Along with our addiction to scrabble – (My Addiction Cost Me 27 Days in 2017) – my husband and I share a love of hostas.
It started innocently enough. We bought a house with a large above ground pool. It was surrounded by lots and lots of concrete. Concrete slab for the pool equipment and a large concrete slab with two ugly metal sheds. There were no trees or flowers and very little grass in the back yard.
Since I hate getting water in my face in the shower, I was clearly not going to use the pool. After one year of trying to keep the pool clean with all the time and money that required, my husband decided it was not worth it for the two or three times a month he would swim.
So – out with the pool and all that concrete!
We decided to plant some hostas. We had never grown hostas before but after my husband had planted so many trees in our background and it was very shady, it seemed like a good choice.
At first we had a small area of hostas under the trees next to the house. But now it has grown until almost all of our back yard is filled with hostas. The small patch of yard still left should be gone by the end of this summer as my husband is busy dividing the ones we have and transplanting them to other spots in the yard.
Hostas come in all sizes – from four-inch dwarfs to six-foot giants. They come in different shades of green, blue and chartreuse. During the summer they produce spikes of pink, lavender or white flowers. While the flowers are beautiful, it is their foliage that makes them such a wonderful plant for the shade garden.
Hostas came to America in the 1800’s from Korea, China and Japan. Hostas are mentioned as early as the Han Dynasty (206 BC to 220 AD). They are mentioned in Japan as early as 710 AD. There were originally about 40 species from Asia but today due to selective breeding there are about 8,000 cultivars.
If you are looking for a plant that provides beauty year after year requiring little care and lots of variety in flowers and foliage, check out the hostas, Queen of the shade garden.