What makes a hosta become one of your favorites? Is it its size, coloring, dependability, shape or something else?
I love the fact that hostas are pretty (or at least interesting) for such a LONG season. Most of the perennials in my garden bloom while we're at the cottage, and then look rather nondescript when we're at home.
And I appreciate that a love of hostas has generated such an interesting community with whom we can share our passion. Any hobby is better with friends.
Lovely picture Steve. I like the statue too.
Jan, I agree that the hostas look great for a very long season, and in some cases have interesting or even fragrant blooms as a bonus.
But to be more clear, I was trying to ask what it is that makes one hosta become one of your favorites as opposed to other hostas?
I've discovered several factors which lead me to prefer one hosta over another.
First is substance. I like the ones which have a heavy leaf, and a substantial petiole holding it up. That makes it more durable in my difficult environment.
I also like the leaf color to be durable, which means I have learned to leave the hosta with a lot of white out of my picture. It does not matter where on the leaf the white is located, somehow I am not able to deal with really white leaf patterns on edges or in the middles. So, that leaves me fond of dark green edges, and gold or light green in the middles. Of course, I have discovered a new hosta that indicates there is a gradual color change like an aurora borealis and I mean Wok Star, cannot wait to get those seeds to grow.
The solid green leaf I also love. Any shade of it, the tougher the better, and also blue leafs.
Then, of course, plantaginea in the background somewhere. I think that gene makes the plant more likely to survive the heat and lack of a full dormancy in the winter. I love the big flowers, and a scented garden is fantastic, but it is mostly the ability to survive our climate that wins in the end.
Personally, I have no favorite individual, but instead, there are favorite qualities in each hosta. Every one so different from the other, unique in color, texture, size and substance.
I get a kind of mental pleasure when I look at each one. A big smile comes over me and I just start laughing. Seriously, I laugh out loud! If you heard me, you'd probably think I was nuts... but, at the end of a rough day, it's therapeutic. Humm, perhaps I've shared too much here...
The special qualities of each individual hosta, makes me joyful. Very similar to the way my Grandkids make me feel.
Moccassinlanding, what I hear you saying is that you feel that certain hostas do better in your climate. And when these hosta do well, it brings you happiness. I think I understand. I had a bleeding heart and a Japanese Painted Fern in my garden. Each year they deteriorated. It brought me no joy. So I would rather have one beautiful hosta, instead of 10 struggling to survive.
Deb, I love what you say---that "there are favorite qualities in each hosta." And I love it that you were able to share the pleasure that hostas bring you. I think hostaholics can understand that. I know I certainly do!!!!
They play nice with others?
Newhostalady, you listen well! Then you condense it to the essence......thanks....I need to try more precision in 2013.
Moccasinlanding, you say "I need to try more precision in 2013." Not in my opinion. I liked your views exactly as you wrote them! Don't change a thing!
Tsugajunkie, what a great picture. What are the hostas? The center one makes me think of Alex Summers, but I could be very wrong.
Or should I say NHL?
"What are the hostas?"
Front right corner- Gold Standard
Center- Alvatine Taylor
Top right (in front of fern)-Bressingham Blue
That Alvatine Taylor is a beaut. Thanks tj.
I first read the subject question and immediately thought Hosta vs the world of perennials; not which hosta vs the others. That says it all regarding my answer. While some hostas don't live up to the qualities of the species and progeny, those that do:
-from the time they unfurl in spring until they die off in fall make a garden statement that can be seen from far away (Empress Wu for example) or near by (Blue Mouse Ears for example).
-I don't have to wait for them to bloom and then deadhead them once the blooms die and wait until next year. They start with a BANG, often undergo change all season long, and finally go out with a BANG in late fall.
-When they do bloom some blossoms are orchid-like, some are fragrant, and some are vividly blue or purple.
I love perenial geraniums, but wouldn't have a whole garden just of them.
Regarding one vs the others? The one that makes my heart go pitter-patter at the moment, and such moments always change. "Wonder what I am going to wear tommorrow!" Then when nothing makes my heart go rampant with emotion it's time to go shopping! lol :)
I am enjoying everyone's perspective on what qualities make up their favorite hosta or hostas. I like the pics too, keep 'em coming!
Thanks to reading many posts by Moccasinlanding, I have become aware of, and interested in, fragrance. I have two, Stained Glass and Blue Hawaii, that are supposed to be fragrant. This year I'll be sure to stop and smell the hosta. :-)
It's fun learning new and interesting things from the Hosta Forum by reading newbie's questions and seasoned hosta growers/gardeners responses and experiences.
I have a couple favorites. My big Sagae,Lakeside Shoremaster,and Earth Angel,all of which look better and better each year! Phil
I like big corrugated leaves. I like my mature H.'Sum and Substance', 'Elegans', 'Blue Umbrellas', 'Big Daddy'. I also liked a 'Frances Williams' last year with 28 inches height and very large leaves, wonder what happened to that one. Then I like variegated ones, like 'Great Expectations', m.'Aureomarginata', 'Atlantis', Dick Ward'. 4 year old large ones are coming along to start making a show, can barely wait.
Theresa, my favorite line from your comment is "they start with a BANG, often undergo change all season long, and finally go out with a BANG in late fall." I never thought of it in that way. It brings a smile on my face each time I read it. I also agree with your other comments, but have a different view on your last---"The one that makes my heart go pitter-patter at the moment, and such moments always change." I cannot say what will happen next year or the next, but regarding my three favorites this year (GE, Paul's Glory and Earth Angel), I loved them from the moment they woke up to the day they began to deteriorate. But, so far, I cannot say EXACTLY what it is about them that I love so much and why they (out of all the others) bring joy to me.
Deb, I agree 100 percent with your comment "It's fun learning new and interesting things from the Hosta Forum by reading newbie's questions and seasoned hosta growers/gardeners responses and experiences." Thank you everyone for expressing your views and allowing others to learn.
Phil, I have a young Sagae and two Earth Angels, but do not know much about Lakeside Shoremaster. Could you tell me what it is about these three that make them your favorites?
Fifteen years ago when I started gardening all I wanted was roses. I had tons of shade. A landscaper tried to give me hostas. Free. Ugh, said I. He said, "I'll give you a couple of years to 'be a gardener', you'll understand." Yep. Most flowering perennials give you a couple of weeks of beauty. But hostas.....oh.....the texture, the colours, the lushness, the dependability. They make me look like I know what I'm doing. They make me a gardener.
"They make me look like I know what I'm doing. They make me a gardener."
Sweet, hostanista! Well said!
Is it time to go shopping yet?
New hosta lady,a picture is worth a thousand words. Here is a pic from back in April of my Lakeside Shoremaster. When I planted this one,it was across the path from the Sagae,I mentioned,about three feet away. Now they are almost touching each other. That,along with how they look,is why! Phil
This is a pic of the Sagae,across from the Lakeside Shoremaster,newhostalady. Take a look. I can't find a pic of my Earth Angel right now,but you get the idea? Phil
Bernd, thank you for sharing with us what kind of hosta pleases you most.
Hostanista, I know what you mean. I had a similar experience with an experienced landscaper coming to my home. He pointed to a hosta I had and told me that it was a lovely hosta but would need a bit more time to get established. (It was my GE.) He then told me about a bed of hostas---just hostas---that he had planted up at his cottage. I thought to myself "boy, that sounds so boring. Just hostas. Yuck." And now, well, things certainly have changed!
Phil, oh my gosh. Lakeside Shoremaster and Sagae are g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s! I can see the beauty. I bet you your Earth Angel is stunning too.