Archive for 2012 Hosta of the Year

Bigger Hostas in Carolyn’s Shade Gardens

Posted in hosta, hosta, landscape design, my garden with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 14, 2018 by Carolyn @ Carolyns 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:  The 2018 Mini Hosta Catalogue is on our website here, and we are taking orders for mail order and pick up at the nursery. Our third open house sale featuring hostas, mini hostas, hardy geraniums, ferns, hellebores, and later-blooming shade plants is Saturday, May 19,  from 10 am to 3 pm, rain or shine, cash or check only, directions here.

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 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.

 

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

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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

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

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

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

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

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

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‘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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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.

Carolyn

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Nursery Happenings: You can sign up to receive catalogues and emails about nursery events by sending your full name, location, and phone number to carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com.  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.

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Large Hostas Get the Spotlight

Posted in hosta, hosta, landscape design, Shade Gardening, Shade Perennials with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 25, 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 'Blue Angel'Hosta ‘Blue Angel’ used as a shrub.

After writing three posts on miniature and small hostas, I thought large hostas deserved their place in the sun (or shade).  Although I love miniature hostas, large hostas are also dear to my heart and plentiful in my landscape.  I use them both as specimen plants and also for massing with other hostas to fill shady areas.  There are so many hosta cultivars out there, over 8,000,  that I thought I would share some of my favorites with you.  I have included some close ups of their beautiful leaves as well as photos of how I use them in the garden.

My Hosta ‘Liberty’ was planted last year so it has not reached its true size and coloring, but its leaves are still gorgeous.

A full grown ‘Liberty’ in a local garden.

‘Liberty’ with my husband Michael for scale.

I wanted to start with ‘Liberty’ because it was chosen by the American Hosta Grower’s Association as the 2012 Hosta of the Year.  This is a great honor bestowed on only 18 of the over 8,000 hosta cultivars (to see other winners, click here), and I make a point of selling them and growing them in my garden.  ‘Liberty’ is a sport (off shoot) of  ‘Sagae’ with the same vase-shaped habit but much wider creamy yellow margins.  It reaches 2′ tall and 5′ wide with 10″ leaves.

 

A close up of a leaf of Hosta ‘Striptease’ shows the very unusual “lightening strike” of white running around and through the lime green center.

Three ‘Striptease’ plants make a sizable clump.

‘Striptease’ massed with ‘Blue Angel’ above and H. tokudama ‘Gold Bullion’ and ‘Flavocircinalis’ right.

‘Striptease’ was the Hosta of the Year for 2005.  The white streaks on its leaves really make it stand out—the pattern is rare in the hosta world where many plants look alike.  It is a sport of the old favorite ‘Gold Standard’.  At maturity, it is 20″ high and 4′ wide with 8″ leaves.

leaf of Hosta ‘Paradigm’

Again my ‘Paradigm’ is not mature and does not display its true beauty but when I saw a mature plant I had to have one.

Yes, ‘Paradigm’ is another Hosta of the Year, this time for 2007.  Its leaves are gold-centered and heavily corrugated (textured), a quality I love in the hostas that display it.  Its near white flowers are also quite lovely.  At maturity, it is 2′ high by 4′ wide with almost 12″ leaves.  I can’t wait.


 leaf of Hosta ‘Sagae’

A close up of the vase-shaped (upright) habit of ‘Sagae’

‘Sagae’ planted at the top of a wall to show off its gorgeous habit, with native ‘Forest Pansy’ redbud

I first fell in love with this hosta at Longwood gardens, and it was labeled H. fluctuans ‘Variegata’.  I wrote down the name and searched for it for years before I figured out its name was changed to ‘Sagae’.  Of course, ‘Sagae’ was chosen to be a Hosta of the Year for 2000.  Its upright mounding habit makes it a perfect specimen.  At maturity, it reaches 31″ high by 70″ wide with 13″ leaves.

pollen-covered leaf of Hosta ‘Fried Green Tomatoes’

 mature clump of ‘Fried Green Tomatoes’

‘Fried Green Tomatoes’ in front of an antique church gate covered with clematis and native honeysuckle.

It is hard to explain why I like ‘Fried Green Tomatoes’ so much.  Perhaps it is the substantial blue-green leaves or the neat and even habit or the lovely fragrant flowers or just its clever name.  ‘Fried Green Tomatoes’ is not a hosta of the year, but it is the sport of one, ‘Guacamole’, the 2002 Hosta of the Year, and it is considered an exceptional cultivar.  It reaches 2′ high by 5′ wide with 11″ leaves.

leaf of Hosta ‘Great Expectations’

   ‘Great Expectations’ makes a gorgeous clump.

‘Great Expectations’ in a very shady area under a Japanese maple with ‘Emerald Tiara’ hosta.

Finally, a hosta that is not a hosta of the year (or a relative of one), but, as far as I’m concerned, it should be.  One of my favorites and a bestseller at my nursery, ‘Great Expectations’ forms a large but not overwhelming mound of heavily corrugated, creamy yellow-centered leaves with wide blue-green margins.  Its near white flowers in June and July are beautiful.  A mutation of ‘Elegans’, it reaches 2′ high by 4′ wide at maturity with 12″ leaves.


leaf of Hosta ‘Fragrant Bouquet’


‘Fragrant Bouquet’ makes a nice mound.

‘Fragrant Bouquet’ with yellow waxbells, leopard’s bane, and pulmonaria.

It is not surprising that ‘Fragrant Bouquet’ was the 1998 Hosta of the Year.  It is a very useful hosta in the shady landscape because of its overall light-colored leaves, which are pale chartreuse with creamy yellow edges—it looks great with yellow flowers.  I also love its fragrant blooms and manageable size.  At maturity it is supposed to reach 22″ high by 4′ wide with 10″ leaves but mine are not that big.



 leaf of Hosta ‘Blue Angel’


‘Blue Angel’ used as a specimen shrub with hellebores, hardy geranium, and old-fashioned bleeding-heart (see the photo at the very top too).

 

 ‘Blue Angel’ massed with ‘Blue Cadet’ and ‘Guacamole’ hostas and ‘Ghost’ fern  (see also the photo with ‘Striptease’).

‘Blue Angel’ is not a hosta of the year, but it would be the absolute top of the list of my choices.  Hostas of the year should be tried and true and the best in their class and that is what ‘Blue Angel’ is.  Do you hear me AHGA?  It is simply the premier large blue hosta in existence, excellent as a specimen and in masses with other hostas.  It is stunning in June and July when topped by its near white flowers and gorgeous throughout the fall with its heavily corrugated, substantial blue leaves.  At maturity, ‘Blue Angel’ reaches 32″ high by 70″ wide with 16″ leaves.


leaf of Hosta ‘First Frost’

‘First Frost’ in my rock garden

I will close with the 2010 Hosta of the Year ‘First Frost’.  When it comes out in the spring, the combination of the very blue leaves with the decidedly yellow and very wide margins is unusual and elegant.  The leaves have thick substance and turn dark green with a cream edge in summer.  ‘First Frost’ is also a “smaller” large hosta and easy to use in the landscape.  It is a sport of the wonderful ‘Halycon’.  At maturity, it reaches 14″ high by 3′ wide with 7″ leaves.

Carolyn

Nursery Happenings:  Our final open house sale of the spring will be a two-day event on Friday, June 1, from 10 am to 4 pm, and Saturday, June 2, from 10 am to 2 pm.  Customers on my email list should have received an email with details.  We are getting more woody plants so if you missed the deadline send me an email with your order.  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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