El Nino and Blue Ivory in December

Babka NorCal 9bDecember 2, 2012

These are my last two standing. My others are safely tucked away out of sight. The members of the Halcyon family are consistantly the last ones to go down in Fall.

-Babka

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hostanista

Babka, in Northern California, couldn't you keep your potted hostas outside all year? Do you bring them in because of the pots (many of them look like they might be terra cotta, and they might crack with some freezing/thawing)? I would have thought the hostas were completely tough enough to withstand NoCal weather. Seems like a lot of trouble for you.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 4:24PM
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Babka NorCal 9b

We don't freeze here at all. I have to keep them as cool as possible for 6 weeks of dormancy. I tuck them in atrium to keep them out of sight and out of the sun. They stay cool and dry there and I don't have to look at a bunch of pots in my back yard, which is very small indeed. 'Tis the price I pay for wanting to have plants that disappear in winter. Everything else here (except for the deciduous trees) stays evergreen year around.

-Babka

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 5:28PM
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dgregory_so.cntrl.IL_zone6a

Stained Glass, June and Halcyon were some of the last of mine to go, too.

I like your atrium space. It looks like a very quiet & calming place. That bench appears to be a good place to sit & drink coffee while watching for emerging hostas. How long will the hosta be dormant in your zone?
:-)
Deb

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 2:45PM
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Babka NorCal 9b

Dgregory- That bench works the same with a glass of wine...

The hostas begin to awaken in late February to mid-March around here. Most of them stay in the atrium, but once they unfurl, about 20 get moved to the deck outside our family room/kitchen where I can see them all the time.

-Babka

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 9:24PM
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dgregory_so.cntrl.IL_zone6a

Morning coffee, afternoon glass of wine or evening cocktail! What a versatile space.
:-)
Regardless of yard size, the deck off your house looks like a wonderful place to be. Nice that you still have 2 hosta to enjoy for a while longer.

My hosta pots are tucked away for winter in the unheated part of our garage. Halcyon will be the first up in the spring.

Deb

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 11:22PM
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Babka NorCal 9b

Curious, Deb, when does Halcyon show pips in Spring in your zone 6A? I'm convinced that they (hostas) go to sleep with shorter days, less light, but they re-awaken with warming temps in Spring, no matter where in the world they are. Some people bring a couple hostas into the house in January where it is warm and they come alive early. Some nurseries force their plants to do that for early sales. Doing that with one or two (cheaper ones) might help you get thru those Winter doldrums. Yes, I once lived in the Mid-west and I KNOW about relentless, un sunny winters. Hang in there....

-Babka

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 12:04AM
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Hostarina(7B)

Babka, thank you so much for posting your dreamscapes.

My southern Oregon Halcyon were blue in the wheelbarrow until Nov. 30 & will be up here again April.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 1:26AM
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gogirlterri(5 IL)

Babka, is the shiny look of your deck from RAIN or is it shiny paint? I am just suffering envy for anyone that gets rain.
I'm enjoying this thread because I am a new 'pothead' as Les refers to us who grow our hostas in pots. I read every post over and over and still don't feel confident I am doing things right.
But I find comfort in Ken's insistance that hostas will grow on his driveway.
Thanks for livining up a day that seems will be another day of high temperature and dry. I'll go out and take a picture of the disaster I am beginning with. Not an atrium but a collapsed project that might have been one.
Theresa

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 8:25AM
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newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada

Babka, I like the part where you say you move about 20 pots out on the deck in March and that you can see them all the time. The hostas are so beautiful at that time. It would be a bonus to be able to see them "grow" before your very eyes!

I am also curious about your outdoor deck. My husband just finished ours, but it hasn't been stained or painted. Is yours painted? Do you like it?

Also, I have never thought of bringing a hosta pot indoors to force it to begin growing early. Sounds like a good idea. Maybe I'll try to find some threads that talk about this.

I am in zone 6 (Canada), but considered zone 5 in USDA terms. My hostas begin to grow in late April. Last year I had pots in my unheated garage. When they started to grow, I had to take them outside. We had a lot of nights of frost, so some went back into the garage and some were covered with one of my 6 garbage pails. I have way too many now and 6 garbage pails are no way near enough.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 10:19AM
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Babka NorCal 9b

That's RAIN! Yipeeeee! We wait a whole year to get it. Zero rain falls here in Summer/Fall.

The deck is composite and shiny due to rain. I don't like it. I like natural aged redwood best.

-Babka

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 12:15PM
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bernd ny zone5

In respect to a wood deck : Here in zone 5 I have a deck made out of pressure treated pine wood since 1987. It gets 4 hours afternoon sun. Initially I painted it with solid stain every 2 years, recently only touch it up. There is no rot or sun damage anywhere. Bernd

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 5:15PM
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dgregory_so.cntrl.IL_zone6a

I think the composite deck looks nice, actually! We get intense heat/sun in summer and freeze/thaw in the winter through spring that wood decks weather badly and splinter over time. Makes it tough on bear feet, makes flip flops mandatory ;-)

Here is a photo of Halcyon early March last year. It got really warm way too early, then froze again, so it was a completely non-typical year. Late March is a more usual time for pips.

Deb

    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 11:37AM
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dgregory_so.cntrl.IL_zone6a

Here is gold standard the same time last spring. It was much further ahead as you can see, halcyon is in the pot behind. I brought them out of the unheated garage and put them under our covered porch so they would get some light and air. When temps hit freezing again, I just slid them back close to the house. It was my way of attempting to "harden them off" for Spring.

Deb

    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 11:43AM
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jan_on zone 5b

Deb - You have BEARS on your deck? wow - we have to settle for racoons and occasionally skunks. Kudos for being able to teach them to wear shoes - do post that on YouTube.
Sorry, sorry, sorry. Couldn't resist. Entertainment is in short supply today I guess.
Jan

    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 11:55AM
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dgregory_so.cntrl.IL_zone6a

Oh sheesh, it took me a minute to get that one!
Should be:
BARE feet :-)
Shall I edit? Naw, let's give everyone a chuckle!

Deb

    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 12:12PM
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gogirlterri(5 IL)

Even 'funner' is visualizing bears wearing flip-flops :)
Theresa

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 8:52AM
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