Archive for the miniature hosta Category

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

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 phone number (for back up use only) to carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com.  Click here to get to the home page of our website for catalogues and information about our nursery and to subscribe to our blog.

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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:  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 phone number (for back up use only) to carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com.  Click here to get to the home page of our website for catalogues and information about our nursery and to subscribe to our blog.

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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

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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 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: 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 phone number (for back up use only) to carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com.  Click here to get to the home page of our website for catalogues and information about our nursery and to subscribe to our blog.

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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.  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

.

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

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 phone number (for back up use only) to carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com.  Click here to get to the home page of our website for catalogues and information about our nursery and to subscribe to our blog.

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.

2013 New Miniature and Small Hostas

Posted in container gardening, containers for shade, hosta, miniature hosta, Shade Gardening, Shade Perennials with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 20, 2013 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

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 phone number (for back up use only) to carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com.  Click here to get to the home page of our website for catalogues and information about our nursery and to subscribe to our blog..

miniature hosta toolbox 2My latest container for mini hostas is an old handymans’s toolbox that was hanging around.  In it are clockwise from upper left: ‘Thumbelina’, ‘Teaspoon’, dwarf Solomon’s seal, sedum, ‘Rock Prince’, ‘Cherish’, dwarf lady fern, and ‘Regal Tot’.  the surface is covered by moss collected from my roof.  More about containers at the end of the post.

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My nursery, Carolyn’s Shade Gardens, specializes in miniature and small hostas.  I even have a mail order business shipping miniature hostas all over the U.S.  For mail order details or, if you are local, a list of the over 35 miniature and small hostas available at the nursery, click here.  I have also written extensively about minis and links to the articles are at the end of this post.  Now I want to profile some of the new little hostas available this year.

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Hosta 'Dragon Tails'‘Dragon Tails’ is one of my new favorites, and if you use your imagination you can see why it was named that.  It forms an arching, tight clump  7″ tall and 14 ” wide at maturity.  Its golden leaves are 5″ long and 1″ wide, lance-shaped, heavily rippled, and tapering to a point.    It is supposed to look great draping over the edge of a trough.

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Hosta 'Green Eyes'‘Green Eyes’ is a seedling of ‘Kabitan’, another wonderful little hosta.  It is 5″ tall and 12 ” wide at maturity.  Its leaves are pale yellow with a narrow green margin and 3″ long and 1″ wide.  They are lance-shaped, rippled, and tapering.    It is said to be sun tolerant.

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Hosta 'Hi Ho Silver'I would grow ‘Hi Ho Silver’ for the name alone.  It is 8″ tall and 12″ wide at maturity.  Its lance-shaped leaves are medium green with a wide, bright white margin that extends down the leaf stalk, and 6″ long and 2″ wide.  It forms a loose clump and needs shade.

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Hosta 'Little Treasure'‘Little Treasure’  is  6” tall and 16” wide at maturity.  Its leaves, which are 4 ½” long by 2” wide, have a very striking, blue margin with a creamy white center.  The leaves twist for a unique overall look.  Although it is a standout in my garden, it is one of those hostas that doesn’t look like much in a nursery pot.

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Hosta 'Pandora's Box'‘Pandora’s Box’ is a very beautiful and unique miniature hosta.  It forms a striking, tight clump reaching 8″ high and 19″ wide at maturity.  Its heart-shaped, bright white leaves have an irregular blue-green margin and are 2 1/2″ long and 2″ wide.  It is an offshoot of ‘Baby Bunting’ and will occasionally form all blue-green leaves which should be removed.  Its only drawback is that it is more difficult to grow than the average mini due to all the white in its leaves which reduces photosynthesis.  It is said to do much better in a container and should not be planted in the ground.

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Hosta 'Regal Tot'‘Regal Tot’ forms a neat and compact mound 5 ½” tall by 17” wide.  Its elegant cupped and corrugated leaves are 4” long by 3” wide.  Unlike most hostas, which age to green, it is chartreuse when it comes out and becomes more and more gold as the season progresses.  A truly regal form of ‘Shining Tot’, its dark green parent.

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Hosta 'Ruffled Mouse Ears'‘Ruffled Mouse Ears’ is the latest addition to the “mouse ears” clan of hostas, my favorite minis.  An off shoot of ‘Blue Mouse Ears’, it has the same round, thick, rubbery leaves 2 3/4″ long and 2 1/2″ wide but with rippled and frilled margins.   It was introduced this year so I only have the photo of my own immature plant above to show you.  However, all the mouse ears cultivars are excellent plants with a very unique look.  At maturity, it forms a mound 6″ high and 14″ wide.  If you would like to read more about mouse ears hostas, click here for my post entitled I LOVE Mice.

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Hosta 'Shiro Kabitan'‘Shiro Kabitan’ (often sold as ‘Haku Chu Chan’) really brightens up the shade with its bright white foliage with a narrow green margin.  The slightly twisted, ribbon-like leaves are 4 1/2″ long and 1 1/2″ wide.  Despite all the white, it spreads quickly to form a small dense mound 6″ high and 18″ wide at maturity.  It makes a very colorful edging and prefers dappled shade.

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Hosta 'Stiletto'‘Stiletto’ is another small hosta that can’t be mistaken for any other.  Its shiny dark green leaves with a narrow yellow to creamy white margin are 5 1/2″ long and 1 1/2″ wide.  They are noticeably rippled and wavy.  This fast-growing, adaptable hosta forms a mound 12″ high and 24″ wide at maturity.  It is great for edging and forms a dense mini-hedge along a path or border.

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Hosta 'Teaspoon'‘Teaspoon’ is a hosta that stands out from the crowd with its unique cupped, bright green leaves that look, yes, like a teaspoon.  The almost completely round leaves are 2 3/4″ long and 2 1/2″ wide.  It forms a dense and neat mound 11″ high and 24″ wide at maturity.  It is fast-growing and makes an outstanding specimen.

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Hosta 'Woodland Elf'‘Woodland Elf’  grows quickly to form a compact mound 5″ high and 15” wide at maturity.  The waved and cupped leaves are 2 ¼” long and 1 ½” wide.  They are medium green with a white margin.  ‘Woodland Elf’ has a  beautiful upright habit and is great in troughs and excellent for edging.

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Those are just some of the new little hostas available at Carolyn’s Shade Gardens this year.  Many of them are excellent plants for the front of the border or for edging paths.  However, the real minis look best when they are specially displayed in an area of the garden set aside for them with suitable sized companion plants like smaller epimediums, dwarf ferns, sedums, hens and chicks, or dwarf Solomon’s seal.  I have a special rock garden just for my minis—don’t miss it when you visit next.

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DSCN0193Another view of the new mini garden featured at the start of this post.

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The other way to display miniature hostas is in a container.  If the container can take freezing, you can leave it outside, minis and all, for the whole winter with no special protection.  That’s what we do with all our containers at Carolyn’s Shade Gardens.  As I explained in detail in my post Hosta Containers and Companions (to read it click here), you don’t need to go out and spend a fortune buying a fancy pot for your hostas.  Any old object collecting dust in your attic can be converted to a mini hosta container garden.  We have used everything from the toolbox above to the oil can below.

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Hosta I made this container last year, and you should see how beautiful it is this spring after being out all winter.

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

Miniature (& Small) Hostas

I LOVE Mice

Beyond Mice

Hostas Containers and Companions

Carolyn

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Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, US, 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 2015 Miniature Hosta Mail Order Catalogue, containing over 35 choice selections of miniatures for shipping all over the US, is now on the right sidebar here, and we are ready to ship.

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.

Hosta Containers and Companions

Posted in container gardening, containers for shade, hosta, miniature hosta, Shade Gardening, Shade Perennials with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 10, 2012 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

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 phone number (for back up use only) to carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com.  Click here to get to the home page of our website for catalogues and information about our nursery and to subscribe to our blog.

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Hosta When finding containers for your hostas you have to think outside the box: “Carolyn’s Gold” hosta in an antique kerosene can.

This is the third post in a three-part series on small hostas.  My nursery specializes in miniature hostas, and I have over 30 varieties available right now, both at the nursery and mail orderIn I LOVE Mice, I raved about the mouse ears series of hostas.  In Beyond Mice, I highlighted some of my favorite non-mouse ears hostas.  My 2011 post Miniature (& Small) Hostas also gives an overview of little hostas and how to use them in the garden.  Now I want to focus on the containers you might use to hold your hostas and the plants that will keep them company.

 

Probably my favorite medium sized hosta, the straight species Hosta tokudama.

Why would you want to grow hostas in a container?  One reason I do it is to highlight a hosta’s very special ornamental attributes.  I think Hosta tokudama (photo above) is gorgeous so I grow it in a pot outside my front door.  Here are some other hostas that I think merit their own container (read my previous hosta posts for photos of other single hosta containers):


Hosta ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ has bright gold leaves and deep red stems that look like rhubarb.  I placed its pot on a wall by my front walk so I can admire the stems up close.


The elegant hosta ‘Hanky Panky’ grows in an old dogwood stump, also along my front walk.

I love the very unusual hosta ‘Praying Hands’ and have it in three different containers, here with violas.


There is no other miniature hosta that looks like ‘Sparkler’ so I gave it its own spot in an antique metal pitcher salvaged from the dump.

Small hostas can get lost when planted in perennial borders unless they are massed.  Growing special miniature hostas in containers brings them up to eye level.  Here are 16 miniatures in my strawberry pot:

It also allows you to pair them with other miniature plants to create a tiny garden.  My previous posts contain many photos of my containers of little hostas.  However, I thought I would show you some of the planters I have recently created to give my customers ideas and to sell at my upcoming hosta open house:









All these containers were purchased inexpensively at flea markets and antique stores or were salvaged from the dump at the bottom of our property.  You probably have a suitable pot, pan, or other hosta garden holder gathering dust in your attic right now.


Hosta gardens waiting at Carolyn’s Shade Gardens for a new home.

Choosing tiny companion plants to go with your miniature hostas is another fun part of growing them in containers or in a rock garden.  Plant collecting urges are satisfied by all the plants that can be crammed into a small area.  In the planters above, I used violas, sedums, hens and chicks, ‘Heartthrob’ violet, ‘Tiny Rubies’ dianthus, and pasque flower (Pulsatilla).  Here are some more combinations:

Hostas ‘Shiny Penny’, ‘Green Eyes’, and ‘Itsy Bitsy Spider’ paired with sedum, hens and chicks, and rosularia in my dish garden.

Mouse ears hostas with dwarf Solomon’s seal, Polygonatum humile, in my stone trough.

Hostas ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ and ‘Blonde Elf’ with miniature lady fern, Athyrium filix-femina ‘Minutissimum’, in the rock garden.

Hostas ‘Little Blue’, ‘Blonde Elf’, and ‘Little Wonder’ with a small epimedium in the rock garden.


Gardening with tiny plants and salvaged containers is so much fun.  I hope you will give it a try.

Carolyn

Nursery Happenings:  If you are interested in receiving miniature hostas mail order, click here.

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.

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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.

Beyond Mice

Posted in container gardening, containers for shade, hosta, miniature hosta, Shade Gardening, Shade Perennials with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 3, 2012 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

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 phone number (for back up use only) to carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com.  Click here to get to the home page of our website for catalogues and information about our nursery and to subscribe to our blog.

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Hosta 'Crumb Cake'I have used this photo of hosta ‘Crumb Cake’ emerging in spring before, but to me it epitomizes the beauty of a miniature hosta in a container.

My nursery specializes in miniature hostas, and I have over 25 varieties available right now, both at the nursery and mail order.  My 2011 post Miniature (& Small) Hostas gives an overview of little hostas and how to use them in the garden.  In my most recent post, I LOVE Mice, I raved about the mouse ears series of hostas.  But there are many desirable miniature hostas “beyond mice” so I thought I would highlight some special favorites.

 

‘Cracker Crumbs’ is pictured here in my dish garden (full photo below) surrounded by a tiny gray-blue sedum.  It is a miniature hosta 5” tall by 19” wide with leaves 2 1/2” long by 1 1/2” wide.  ‘Cracker Crumbs’ has shiny gold leaves with a bright green wavy margin and pale purple flowers in July.  It quickly forms a dense and rounded mound and makes a great trough or rock garden plant.


‘Itsy Bitsy Spider’ is also pictured in my dish garden (full photo below) with the same sedum and some hens and chickens.  It is a miniature hosta 2 ½” tall by 6” wide with leaves 1 ¾” long by 1 1/4″ wide.  ‘Itsy Bitsy Spider’ has narrow leaves with thick substance and a distinct blue-gray color, and pale lavender flowers in July.  It forms a tight low mound.  This adorable and rare plant is the smallest hosta in my collection.


‘Pixie Vamp’ in my rock garden—what a great name!

‘Pixie Vamp’ is pictured here in a container with violas.  It is a miniature hosta 7” tall by 16” wide with leaves 3 ½” long by 2 ½” wide.  ‘Pixie Vamp’ has bright green heart-shaped leaves bordered by gold in the spring changing to creamy white.  Its gorgeous mahogany colored stems hold purple flowers in July.  It is excellent in containers.


The very unusual hosta ‘Crumb Cake’ in my rock garden.


‘Crumb Cake’ is pictured here fully emerged in the same container featured in the first photo in this post.  It is a miniature hosta 5” high by 14” wide with leaves 3” long by 3” wide.  ‘Crumb Cake’ is a recent introduction with very bright honey-gold leaves, which are round with wavy margins.  It is a very unusual looking hosta forming a flat, dense, brightly colored mound.  It has elegant mahogany-colored leaf and flower stems and lavender flowers in July.  It makes an excellent container plant.


‘Alakazaam’ in my rock garden.


‘Alakazaam’ is pictured here in a container made for me by my son.  It is a miniature hosta 5″ tall by 10″ wide with leaves 6 1/2″ long and 3/4″ wide.  ‘Alakazaam’ has bright green leaves with gold ruffled margins changing to creamy white, and lavender flowers in late summer.  Its unusual spiky habit makes it stand out from the crowd no matter where you place it.


‘Surfer Girl’ is pictured here in my rock garden.  It is a miniature hosta 6” tall by 18” wide with leaves 2” long by 1” wide.  ‘Surfer Girl’ has dark green, sharply pointed, deeply rippled leaves reminiscent of ocean waves, and purple flowers in July.  It creeps to fill in a wide area and is excellent for edging the front of a border.  I use it in containers to contrast with gold-leafed minis.


‘Little Sunspot’ in my rock garden. 

‘Little Sunspot’ is pictured here in my strawberry pot.  It is a small hosta 12″ tall by 12″ wide with leaves 3″ long and 2″ wide.  It has sharply contrasting variegated gold leaves with a wide  dark green margin and purple-striped white flowers in summer.  ‘Little Sunspot’ is great for a rock garden, border, or a container.


‘Twist of Lime’ in my rock garden.

‘Twist of Lime’ is pictured here massed in front of epimediums.  It is a miniature hosta 6” tall by 10” wide with leaves 3” long by 1” wide.  ‘Twist of Lime’ has bright gold leaves with a narrow, dark blue-green wavy margin and many deep violet-striped flowers in July.  It has a beautiful upright habit and is a very fast grower—a favorite of my customers.

‘Praying Hands’ is pictured here in a container with violas and dwarf Solomon’s seal.  It is a small hosta 16″ tall by 30″ wide with leaves 7″ long and 2″ wide.  ‘Praying Hands’ has waxy and prominently ridged dark emerald green leaves with a narrow gold edge.  It is the most unusual hosta on the market with its folded leaves and vertical, twisty habit reminiscent of a pitcher plant.  It thrives in containers with my plant doubling in size each year.  ‘Praying Hands’ received the prestigious Hosta of the Year Award in 2011.

‘Praying Hands’ provides a vertical accent in my dish garden with miniature hostas ‘Shiny Penny’, ‘Itsy Bitsy Spider’, ‘Cracker Crumbs’, and ‘Shining Tot’ and various companion plants.

Miniature hostas are so much fun.  My next post will be on my new miniature hosta rock garden and feature companion plants to use in containers with your little hostas.

Carolyn

Nursery Happenings: If you are interested in receiving miniature hostas mail order, click here.

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.

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