    Bookmark   June 2, 2014 at 4:52PM
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paula_b_gardener 5b_ON(5b)

I purchased Acer shirasawanum 'Aureum' on Saturday. It is great to see yours looking so nice.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 12:42AM
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