Archive for miniature hostas

The Elements of a Beautiful Garden

Posted in container gardening, containers for shade, Garden Tour, How to, landscape design, miniature hosta with tags , , , , , , , , on June 26, 2015 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

DSCN6643I love this combination of ‘All Gold’ Japanese Hakone grass and pink astilbe.

My son Alex Walker-Drennan took me to visit one of the gardens installed and maintained by his landscaping company Practiced Hands Gardening (practicedhandsgardening@gmail.com).  The garden has a strong Carolyn’s Shade Gardens connection as almost all the plants came from my nursery, and it was designed by Joan LaLeike whom many of you know from my open house sales.  It is owned by Hope and is on less than 1/4 acre very close to the City of Philadelphia.

Nursery News:  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is closed for the summer and will reopen in the fall.  To get all the details, please sign up for our customer email list by sending your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.  Let us know if you are particularly interested in snowdrops or miniature hostas.  For the miniature hosta catalogue, click here.

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DSCN6620The front of Hope’s house has great curb appeal.

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The garden was started about five years ago, and Hope works on a different section each year.  I always recommend that customers take this approach rather than trying to work on their whole property at once.  Completing an area, even a small one, gives you a sense of accomplishment and the inspiration to tackle the next project.  Hope has created a very satisfying garden in a relatively short period of time, which got me thinking about the important elements of a beautiful garden. Here’s what I came up with:

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DSCN66021. A Good Design: complementary textures, heights, and colors.

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DSCN6619A mixture of perennials, annuals, and deciduous and evergreen shrubs plus the lovely bark and habit of the birch keeps the garden flanking the front door interesting all year.

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DSCN6618A close up of the front garden, hellebores—-my favorites!

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DSCN6632A good design can be achieved without hiring a designer but knowledge of the plant material and how it performs is crucial.  Visit local public gardens like Chanticleer, Longwood, Winterthur, and the Morris Arboretum to view mature specimens thriving in an established environment before you choose and place your plants.

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DSCN66262.  Lot of Plants: Hope’s garden is densely planted giving a lush and vibrant look and cutting down on maintenance by keeping out weeds.  If you are working with a big space and a small budget, tackle one section at a time and fill it in.

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I am not sure who came up with the idea that plants should not touch and should be surrounded by a sea of mulch, but from a design perspective the results are not pleasing.  Leave room for each plant to reach its mature size without crowding, but once it does no soil should be visible.

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DSCN66313.  Lots of the Same Plant:  Massing of this Japanese hakone grass makes viewing from a distance a pleasure and guides the viewer around the garden.

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DSCN6627I rarely plant one of anything except trees.  When you shop, stay within your budget by purchasing the same total number of perennials but choose more of each variety you plant and less varieites.  Here, ‘Caramel’ heuchera and hydrangeas are massed.

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Athyrium niponicum 'Pictum' & Brunnera macrophyllaA simple mass planting of Japanese painted ferns and perennial forget-me-nots used as ground cover under a tree are much more pleasing than one or two of a lot of different plants crowded into the space.

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Brunnera macrophylla 'Dawson's White' A new planting masses ‘Dawson’s White’ brunnera leaving enough space for it to reach its mature size.

If you don’t make any other changes after you read this post, do this:  for the next year (or even better two years) do not buy any new plant varieties but instead add more of the same plants to groups that are working in your garden already.  I did this in my garden and the results were spectacular.

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Hosta 'Cracker Crumbs', Sedum 'Antique Grill'4.  Pay Attention to Details:  While the big picture is very important, little details really add to garden interest.  Hope has a very attractive but tiny bed filled with small scale plants edging her front walk, here petunias, ‘Antique Grill’ sedum, and ‘Cracker Crumbs’ miniature hosta.

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Hosta 'Blue Mouse Ears' 6-21-2015 1-44-28 PMThe bed really shows off her ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ hosta, which is planted all along the walk.

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DSCN66285.  Expect Trial and Error not Perfection:  The leyland cypresses behind this bed (upper right of photo), put in before Joan took over, are failing.  Instead of nursing along these ugly plants, Hope is removing them and trying something new.  Plants are living things so every one that you or a designer chooses will not necessarily work or even live.  Give your plants a few years to perform and if they don’t, move on.

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DSCN66396. Use Hardscape:  Walls, walks, patios, decks, fountains, ponds, etc., add tremendous interest to a garden design.  They also significantly increase the cost so they should be added with a lot of forethought.  Here Hope removed her dated deck and replaced it with a two-level stone patio complete with “fountain stairs”.

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DSCN66447.  Add garden ornaments and containers:  You don’t have to go wild with sculptures, birdhouses, sundials, and urns everywhere, but a few well-placed garden ornaments really add interest.  At Hope’s, this lovely pot anchors this part of the garden.

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DSCN6638Ornaments don’t have to be big or expensive—I love this little mushroom sitting under the oakleaf hydrangea.

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DSCN6635Containers of plants are visually interesting, here dwarf conifers on Hope’s patio wall.

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DSCN6634A dish of mini hostas and sedums.

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DSCN66468.  Maintain Your Garden Well Especially the Edges:  A beautiful garden needs work to stay that way.  Trees and shrubs require regular pruning, beds should be cut back and mulched in the fall or spring, borders need edging at least once a year, and weeding is ongoing.  A beautiful design with  lovely plant material is wasted if the garden is overgrown with messy edges and full of weeds.

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I admit that I am not always diligent about following my own rules, but when I finally do the results are always superior to what went before.

Carolyn

Nursery Happenings: You can sign up to receive emails about nursery events by sending your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a local retail nursery in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, U.S., zone 6b/7a. The only plants that we mail order are snowdrops and miniature hostas and only within the US.

If you are within visiting distance and would like to receive catalogues and information about customer events, please send your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net. Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Facebook: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook Page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post. You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information. If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

Top 5 Favorite Little Hostas

Posted in container gardening, containers for shade, hosta, miniature hosta with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 27, 2015 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Hosta 'Sparkler'‘Sparkler’ might make it to my favorite minis list because of its beautiful colors and unusual habit, but I am not sure it meets the American Hosta Society’s definition of miniature.  Available at Carolyn’s Shade Gardens (CSG).

With the latest issue of its journal, the American Hosta Society sent its members a form asking them to vote for their 10 favorite “regular” hostas and 5 favorite minis.  In my post Top 10 Favorite Larger Hostas,  I showed photos of some of my favorites.  Click here to read it.   If you are curious, here are my final picks:

1. Blue Mouse Ears
2. Blue Angel
3. Sagae
4. Eye Declare
5. El Nino
6. Crumb Cake
7. Paradise Joyce
8. Praying Hands
9. H. nigrescens
10. Stained Glass

Nursery News:  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens’ final open house sale of the year,  featuring summer and fall blooming shade plants, miniature hostas, and groundcovers, is this Saturday, May 30,  from 10 am to 3 pm.  To get all the details, please sign up for our customer email list by sending your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.  Our 2015 Miniature Hosta Catalogue is now on line, click here.  It lists all the wonderful little hostas that are available for pick up at the nursery and by mail.  Local customers are encouraged to pre-order.

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Hosta 'Little Treasure'‘Little Treasure’ may also be too big to be a mini but would be on my top 10 little hostas list because of its amazing blue color and lovely presentaion.  Available at CSG.

When my husband saw my post and my list, he commented that there was a lesson to be learned from it: if you see a hosta you like, buy it because it probably won’t be available next year. There are so many new hostas being introduced every year that many great cultivars are no longer sold.  Of my top 10 larger hostas, I was only able to sell 4 this year.  That’s why for this post I have once again indicated which little hostas are currently available at Carolyn’s Shade Gardens.

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Hosta 'Moon Shadow'‘Moon Shadow’ may also be too big to get a vote, but I love its colors.  Available at CSG.

So what is the definition of a miniature hosta?  The American Hosta Society defines miniature hostas by their leaf size.  The leaf blade area, length x width, can be no greater than 6 square inches.  Clump spread is irrelevant.  That is why ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ heads my larger hosta list: its leaves are too big to qualify as a mini.  Here are a few more that are on my favorite little hostas list but don’t make it to the final five:

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Hosta 'Appletini'‘Appletini’, definitely a “little” and not a mini, has breathtaking spring color and shiny gold leaves through the season.  Available at CSG in 2016.

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Hosta 'Baby Bunting'‘Baby Bunting’s’ leaves look huge here, but they are tiny, cute, and blue in my miniature hosta rock garden.  Available at CSG.

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Hosta 'Stiletto'‘Stiletto’s’ long, narrow leaves with wavy edges also make it stand out.  Available at CSG.

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Hosta 'Faithful Heart'‘Faithful Heart’  has such an unusual look.  The smooth leaves come out solid gold and gradually develop a distinct green edge over the course of at least a month—very fun.  Shown here in my strawberry pot.  Available at CSG.

Now for the final five—the hostas that got my vote in the American Hosta Society poll for favorite minis:

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Hosta 'Twist of Lime'At number five, ‘Twist of Lime’  makes my list because its leaves are beautiful, it is very easy to grow, and it spreads nicely to make a lovely groundcover.  Available at CSG.

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Hosta 'Pixie Vamp'At number four, ‘Pixie Vamp’ has everything going for it: great colors, elegant habit, adorable name, and look at those dark mahogany flower stems—a real standout.  Unfortunately no longer available but I am searching.

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Hosta 'Dragon Tails'

The photo says it all about number three ‘Dragon Tails’.  Wouldn’t a dragon have a tail like that?  Absolutely adorable!  Available at CSG in 2016.

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Hosta 'Mighty Mouse'

You could have predicted that a Mouse Ears hosta would be in my top five.  I have chosen ‘Mighty Mouse’ because it is readily available, grows well in pots and the ground, has a really cute name, and epitomizes the Mouse Ears form.  Available at CSG.

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Hosta 'Cracker Crumbs'I could have chosen so many minis to be in my top five and all the finalists could be number one.  It’s like being asked to pick your favorite child.  However, I ended the agonizing and picked ‘Cracker Crumbs’ as number one.  Its shiny gold leaves with blue-green edges are beautiful, it has a great look both as a specimen and as a groundcover, it’s easy to grow, and it is readily available “in the trade”.  None of the other four combine all these characteristics.  Available at CSG.

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I hope you have enjoyed my little hosta roundup.  If you would like to read more about little hostas, click on any of the following links:

The Mice Have Multiplied Again

New Miniature and Small Hostas for 2014, Part 2

New Miniature and Small Hostas for 2014, Part 1

New Mice for 2014

2013 New Miniature and Small Hostas

Miniature (& Small) Hostas

I LOVE Mice

Beyond Mice

Hostas Containers and Companions

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Carolyn

Nursery Happenings: The 2015 Miniature Hosta Availability for mail order and pick up at the nursery is here.   Our final big spring sale, featuring miniature hostas and summer and fall blooming shade plants is Saturday, May 30, from 10 am to 3 pm.  Customers on our list have gotten an email with all the details.  You can sign up to receive emails by sending your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a local retail nursery in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, U.S., zone 6b/7a. The only plants that we mail order are snowdrops and miniature hostas and only within the US.

If you are within visiting distance and would like to receive catalogues and information about customer events, please send your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net. Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Facebook: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook Page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post. You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information. If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

The Mice Have Multiplied Again

Posted in container gardening, containers for shade, hosta, miniature hosta with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 20, 2015 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Mouse Ears CollectionMy Mouse Ears Hosta collection in pots, back row left to right: ‘Mighty Mouse’, ‘Mini Skirt’, ‘Mouse Cheese’, ‘Lucky Mouse’, front row left to right: ‘Green Mouse Ears’, ‘Pure Heart’, ‘Desert Mouse’, ‘Funny Mouse’.

I love Mouse Ears miniature and small hostas.  I like them because they are cute, they have a look all their own, they have adorable names, their colors are beautiful, I would actually grow them for their flowers, and their thick leaves give them a unique presence and repel slugs.  There are two new Mouse Ears this year: ‘Mini Skirt’ and ‘Pure Heart’, but I am also including photos of other members of this captivating family of hostas.

Nursery News:  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is holding its traditional Memorial Weekend open hours on Friday, May 22, and Saturday, May 23,  from 10 am to 2 pm.  Just stop by, no appointment necessary and you can park in the driveway. Our final big spring sale, featuring summer and fall blooming shade plants and miniature hostas, is scheduled for Saturday, May 30,  from 10 am to 3 pm.  To get all the details, please sign up for our customer email list by sending your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.  Our 2015 Miniature Hosta Catalogue is now on line, click here.  It lists all the wonderful little hostas that are available for pick up at the nursery and by mail.  Local customers are encouraged to pre-order.

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Hosta 'Mini Skirt'Newly introduced‘Mini Skirt’has the same variegation as ‘Mighty Mouse’ but with heavily ruffled leaves—stunning and already a customer favorite!

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Hosta 'Pure Heart'Newly introduced ‘Pure Heart’  has the reverse variegation of ‘Mighty Mouse’.  This tiny Mouse Ears hosta is named after Pearl Pureheart, Mighty Mouse’s cartoon girlfriend.

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Hosta 'Mighty Mouse'‘Mighty Mouse’ is still one of the best Mouse Ears both in the ground and in a pot.

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Hosta 'Mighty Mouse'‘Mighty Mouse’ in my miniature hosta rock garden.  I hope you can stop by this weekend and see all the minis growing there.

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Hosta 'Blue Mouse Ears'‘Blue Mouse Ears’  started it all and is still the best of the bunch if you are just getting into Mouse Ears.  It is much larger than the other Mouse Ears and is not considered a mini hosta.  The American Hosta Society defines miniature hostas by their leaf size.  The leaf blade area, length x width, can be no greater than 6 square inches.  Clump spread is irrelevant.

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Hosta 'Blue Mouse Ears'Another photo of  ‘Blue Mouse Ears’  highlighting the silver edging on the almost perfectly round leaves.

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Hosta 'Mouse Cheese'‘Mouse Cheese’ has the look of ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ with thick round leaves and lovely proportionate flowers but starts out chartreuse and turns more and more gold throughout the season.

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Hosta 'Green Mouse Ears'‘Green Mouse Ears’ has really taken off this year in a pot.  Always one of my favorites because of its ultra thick leaves, its bright green color is a nice contrast to the other Mouse Ears.

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Hosta 'Holy Mouse Ears'‘Holy Mouse Ears’ is slow growing but remains one of my favorites.

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Hosta 'Sunny Mouse Ears'Like ‘Mouse Cheese’, ‘Sunny Mouse Ears’ changes from chartruese to gold over the course of the season, but it has rounder, tinier leaves.

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That’s it for my Mouse Ears update.  If you would like to read more about little hostas, click on any of the following links:

New Miniature and Small Hostas for 2014, Part 2

New Miniature and Small Hostas for 2014, Part 1

New Mice for 2014

2013 New Miniature and Small Hostas

Miniature (& Small) Hostas

I LOVE Mice

Beyond Mice

Hostas Containers and Companions

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Carolyn

Nursery Happenings: The 2014 Miniature Hosta Availability for mail order and pick up at the nursery is here.   Our next open hours are Saturday, May 31, from 10 am to 2 pm.  Our final big spring sale, featuring miniature hostas and summer and fall blooming shade plants is Saturday, June 7, from 10 am to 3 pm.  Customers on our list have gotten an email with all the details.  You can sign up to receive emails by sending your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a local retail nursery in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, U.S., zone 7a. The only plants that we mail order are snowdrops and miniature hostas and only within the US.

If you are within visiting distance and would like to receive catalogues and information about customer events, please send your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net. Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Facebook: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook Page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post. You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information. If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

New Miniature and Small Hostas for 2014, Part 2

Posted in container gardening, containers for shade, hosta, miniature hosta with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 26, 2014 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Our 2015 Miniature Hosta Catalogue is now on line, click here.  It lists all the wonderful little hostas that are available for pick up at the nursery and by mail.  Local customers are encouraged to pre-order.

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Miniature hosta collageClockwise from upper left: flowers of ‘Lemon Frost’, ‘Neutrino’, ‘Chartreuse Wiggles’, ‘Thumbelina’, and ‘Feather Boa’.

My last post called New Miniature and Small Hostas for 2014 highlighted four new additions to our extensive offerings of miniature hostas.  In that post I talked about ‘Alakazaam’, ‘Baby Booties’, ‘Cherish’, and ‘Kiwi Golden Thimble’.  To see the photos and descriptions, click here.  This post will add five more profiles of cute little hostas that you will want to add to your containers and gardens.

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Hosta 'Fether Boa'‘Feather Boa’ is extremely useful because it grows rapidly to form a dense groundcover of bright gold leaves.  It is 11″ tall by 27″ wide, and its leaves are 3 3/4″ long by 2″ wide.  The narrow gold foliage with very wavy margins is topped by attractive purple flowers in July.

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Hosta 'Thumbelina'‘Thumbelina’  departs from the usual color scheme to give us a very cute bright green and gold mini with wavy, heart-shaped leaves and a wide yellow margin .  It is 10″ tall by 24″ wide, and its leaves are 4″ long by 3″ wide.  It has medium purple flowers in July and forms a small, dense rounded mound, great specimen!

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Hosta 'Chartreuse Wiggles'‘Chartreuse Wiggles has glossy, bright gold, very narrow and heavily rippled leaves that really stand out in the garden.  It is 10″ high by 25″ wide, and its leaves are 5 1/2″ long by 1″ wide.  Pale purple flowers appear in August.  It forms a low dense mound, making an excellent specimen, edger, or groundcover.

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Hosta 'Neutrino'‘Neutrino’  is another mini hosta that really stands out.  The bright green, pointy leaves have a wide white margin that streaks into the center.  It forms a  5″ tall by 16″ wide neat but dense mound.  Its leaves are 2 3/4″ long by 1 3/4″ wide topped by medium purple flowers in July.  It is a tiny plant, a seedling of H. venusta.

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Hosta 'Lemon Frost' ‘Lemon Frost’  features a very unusual color combination of light chartreuse leaves with a pure white margin.  It is 10″ tall by 24″ wide, and its leaves are 3 1/2″ long by 1 1/2″ wide.  The gorgeous, dark purple striped flowers appear in July (next photo).  It is very fast growing and useful as a variegated ground cover or edging plant.

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Hosta 'Lemon Frost'The buds of ‘Lemon Frost’ are a desirable dark purple, and the flowers are striped—a hosta I would grow for its flowers!

There may be a third post in this series with a few more new additions.  Meanwhile, if you would like to read more about little hostas, click on any of the following links:

New Miniature and Small Hostas for 2014, Part 1

New Mice for 2014

2013 New Miniature and Small Hostas

Miniature (& Small) Hostas

I LOVE Mice

Beyond Mice

Hostas Containers and Companions

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Carolyn

Nursery Happenings: The 2015 Miniature Hosta Availability for mail order and pick up at the nursery is here.  You can sign up to receive emails by sending your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a local retail nursery in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, U.S., zone 7a. The only plants that we mail order are snowdrops and miniature hostas and only within the US.

If you are within visiting distance and would like to receive catalogues and information about customer events, please send your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net. Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Facebook: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook Page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post. You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information. If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

New Miniature and Small Hostas for 2014

Posted in container gardening, containers for shade, hosta, miniature hosta with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 22, 2014 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Nursery News:  Please sign up for our customer email list by sending your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.  Our 2015 Miniature Hosta Catalogue is now on line, click here.  It lists all the wonderful little hostas that will be available at the nursery and by mail.  Local customers are encouraged to pre-order.

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Miniature Hostas 20141Clockwise from upper left: ‘Lemon Frost’, ‘Alakazaam’, ‘Baby Booties’, ‘Neutrino’, ‘Kiwi Golden Thimble’, ‘Curly Fries’, ‘Thumbelina’, and ‘Cherish’.

My last post called New Mice for 2014 profiled the new additions to the adorable Mouse Ears Series of miniature hostas.  In that post I talked about ‘Sunny Mouse Ears’, ‘Mouse Cheese’, ‘Ruffled Mouse Ears’, and ‘Church Mouse’.  To see the photos and descriptions, click here.  I extolled the virtues of their round, rubbery slug-repelling leaves in beautiful colors, their symmetrical habit, and their lovely proportional flowers.

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Hosta  'Alakazaam'‘Alakazaam’ planted in the knot hole of a tree.

I have added a lot of new miniature and small hostas that are not mice to my offerings, and I want to profile a few of them here.  But first I would like to answer the question what is a miniature hosta?  The American Hosta Society defines miniature hostas by their leaf size.  The leaf blade area, length x width, can be no greater than 6 square inches.  Clump spread is irrelevant.  Therefore, some of the hostas listed below are not technically “miniature”, but they are all little! 

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Hosta 'Alakazaam'‘Alakazaam’s’  unusual spiky habit makes it stand out from the crowd no matter where you place it.  It forms a clump 5″ tall by 10″ wide, and its leaves are 6 1/2″ long and 3/4″ wide.  They are bright green with gold ruffled margins changing to creamy white.

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Hosta 'Baby Booties'‘Baby Booties’  departs from the usual gold and blue color scheme to give us a very cute green and white mini with oval leaves and a wide creamy white margin .  It forms a 5″ tall by 19″ wide compact mound, and its oval leaves are 2 3/4″ long by 1 3/8″ wide.

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Hosta 'Cherish'‘Cherish’  is an adorable tiny hosta, “child” of the wonderful ‘Baby Bunting’, with heart-shaped creamy yellow leaves and a wide blue margin streaking into the center.  It has pixie-like, tiny flowers that are coming into bloom right now. It is 8″ tall by 12″ wide, and its leaves are 2 1/2 ” long by 1 1/2″ wide.  It needs more sun due to its extensive variegation.

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Hosta 'Kiwi Golden Thimble'‘Kiwi Golden Thimble’ is my most popular new mini hosta.  Its unusual gold color and narrow, cupped leaves really stand out.  Plus it rapidly produces an adorable mound of golden foliage.  It is 5″ tall by 18″ wide, and its leaves are 2 3/4″ long by 1 1/4″ wide.

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Look for another post on four more new additions.  If you would like to read more about little hostas, click on any of the following links:

New Mice for 2014

2013 New Miniature and Small Hostas

Miniature (& Small) Hostas

I LOVE Mice

Beyond Mice

Hostas Containers and Companions

.

Carolyn

Nursery Happenings: The 2015 Miniature Hosta Availability for mail order and pick up at the nursery is here.  You can sign up to receive emails by sending your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a local retail nursery in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, U.S., zone 7a. The only plants that we mail order are snowdrops and miniature hostas and only within the US.

If you are within visiting distance and would like to receive catalogues and information about customer events, please send your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net. Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Facebook: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook Page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post. You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information. If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

New Mice for 2014

Posted in container gardening, containers for shade, hosta, miniature hosta with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 5, 2014 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Nursery News: Please sign up for our customer email list by sending your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.  Our 2015 Miniature Hosta Catalogue is now on line, click here.  It lists all the wonderful little hostas that will be available at the nursery and by mail.  Local customers are encouraged to pre-order.

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Mouse Ears HostasClockwise from upper left: ‘Holy Mouse Ears’, ‘Frosted Mouse Ears’, ‘Blue Mouse Ears’, ‘Green Mouse Ears’, and ‘Mighty Mouse’.

In 2012, I wrote a very popular post called I Love Mice about little hostas in the Mouse Ears Series.  In that post I talked about ‘Holy Mouse Ears’, ‘Frosted Mouse Ears’, ‘Green Mouse Ears’, ‘Mighty Mouse’, and the little hosta that started it all, ‘Blue Mouse Ears’.  I extolled the virtues of their round, rubbery slug-repelling leaves in beautiful colors, their symmetrical habit, and their lovely proportional flowers.  Since then some new mice have arrived on the seen, and I want to introduce them to you.

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Hosta 'Sunny Mouse Ears'‘Sunny Mouse Ears’ is tiny and adorable in a new color for mouse ears minis.

It was just a matter of time before someone selected a gold-leafed mouse ears hosta, and ‘Sunny Mouse Ears’  is it thanks to the breeders at Land of the Giants Hosta Farm.  It has tiny, perfectly round leaves 1 3/4″ long by 1 3/4″ wide.  It forms a mound 3″ tall by 10″ wide.  ‘Sunny Mouse Ears’ is the first gold-leafed cultivar in the Mouse Ears series, although there is another described below.  It has the same thick substance that repels slugs and the same enchanting, pixie-like pale purple flowers in July as the rest of the mouse ears clan.

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Hosta 'Ruffled Mouse Ears'Hosta ‘Ruffled Mouse Ears’ in the foreground contrasts nicely with the rounded shape of most of the other mouse ears hostas, here ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ in the background.

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Hosta 'Ruffled Mouse Ears'A close up of ‘Ruffled Mouse Ears’

‘Ruffled Mouse Ears’ is another new addition to the group.  It has blue-green leaves 2 3/4″ long by 2 1/2″ wide with highly ruffled margins.  Although it has the same rounded, thick, rubbery, slug resistant leaves as its parent ‘Blue Mouse Ears’, its rippled and frilled margins provide a great contrast to the other mouse ears hostas.  ‘Ruffled Mouse Ears’ forms a mound 6″ high by 14″ wide and has the same desirable flowers.

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Hosta 'Mouse Cheese'‘Mouse Cheese’ is definitely a clever name for this gold-leafed mouse ears hosta.

‘Mouse Cheese’ is the other new gold-leafed mouse ears hosta available this year.  At 2 3/4″long by 2 1/2″ wide, its leaves are larger and not as round, but they are  bright gold with the same thick texture as the other mice we have come to love.  ‘Mouse Cheese’ forms a slightly larger mound 4″ tall and 12″ wide.  It has very cute pale purple flowers in July and  retains its gold leaf color all season.

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Hosta 'Church Mouse'The texture of Hosta ‘Church Mouse’ stands out in a mixed planting.  Photo courtesy of Walters Gardens.

‘Church Mouse’, the last of the four new mouse ears hostas, has very blue leaves with unique, highly ruffled margins that make a good contrast with other mouse ears hostas.  It has the same thick substance that repels slugs and adorable, well-proportioned lavender flowers in early summer.  It forms a larger mound 8″ tall by 15″ wide, but has the same neat and symmetrical habit.

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Hosta 'Church Mouse'A close up of ‘Church Mouse’, photo courtesy of Walters Gardens.

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If you would like to read more about little hostas, click on any of the following links:

2013 New Miniature and Small Hostas

Miniature (& Small) Hostas

I LOVE Mice

Beyond Mice

Hostas Containers and Companions

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Carolyn

Nursery Happenings: The 2015 Miniature Hosta Availability for mail order and pick up at the nursery is here.  You can sign up to receive emails by sending your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a local retail nursery in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, U.S., zone 7a. The only plants that we mail order are snowdrops and miniature hostas and only within the US.

If you are within visiting distance and would like to receive catalogues and information about customer events, please send your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net. Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Facebook: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook Page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post. You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information. If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

Pleasurable Pairings for Early Summer Part 2

Posted in hosta, miniature hosta, my garden, native plants, Shade Gardening, Shade Perennials with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 14, 2013 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Spigelia marilandica Indian pink, Spigelia marilandica, is one of the highlights of my garden in June.  I would like to have a field of this wonderful, hummingbird-attracting native.

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My post Pleasurable Pairings for Spring profiles plant combinations in my garden in April 2011.  To read it, click here.  I am continuing this theme with two posts on pleasing plant pairs for early summer.  My house is on a south-facing slope, and the first post showed the gardens on the west side of the house.  To read it, click here.  Combinations from the east side of the house are in this post.

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Carolyn's Shade GardensThe view up the slope on the east side of the house.  All the grass has been removed and replaced by garden beds and pine needle paths.

The gardens on the east side are fairly colorful when all the hellebores, snowdrops, primroses, pulmonarias, and other early perennials are blooming.  However, by late spring, they become a much more subtle tapestry composed mainly of the leaves of hostas, epimediums, hellebores, and ferns.  I love it, but it is more difficult to capture in photos than the colorful flowers on the west side.  I wish you could all see it in person, but here is my best shot.

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Carolyn's Shade GardensThe view down the slope.

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Carolyn's Shade GardensLooking into the woods through the upper entrance with ‘Jimmy Crack Corn’ hosta on the left.

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Hosta El NinoIvory and blue ‘El Nino’ hosta really brightens up the shade, here with white bigleaf hardy geranium.

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Brunnera 'Dawson's White', Heuchera 'Green Spice', Hosta TopazMore plants in my silver and blue garden, clockwise from upper left: hellebores, ‘Topaz’ hosta, native ‘Green Spice’ coralbells, and ‘Dawson’s White’ brunnera.

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Hosta 'Krossa Regal'‘Krossa Regal’ hosta’s frosty blue leaves and vase-shaped habit set it apart from other hostas.

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Hosta 'Sum and Substance', Podophyllum peltatum‘Sum and Substance’ hosta in the woodland with mayapples and golden groundsel.

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Spigelia marilandica, Hosta Summer Lovin', Haknoechloa 'All Gold'This shows how I use the native Indian pink featured at the start of the post.  Clockwise from upper left: ‘All Gold’ Japanese hakone grass, ‘Little Blue’ pulmonaria, native sedge, hellebores, Hylomecon japonicum (no common name), ‘Citronelle’ coralbells, Indian pink, and ‘Summer Lovin’ hosta.

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Hosta 'summer Lovin', Hakonechloa 'All Gold'‘Summer Lovin’ hosta and ‘All Gold’ Japanese hakone grass make a great pair.

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Hosta 'Eye Declare', Heuchera 'Stained Glass'Hosta ‘Eye Declare’ and ‘Stainless Steel’ coralbells, one of the brighter combinations on the east side of the house at this time of year.

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Aruncus aethusifolius, Hosta JuneFerny-leafed dwarf goatsbeard with ‘June’ hosta

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Hosta 'Guacamole', Hosta 'Blue Angel'Customers often ask me which hostas go together, and my answer is they all do: ‘Guacamole’ and ‘Blue Angel’.

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miniature hosta rock gardenLooking down the hill over my newest installation, a miniature hosta rock garden.  I needed a dedicated area to display my collection.

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miniature hosta rock gardenA view of the miniature hosta rock garden from below.

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lady fern, Hosta 'Teaspoon', Hosta 'Remember Me'Dwarf lady fern, ‘Teaspoon’ hosta, and ‘Remember Me’ hosta on the right.

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DSCN0404‘Pixie Vamp’ hosta with Sedum lydium and ‘Rock Prince’ hosta.

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Hosta 'Blonde Elf', lady fern, Hosta 'Blue Mouse Ears'‘Blonde Elf’ hosta, dwarf lady fern, and ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ hosta

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I hope you enjoyed Part 2.

Carolyn

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Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, U.S., zone 6b.  The only plants that we mail order are snowdrops and miniature hostas and only within the US.

If you are within visiting distance and would like to receive catalogues and information about customer events, please send your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.  Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Nursery Happenings:  The nursery closes for the summer on June 15 and will reopen in the fall around September 15.  Have a great summer.

Facebook:  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook Page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post.  You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information.  If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

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