Bigger Hostas in Carolyn’s Shade Gardens

 ‘Great Expectations’ is just unfurling its lovely spring colors.

Last week I showed photos of little hostas in our gardens.  To see the pictures, click here.  In this post, I will cover medium and large hostas emerging with their vivid and beautiful spring colors.  All the hostas pictured in this post are for sale at our nursery.  I have noted Hosta of the Year award winners.  Only 22 hostas out of the thousands of named cultivars have received this honor.  For more information on these winning hostas, click here.

Nursery News:  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, PA, specializing in showy, colorful, and unusual plants for shade.  The only plants that we ship are snowdrops and miniature hostas.  For catalogues and announcements of events, please send your full name, location, and cell number (for back up use only) to  Click here to get to the home page of our website for catalogues and information about our nursery and to subscribe to our blog.


‘Great Expectations’ has a lovely habit when fully out.


We grow ‘Praying Hands’ in a pot with dwarf Solomon’s seal, and it emerges very late—you can just see the first leaf poking through.  2011 Hosta of the Year


‘Praying Hands’ fully emerged.  2011 Hosta of the Year


‘Paul’s Glory’ will have a gold center later in the season.  1999 Hosta of the Year


‘Patriot’ also emerges late.  1997 Hosta of the Year


‘Liberty’ has wide, bright yellow margins.  2012 Hosta of the Year


‘Liberty’ is a glorious sight when full grown.  2012 Hosta of the Year


‘June’ looks different depending on whether it is grown in sun or shade.  In shade above, it is very blue.  2001 Hosta of the Year


‘June’ is yellower in a sunny area.  2001 Hosta of the Year

.Many beautiful hostas have been selected from ‘June’—here ‘June Fever’.



Another progeny of ‘June’—‘June Spirit’.


‘Halcyon’ is a great medium-sized hosta with a true blue color.


‘First Frost’ was selected from ‘Halcyon’ so has a deep blue center but with creamy yellow margins.  2010 Hosta of the Year



The intense spring color of ‘Blue Ivory’, another progeny of ‘Halcyon’.


‘Empress Wu’, the world’s largest hosta, is going to be truly massive this year.


‘Brother Stefan’ is just getting started.  2017 Hosta of the Year


‘Brother Stefan’ when more fully emerged.  We grow it in a very sunny spot, and it is immense.  2017 Hosta of the Year


One of my favorites, ‘Abiqua Drinking Gourd’ with its huge, blue, cupped leaves.  2014 Hosta of the Year


‘Abiqua Drinking Gourd’s’ leaves actually hold water.  2014 Hosta of the Year


If you are local, be sure to check out the medium and large hostas in our garden in person.  They do not display their lovely habits and colorful leaves as well in a nursery container.  You will find them all clearly labeled in our display gardens.



Nursery Happenings: You can sign up to receive catalogues and emails about nursery events by sending your full name, location, and phone number to  Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.  Please indicate if you will be shopping at the nursery or are mail order only.

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.

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.

5 Responses to “Bigger Hostas in Carolyn’s Shade Gardens”

  1. Hi Carolyn, Great hostas. I love Gentle Giant, mine is massive now. Another I bought recently that is already impressive is Afterglow.

  2. Steve C Says:

    I purchased several of the large ones last spring, including Brother Stefan, Drinking Gourd, and Empress Wu, to name a few. Though I did not label them, I walk through my garden with iPad in hand and compare pictures with plants and can tell exactly which ones are which. They are all up and off to the races.

  3. Oh Carolyn, these hostas as are gorgeous.

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