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Thread For Discussing Fragrant Hosta Planting

Posted by Don_in_Colorado 6a (My Page) on
Sat, Jul 13, 13 at 16:00

Hello, all...

As Mocc suggested, instead of hijacking Bkay's thread about the hosta sale, let's talk fragrants here! Always ready for that!

I'll post a few pics later, but I've got a pretty good jump on mass-planting the north side of my yard with fragrants (Almost all being 'Guacamole')...With a 'Holy Mole' and a 'Fragrant Bouquet' look-alike...

A good part of the reason I've chosen 'Guacamole' as the vast majority of what I've planted....Availability and price. I have a few I got mail-order, but there is one retailer in my general area who has always had an HVX-nematode guarantee on his hostas. Awesome. But the only drawback is, his selection of hosta is poor...That's OK, his Guacs are serving my purposes beautifully. 'Guacamole' also happens to be one of my favorite hosta varieties, and I know first-hand that it's a vigorous grower that blooms pretty heavily, too. So, that's why I have soo many 'Guacamole' mass-planted, but variety is the spice of life, so if you want a fragrant garden with different varieties, more power to ya! I have that as well, sited in full view of my deck and patio, where any friends who care to look can see 'em. The north side of the house, hardly anyone will see that (Except when it matures, I may DRAG people over to see it LOL) So the ;Guacamole' are used in a more 'utilitarian' way, if you will. I'm trying to get enough planted together so they can be smelled through the window, or at least at the window, when it's opened.

Babble babble, I'm gonna go take some pics of the side of my house. Not finished, and it's not a place I'd take friends to see yet, but being hostaholics, I can show pics to you guys. Because you understand!

Also, feel free to make any suggestions about groundcover, anything else that you might or might not do, anything at all, etc. I'm always open to suggestions.

Off to do some yardwork, take pics of side of house...be back a little later.

Cheers, Everybody!!
Don B.

This post was edited by Don_in_Colorado on Sun, Jul 14, 13 at 1:21


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RE: Thread For Discussing Fragrant Hosta Planting

Here is one...Like I said, still a work in progress and by no means pretty yet...I'm too impatient, though, and can't wait any longer to show someone...Also have a lot of room for other hosta above where the pic cuts off...Hosta are fun, aren't they? : )

Don B.


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RE: Thread For Discussing Fragrant Hosta Planting

Of course we understand, sweetie. And well we should, since we're all in the same boat.

It's surprising me that so many of the fragrant family are blooming earlier in the year, having begun in June with Holly's Dazzler. I'm wondering if that time difference is mostly with the hybrids and not the sports of the main plantaginea bloodline (so to speak, not literally). I could see the other parent influencing the early bloom period.

But I also noticed that Ginsu Knife bloomed early, set no seed, and then REBLOOMED more than a month later.

This is a surprise because the spring was slow commencing, and it was cooler than last year when all the hosta began emerging in early March for me. They did not do that this year. Instead, they were rather "late" emerging IMHO, and then grew like gangbusters. They went from zero to full growth in a matter of weeks.

I have some thoughts on the fragrant hosta adjusting to a different blooming cycle. I know that last year, my first Stained Glass did NOT GO DORMANT in 2011, it stayed growing but did not bloom, then in about June it went dormant. I thought it died, actually. So I got #2 Stained Glass from another source. I'm always doing "another source" so I can check out the differences that batches of tissue culture might create, or the acclimation to a specific environment. Sometimes there is a difference between what I get from Vermont and Ohio or Washington and Minnesota, don't ya kno. Those are details that I like to keep close to hand, and is why I always indicate the source of a particular hosta on my name tags.

Based on the historical dates when the fragrants begin blooming, the distant cousins are blooming earlier here. I cannot say that the heavy hitters of the plantaginea family, close to Mama's DNA, are going to be early. And I'm not sure that my fragrant ones are going to bloom any earlier than some folks up north. Since I must protect mine from the intensity of the sun at our lower latitude, not necessarily the degrees of heat--because let's face it, some of you have higher temps than we do, just your summers are somewhat shorter than ours is. So yours could bloom earlier than mine, if I must shade them more.

However, I have a sneaking suspicion that the hosta has some ability to adjust its habits to meet the climate challenges. We know it can go "heat dormant." I'm wondering if it could somehow make that its routine dormant time, like from August to October, and then begin growing for our "winters" instead of waiting for March...or April. Perhaps I am not clearly explaining what I suspect is possible for the hosta to do. I said it elsewhere in another thread, don't want to bore you all with it. But read something by Michael Pollan, such as Botany of Desire. Plants have a strategy for survival. Which includes reproduction. Tall scapes wave above surrounding tall grasses, getting the pollenators to pay attention. The ones with short scapes, they probably evolved where the winds would whip the blooms to pieces and scatter the pollen, so the scapes remained short and protected by the leaves. Our whole world is becoming warmer, and the plants which adapt early to a warmer earth, will be the ones to prosper. I think the hosta can do that. And I also think the fragrant hosta have the aroma to attract pollenators. Not necessarily remaining NIGHT BLOOMING, because my flowers with some shade open in the daylight. How the fragrance can remain for the entire day and night? It might not have to.

If I am right, I do believe that more seed will be set by fragrant hosta as a route to reproduction--making plants better able to endure the warmer climates. I do not see extinction in a hosta's future.

Especially not as long as the Hosta Forum has any say-so!
Thanks for beginning this thread, Don. Now, where has Ludi gone?


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RE: Thread For Discussing Fragrant Hosta Planting

I've been waiting for this bed to turn up again, Don. It will be your masterpiece.

If you get close to the a/c unit, make those the smaller ones so not to interfere with air circulation.

That is going to be the one you drag guests to see. Yeah. Say, "come look at my a/c unit." Just think outside the box. It will be amazing. You might not have to worry so much about air circulation, like I have to. Heat and humidity can kill a hosta with no air circulation. Here it takes the form of southern blight. Don't know what your equivalent could be. I can sure see mini bark nuggets as a mulch there.


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RE: Thread For Discussing Fragrant Hosta Planting

Yes, where IS that young man?? LUDI? LUUUDI?? Perhaps he's had a beauty overdose admiring his awesome hosta, and he doesn't come inside the house anymore?

Somebody get this man a laptop!

Don B.


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RE: Thread For Discussing Fragrant Hosta Planting

There are a few fragrant hosta which might not be NEW but they are hard to find and not in the general nursery catalogs.

Here are some that I consider new....they are trickling down to the likes of me, the general hosta lover with an interest in the fragrants.

Doubled Up. It is a double flowering hosta. I got mine last year from the Solbergs. This year it is getting ready (mid July) to open some snow white blooms on top of a fairly short but very stout scape. Standing straight up. A luminous shiny green leaf. The suspense is killing me while I wait to see the blooms.
DSCN9094

Jade Stone is still more expensive than the regular fragrant hosta. I'm hoping it is fertile, because the first flower that opened for me (I got it about 6 weeks ago) is about 5 inches long, and the scape has it cradled on a leaf to hold it up at a perfect angle. Guess for night pollenators? The leaves themselves are that super rounded look of the Guacamole tribe but more of a middle color and a rather irregular darker margin. Big petioles, big flower scapes. A tree branch came down on the plant a few days ago after a rainstorm, and I took off the broken leaves. Here is that picture. I may be moving it to an area beside my morning coffee table to keep an eye on it.
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Here is Jade Stone after first being potted up
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Dan Patch....a newly registered fragrant from Savorys. It is not a really big hosta, but I like that it is named for a trotter who was a real winner. I had a friend whose father was Dan Patch's trainer, and she had his tack box full of memorabilia. Not about hosta or fragrance entirely, it is about friendship. A lot of good hosta come out of Savorys, with the son taking over from the father, but the mama is still the one you talk to if you call to make an order. Nice lady. Incidentally, I haven't decided if Dan Patch is trying to streak or not. With two colors of green, an irregular margin. Hard to tell so far.
Garden13Jun0117

Then if you're looking for something smaller, Bob Solberg claims that Sugarbabe is the smallest fragrant flowering hosta. It may remain higher priced for a while, but here it is in my garden.
Garden13Jun0817

I have it again in this shot with Sweet Bo Peep, Invincible, and Second Wind (which is not a fragrant hosta). All of these seem to be rather small mediums if I understand the definition of that term.
Garden13Jun1128

So, you do not have to get large hosta to have fragrance. Most also grow well in pots. Makes it easy to bring a particularly fragrant plant up to your deck or patio and feature it when dining outdoors of an evening.

Honey Pie is another biggy which I hope gets to blooming soon.. I got it and little Catch of the Day this spring. Honey Pie has those longish leaves remind me of Fragrant Fire, a very exciting colored fragrant hosta (with maybe not much fragrance, I don't know yet). Sort of like shoe soles?
DSCN9066

Fragrant Fire....I just like this hosta. So fresh looking. The leaf shape is different from many of the fragrants too. What do you think? Have one? Notice a fragrance? The hosta to the right of it is Royal Standard
Garden13July0166

Better take a break here. Time to boil dem shrimps.


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RE: Thread For Discussing Fragrant Hosta Planting

Thanks for the pics of these fragrants, Mocc.I had a 'Sugar Babe' but unfortunately it died. Knowing me, I'll probably try again. 'Jade Stone' is a beauty, sorry it got smashed. Knowing hosta, it'll be back strong soon. So many fragrants available! Impossible to have enough. 'Fragrant Fire' is on my pending order to Green Mountain. While I'm at it, perhaps 'Austin Dickinson' and 'Emily Dickinson' should be on that list, too. : )

Don B.


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RE: Thread For Discussing Fragrant Hosta Planting

Typical example of what I'm starting to do around the planted 'Guacamole'. It looks OK plus it'll help some with water erosion. I do hand-water 'em with a watering can, though. Eroding the hillside, with it being almost all bare dirt yet, would be all too easy with overhead watering, I think. I'm liking this project a lot. Just gettin' started. : )

Don B.


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RE: Thread For Discussing Fragrant Hosta Planting

mmmmm ... smells like ambergris ...

yummy


^_^ --~

dave


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RE: Thread For Discussing Fragrant Hosta Planting

Ambergris, you mean, like, Sperm Whale poop? Hm, never smelled it. Glad it smells good, Dave. : )

Don B.


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RE: Thread For Discussing Fragrant Hosta Planting

it is NOT poop

it is whale VOMIT

there's a difference

you can make perfume from whale vomit

you can make me sick with whale poop

lol

dave


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RE: Thread For Discussing Fragrant Hosta Planting

Oh, well VOMIT! Yes, I see I was totally at the other end of this (quite literally) LOL

Don B.


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RE: Thread For Discussing Fragrant Hosta Planting

Getting 'em lined up. Got a sport/reversion that resembles 'Fragrant Bouquet' I found mixed in with the 'Guacamole' at the nursery...

Don B.


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RE: Thread For Discussing Fragrant Hosta Planting

Well, I've posted some 'during' pics, so I should post a 'before' pic as well...This pic is of north side of house taken in winter.

Don B.


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RE: Thread For Discussing Fragrant Hosta Planting

What a fun, fun space you have there, Don. I just love these tucked away little niche gardens; they're little 'Secret Gardens'.

To handle the erosion, you might think about doing some drip irrigation there...a few big rocks maybe...burlap or coco-fiber matting pinned to the ground.

Strawberry plants make a nice ground cover. They're cheap, multiply readily without being invasive, fibrous rooted so they'll help control erosion, you get a fruit bonus...they're easy to get rid of if you change your mind...and they will grow in quite a lot of shade.

Maybe a clematis on the fence at the top of the hill...sweet autumn clems are fragrant. I can see window boxes of impatiens attached to the fence and a couple of Fried Bananas hosta popped in here & there for some contrast. Maybe some raised wooden planters??

Of course, these are just suggestions. You'll make it your garden; I wouldn't expect you to plant it to my specifications! :)


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RE: Thread For Discussing Fragrant Hosta Planting

Fried Bananas is a gorgeous hosta. However, it just might outgrow that narrow walking space in about 2 years. It grows very quickly.

A smaller hosta that is also fragrant, a gold/yellow sport of Stained Glass, is called Amber Glass. If you need a nice gold, that is the latest one I have along those lines.
Garden13Jun0229
But of course you can choose from Tortilla Chip, or Frozen Margarita as well(how big DOES it get?). You are featuring Cerveza elsewhere, right? I think it gets fairly big too.
But the Guacamoles all by themselves make a statement.

Maybe a golden bladed Hakone..... grass would look good at the bottom, cascading over the terraced timbers.I've not used it myself, I mostly grow the dark green giant and smaller liriope, which is very hardy down here. It also has gorgeous purple blooms which endure a long time, and then it sets berries that are tasty I believe, because my dogs eat them. The grasses contribute a nice tropical lushness to the beds. Hmmm, in the Amberglass picture, there is some monkey grass (orphiopigon) which stays short and has narrow dark green blades.


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RE: Thread For Discussing Fragrant Hosta Planting

Don -

This is my Guacamole at year four with its first ever flower - thrilled to see. Actually there are three scapes this year with blooms. This hosta is very large. I can't seem to achieve the symmetry I desire because it's growing on a slight slope and reaches for the morning sun. Thus, its rear end backs up. My concern is that you won't have the necessary space where you planted yours.


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RE: Thread For Discussing Fragrant Hosta Planting

Fragrant Hostas are just beginning to send up scapes here in zone 5. Here's a pic of Fragrant Queen which just bloomed yesterday. The flower is literally 4 inches wide.

Steve


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RE: Thread For Discussing Fragrant Hosta Planting

They are making a big target for the night pollenators.
And don't know how Amgergris got in the discussion, but the hosta Amber Glass is a sport of Stained Glass. Nothing poopy about that. :) hehehe

My Fragrant Queen is not so hot looking this year. Very small. The large things I have include Fragrant King (which Fragrant Queen came from, probably as a RIB like Eve), and also Fragrant Dream. Of course I'll try FQueen from another source...which is my method of growing duplicates.

I can see this subject gathering a lot of interest, Don. Plus, I will ask Don Rawson about the Mardi Gras on the fragrant list. Might have snuck through just like Blue Hawaii did?

And Don, do you have Ginsu Knife yet? It had a month between reblooming. Set no seed pods though.


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RE: Thread For Discussing Fragrant Hosta Planting

I think, even when mature, I'll have space to squeeze by the 'Guacamole'. The space from house-to-fence is bigger than it appears in pictures. I hardly need, or want any space left there when they get bigger. Donna, your 'Guacamole' is quite a plant. It's beautiful. Not sure how big mine will get; I say that because they'll get almost no direct sun, just bright shade most of the day. If they end up looking anywhere close to yours, I'll be ecstatic. Steve, I'm loving that big fragrant flower on your 'Fragrant Queen'.

Strawberry plants are a very doable idea, ci lantro. I may get a couple 'starters' and see how they do in the lighting in this area.

Don B.

This post was edited by Don_in_Colorado on Sun, Jul 14, 13 at 15:36


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RE: Thread For Discussing Fragrant Hosta Planting

Banana in Bloom - The blooms smell delightful if you put your nose to the flower. I think it would take a lot of blooms to scent your garden.


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Oh, Donna, I thought you meant a real banana plant, not Fried Bananas. Isn't it a great hosta? I absolutely love it.

Now, I have another one to add here which looks pretty good, but is not in bloom. It is new this year, in a container, a sport of Guacamole, just like Stained Glass, Avocado, Fried Bananas, Holy Mole, Paradise Sunshine, Fried Green Tomatos, Jade Stone, Quesadilla, Hot Green Chilies and a lot of others are.

Mariachi


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RE: Thread For Discussing Fragrant Hosta Planting

Ha! Moc, if I had a real banana plant I wouldn't be here in little ol* Delaware but tanning myself on a tropical island while playing my mariachis. It's similiar to Guacamole but with reversed margins. Does it have a fragrant white flower?

DD


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RE: Thread For Discussing Fragrant Hosta Planting

  • Posted by stoc none (My Page) on
    Sat, Jul 20, 13 at 15:20

Great space Don,My Fragrant bouquet bloomed today and I too now want more of the fragrants.

Off to look for Guacamole tomorrow.


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RE: Thread For Discussing Fragrant Hosta Planting

The first one of the bunch that I could catch the fragrance, was Moonlight Sonata. No doubt about that, I caught it from 10-15 feet away as I entered the Back40 garden space. Now I'm catching more, and it is hard to tell, because so many are blooming.

Here is my banana which is not ready to make fruits yet. No blooms this early in the season. I'm using my wagon to ferry the latest hosta into more afternoon shade.
2013-07-01_18-28-57_874

Mariachi is a sport of Guacamole. Guac sure has a lot of sports, and next on my WANT list will be Quesadilla.

One can never have too many fragrant hosta! :)


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Guacamole - One last "V" is for victory shot!


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Donna, I admire the plant, as well as the garden bench painted green. Perfect park bench size and color-wise as well. Your project is one that keeps on giving.


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Yeah, that 'Guacamole' is a real prize!

Don B.


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RE: Thread For Discussing Fragrant Hosta Planting

My Ginzu Knife was a bonus plant from Bob Solberg last year, and it has leafed out beautifully in year two. It is listed as a fragrant, but I couldn't detect any scent. Anyway, Don, you have to get this hosta. I think everyone who has it loves it.


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RE: Thread For Discussing Fragrant Hosta Planting

Yup, fragrant or not, it's fantastic!

Don B.


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Just an FYI for anyone who cares/curious; My fragrants that have been established (planted last season) are sending up scapes here in zone 6a, should have a number of flowers from a number of favorites...'Guacamole', 'Fragrant Bouquet', 'Austin Dickinson' (Just got A.D., Got a good division with a bud on it), 'Fried Bananas', 'Cathedral Windows' and 'Fragrant Blue'...Of course I'm checking every fragrant plant I have right now, established or not! : )

Now that I have 'Fragrant Fire' planted and it's perking up, I see that it is absolutely beautiful. I'd recommend it strongly.

Cheers, Friends!
Don B.

P.S.: Donna, your fragrants (among your others) are really, really beautiful. With each new pic you show us, I am more and more impressed. It's obvious they are raised with lots of love!


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RE: Thread For Discussing Fragrant Hosta Planting

Hey, Donna, don't be too quick to make judgement. It's still really new. I have two of them. Perhaps its like Ken explained to us in another thread about how particular they are about blooming time and fertile MOMENTS, and such, and I'm sure that the aroma will be apparent at those moments. The rest of the time, Ginsu Knife exudes nothing discernable to OUR noses. But our noses quickly lose sensitivity to a particular odor, even an unpleasant one. I'd sooner trust a piece of machinery to measure whatever the plant exudes, be it scent or sound. :)

Like Ken said, have you been out in the garden in the evening hours?

I just happened to think of a scenario. The fragrant plantaginea family supposedly does not reproduce well up north or in cooler regions because I think that warmth is a requirement for the scent, which attracts those pollinators.

I also submit that we are familiar with the mosquitos coming out to feed at night. It is cooler then than during the day. So what attracts the skeeters is something warmer, which is to say a warm body so they can find their blood meal. It is probably what the hosta is doing as well, when the residual heat of the day can allow the release of a fragrance that the pollinators are drawn to, because it signifies warmth to them. And so fragrant hosta may prefer more sun in order to create more fragrance and more pollen.

Guess I forgot about poor little Ginsu Knife. The jury is out. One of my two GKs bloomed twice (2 scapes in June, 2 scapes a month later) or early and later probably more accurate, Neither time did it set seed. I got the first one in late September 2012 when it was almost dormant. That's the one which bloomed .... on 2 separate occasions.


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RE: Thread For Discussing Fragrant Hosta Planting

Don - Thanks for the nice comments. All my fragrants are blooming very nicely this year and I'm loving it. Guacamole is the most fragrant of them all. You certainly have a nice selection of fragrant hostas, and I hope you get some nice blooms this year. I just purchased Fragrant Blue. It is the small hosta to the right of Ginzu Knife. There has been a lot of discussion on the forum on rather it is truly fragrant or not. So I'll wait and see. I only have one small scape this year.

Moc - I specifically planted plantaginea two years ago for its fragrance in a very sunny location, and it completely disappeared this year which lends credence to your statement that it doesn't fare well in the North. Now I know what happened to it. It wasn't a happy camper!

Don't give up on those Ginzus.

This post was edited by DelawareDonna on Tue, Jul 30, 13 at 1:03


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Don, my previous post must have posted and I bet we both missed the other one being here. Hope to tell you, I agree about Fragrant Fire. It is absolutely gorgeous. Big and unique bright green with white margins of good size. Sweet arch to the leaf too. And what's not to like? It sported from Old Faithful (an Olga, and I think you got it recently?).....I'm hoping that the SEEDPODS set on my Old Faithful lead to viable seed. Nice.

One that I now believe you MUST get is White Knight. I took a picture of it today, with its big white flowers still open and there on the scapes some very nice seedpods. It was late afternoon and it had rained about an inch earlier in the afternoon, so I could not judge fragrance very well.

My strategy is changing. Instead of placing all the fragrant ones close together, I shall have to space them with suitable partners that are known to be good producers one way or the other.

My 4 or 5 (?--did I misplace one?) Royal Standards are coming into bloom now, and I'll post a picture below, of it and White Knight. Two of three Aphrodites are tantalizing me with big starry topped scapes. Avocado is blooming his heart out and no seedpods no seedpods. Doubled Up is still producing trumpet sized! white 6 inch flowers....sigh, I love that beauty. ...Miss Saigon is blooming ....Rich Uncle set 3 seedpods (is it fertile?)...Victory set a gazillion ....Pods on Journey's End and Golden Meadows and Seducer and Orange Marmalade and Fragrant Blue (YES, LOTS), Clear Fork River Valley, Paradise Sunshine, IRISH LUCK, Yellow Splash Rim, SWEET MARJORIE, Twist of Lime, Maui Buttercups, Climax (YES LOTS).....

I guess it is a good thing that not all seeds are fertile, because a little goes a long way. One of these days I'll figure out about plants.

Hold on, here they come.....
White Knight
DSCN9331

Fragrant Fire
Garden13July0166

Royal Standard
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Aphrodite making a star appearance
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Fragrant King....big blooms and seedpods too? Wow!
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Irish Luck with 1 seed pod...better than nothing
DSCN9333

Paradigm...not fragrant, but look at those seedpods..:)
DSCN9375

Same for Climax....not fragrant but lots of fat pods
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Journey's End....now, I'm in LOVE with those seedpods
DSCN9368

And to wind it up, here is Sweet Marjorie, a fragrant hosta. Nice show for a hosta new here this spring.
DSCN9366

Hope I did not go on too long, but how do you stop!


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