Archive for hosta of the year

Hostas So Beautiful I Had To…..

Posted in hosta, hosta, New Plants with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 10, 2017 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Hostas are used for many purposes at Carolyn’s Shade Gardens.  Here, ‘Paradise Island’ and ‘Maui Buttercups’ (right) provide bold accents on one of our terraces.

….grow them for you myself!   Every year I try to provide an outstanding selection of hostas to my customers.  I peruse the lists of wholesale suppliers within a hundred mile radius to find the cultivars that I think are the best.  I visit those nurseries and individually select each plant.  Having high quality growers produce larger hostas for me is easier, especially since we are always space challenged at Carolyn’s Shade Gardens.  However, to supplement that stock, every year I grow at least eight hosta cultivars that I want to sell because they are so unique and beautiful. 

Here are the hostas I choose to grow this year:

Nursery News:  Open hours this week: Wednesday, May 10, 1 to 3 pm, Thursday, May 11, 9 to 11 am, Friday, May 12, 10 am to noon, Saturday, May 13, 10 am to noon, just come, no appointment necessary.  Customers have gotten details in an email.  The 2017 Mini Hosta Catalogue is on line, and we are taking orders for pick up and mail order, click here.  For announcements of spring 2017 events, 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 local or mail order only.  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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‘Brother Stefan’, 2017 Hosta of the Year, 20″ tall and 36″ wide, near white flowers.

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‘Brother Stefan’ with ‘Goldheart’ old-fashioned bleeding-heart along our front walk.  It is so amazing that I have to point it out to Michael every time we leave the house.

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‘Abiqua Drinking Gourd’, 2014 Hosta of the Year, 18″ tall and 36″ wide, white flowers in early summer (photo Walters Gardens).

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‘Abiqua Drinking Gourd’ makes a stunning specimen with its bowl-shaped and heavily puckered leaves (photo Walters Gardens).

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‘June Spirit’, 14″ tall and 26″ wide, lavender blue flowers (photo Walters Gardens).

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‘June Spirit’ is a close relative of ever popular ‘June’ and ‘Halcyon’, a great medium-sized specimen for the front of the border (photo Walters Gardens).

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‘Maui Buttercups’, 10″ tall and 14″ wide, near white flowers, elegant small hosta prized for its bright color and unique cup-shaped leaves.

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‘Autumn Frost’, 12″ tall and 24″ wide, light lavender flowers in summer, the frosty blue leaves and extra wide bright yellow margins are amazing (photo Walters Gardens).

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‘Fire Island’, 10″ tall and 15″ wide, lavender flowers, striking for its arresting gold color, red stems, and red coloring at the base of the leaf (photo Walters Gardens).

‘Blue Ivory’, 16″ tall and 30″ wide, lavender flowers, amazing combination of blue leaves with wide pure white margins, you have to see it in our garden (photo Walters Gardens).

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‘Rainforest Sunrise’, 2013 Hosta of the Year, 8″ tall and 16″ wide, light lavender flowers, remarkable coloring and habit make it really stand out.

 

Carolyn

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

Top 10 Favorite Larger Hostas

Posted in container gardening, containers for shade, hosta, hosta, landscape design, my garden, Shade Gardening, Shade Perennials with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 10, 2015 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Hosta 'Stained Glass'One of the most beautiful times in my garden is when the wisteria is in full bloom.  Under it is planted one of my candidates for Top 10 Hostas, ‘Stained Glass’, hosta of the year for 2006.  Available at CSG.

With the latest issue of its beautiful and informative journal, the American Hosta Society sent its members a form asking them to vote for their 10 favorite “regular” hostas and 5 favorite minis.  People often ask me which hostas are my favorites, and the AHS Popularity Poll sent me out into the garden to make a list.  Naturally I brought my camera, and I thought I would show you some of the contenders.  To avoid disappointment, I have indicated which are for sale at Carolyn’s Shade Gardens (CSG).  Sadly, some of my favorites are not readily available.

Nursery News:  The 2015 Miniature Hosta Catalogue is on line here, and we are taking orders for both mail order and pick up at the nursery.  Our third open house sale, featuring hostas, ferns, and hardy geraniums, is Saturday, May 16, from 10 am to 3 pm.  We are also open 24/7 by appointment.  If you would like to receive emails notifying you of catalogues, events, and sales, please sign up for our customer email list by sending your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.  If you are interested in snowdrops or miniature hostas, please let us know and we will put you on our special list.

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Hosta 'Paul's Glory'Hosta ‘Paul’s Glory, hosta of the year for 1999. Available at CSG.

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Hosta 'Paradise Island' & 'Maui Buttercups'Hosta ‘Paradise Island’ on the left and ‘Maui Buttercups’ on the right.  They are not really in contention, but they looked so beautiful together under the ‘Paliban’ lilac.

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Hosta 'Paradise Joyce'Hosta ‘Paradise Joyce’ hasn’t been available for years, but it really is one of the best.

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Hosta 'Eye Declare'Hosta ‘Eye Declare’, here with ‘Lynnhaven Carpet’ erigeron in the foreground and ‘Stainless Steel’ coralbells in the background, may be my favorite big hosta.  Again it is not available in the trade.

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Hosta 'First Frost'Hosta ‘First Frost’, 2010 hosta of the year, with its blue and yellow spring coloring is just gorgeous.  Available at CSG.

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Hosta 'El Nino'Hosta ‘El Nino’, here with white-flowered hardy geranium, has always been one of my favorites with its unique blue and ivory coloring.  It is difficult to find, but I have it for sale this year.

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Hosta 'El Nino'A close up of ‘El Nino’, a star in my silver and blue garden.  Available at CSG.

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Hosta 'Great Expectations'Hosta ‘Great Expectations’ really started to thrive when I moved it from full shade to an eastern-facing location.  Available at CSG.

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Hosta 'Brother Stefan' Hosta ‘Brother Stefan’ seems to like sun too, here it faces southwest and is paired with ‘Goldheart’ bleeding-heart.  I think it should have been hosta of the year rather than the somewhat similar ‘Paradigm’.  Available at CSG.

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Hosta 'Crumb Cake'Hosta ‘Crumb Cake’, here in a container, is definitely on my top ten list.  It is a small hosta, but the leaves are too big for it to qualify as a mini.

There were other contenders not pictured here: ‘Blue Angel’, ‘Sagae’ (2000 hosta of the year), ‘Abiqua Drinking Gourd’ (2014 hosta of the year), adorable ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ (2008 hosta of the year), whose leaves are also a little too big to be a mini, the amazing ‘Praying Hands’ (2011 hosta of the year), ‘Remember Me’, and H. nigrescens.  I guess I will have to do another post.  I will definitely have to narrow down my list!  That’s all for now but look for another post on my favorite hostas soon.

Carolyn

Nursery Happenings: To order miniature hostas for shipping or pick up at our nursery, click here to access the catalogue.  Our third open house, featuring ferns, hostas, and hardy geraniums is Saturday, May 16, from 10 am to 3 pm.  However, don’t’ wait until then—you can stop by anytime by appointment to purchase these wonderful plants.  Just send me an email at carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net with some suggested dates and times that you would like to visit.

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.

2013 Larger Hostas

Posted in hosta, Shade Gardening, Shade Perennials with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 27, 2013 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Hosta 'Stirptease'Although miniature hostas are versatile, cute, and fun, it is the larger hostas that provide the bold statement and beautiful colors in shade gardens.  Here clockwise from top: ‘Blue Angel’, ‘Flavocircinalis’, ‘Gold Bullion’, and ‘Striptease’.

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I have explained in previous posts how my hosta addiction has progressed and focused on little hostas.  However, that doesn’t mean that I neglect the larger hostas.  I have my definite favorites there too.  In fact, some of them are such favorites that, when I couldn’t buy them to sell to my customers, I decided to grow them myself just so they would be available for sale at Carolyn’s Shade Gardens.  In this post, I am going to profile seven of those hostas, all of which I consider stars of the shade garden.  Be sure to look at the mature specimens in my garden when you visit.

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Hosta 'Rainforest Sunrise'‘Rainforest Sunrise’ with ‘Frosted Violet’ coralbells

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‘Rainforest Sunrise’ is the 2013 Hosta of the Year, a prestigious award bestowed yearly by the American Hosta Growers Association on only one of the 8,000 cultivars in existence.  For beautiful photos of all the yearly winners, click here.  It forms a small mound 10″ high and 25″ wide—very useful in smaller shade gardens and smaller spaces.  Its cupped and corrugated bright gold leaves with a sharply contrasting dark green margin are 6″ long and 5″ wide and really stand out in the shade.  ‘Rainforest Sunrise’ has lovely near white flowers in July.

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Hosta 'Dream Queen'‘Dream Queen’ with maidenhair fern and ‘All Gold’ Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa).

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‘Dream Queen’ is an offshoot of ‘Great Expectations’ with the same gorgeous leaves and habit but much bluer foliage.   It forms an upright and spreading mound 24″ high and supposedly 50″ wide at maturity, although I have had mine for years and it is not that wide.  The 12″ long by 10″ wide round leaves have a narrow yellow center stripe surrounded by deep blue.  They are heavily corrugated and have thick, slug-deterring substance.  ‘Dream Queen’ produces near white flowers from late June into early August.

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Hosta 'Pineapple Upside Down Cake'‘Pineapple Upsidedown Cake’ with hellebores and Japanese holly fern

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‘Pineapple Upsidedown Cake’ makes a tremendous specimen in my garden with its unusual look and habit.  It forms a fast-growing mound 18″ high and up to 50″ wide, although my mature specimen is about half that size.  The narrow, rippled, bright gold leaves with dark green margins are 9″ long and 3″ wide.  Unlike most hostas, they become more gold as the season progresses.  It produces lavender flowers in August.

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Hosta 'Orange Marmalade'‘Orange Marmalade’  with ‘Blackout’ coralbells

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‘Orange Marmalade’ is a striking addition to my yellow and gold garden with its bright gold-orange centers throughout spring.  It forms a mound 20″ high by 45″ wide at maturity.  The prominent blue-green margin on the 7″ long by 5″ wide leaves sets off perfectly the orangey centers.  It produces lavender flowers from mid-July into early August.  ‘Orange Marmalade’ is an off-shoot of ‘Paul’s Glory’ with all the wonderful attributes of that 1999 hosta of the year but a brighter center color.

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Hosta 'Tick Tock'‘Tick Tock’ has a starring role in my little hosta rock garden.

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‘Tick Tock’ is another beautiful hosta suitable for smaller spaces.  It forms an elegant symmetrical mound 10″ high by 18″ wide.  Its thick 4″ by 2″ gold leaves are set off by wide blue-green margins.  It produces lavender flowers in July.  What ‘Tick Tock’ most resembles is a mini ‘June’ for smaller gardens.

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Hosta 'Summer Lovin'‘Summer Lovin’ with clockwise from top: ‘All Gold’ Japanese forest grass, pulmonarias, native ‘Citronelle’ coralbells, hellebores, and native Indian pink (Spigelia).

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Hosta 'Summer Lovin'‘Summer Lovin’ in bloom

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‘Summer Lovin’ is the star of my yellow and gold garden, pulling together all the various hues and textures as you can see in the top photo.  It forms a mound 18″ high and 40″ wide.  What is so special about it is the way the unusually wide gold margins contrast with the dark green center—very unique.  The leaves are 7″ long and 6″ wide and have thick, slug-resisting substance.  It produces compact and attractive pale lavender flowers in July.

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Hosta tokudama 'Flavocircinalis' at Carolyn's Shade Gardens‘Flavocircinalis’ makes a wonderful specimen.

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Hosta tokudama 'Flavocircinalis' at Carolyn's Shade Gardens‘Flavocircinalis’ leaf close up

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‘Flavocircinalis’, not exactly a user friendly name, means the well-rounded hosta and is a cultivar of my favorite hosta species Hosta tokudama.  Although Mark Zilis, author of the definitive hosta reference book The Hostapedia, calls it “one of the greatest hosta cultivars ever introduced”, it is hard to find and expensive when you do find it.  Wholesale growers don’t like it because it grows slowly in pots.  I grew it myself this year so I could sell it to my customers at a reasonable price.

‘Flavocircinalis’ forms a mound 17″ high and 48″ wide at maturity.  Its 9″ by 7″ blue-green leaves have a wide gold margin.  They are heavily corrugated, wavy, and have thick substance.  The attractive white flowers bloom from mid-June into early July.

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Those are just some of the new larger hostas available at Carolyn’s Shade Gardens this year.  If you would like to read more about the larger hostas available for sale, click on any of the following links:

Larger Hostas explains how large leaf hostas take a year to produce mature leaves, gives ideas for using them, and profiles ‘Flavocircinalis’, ‘Earth Angel’, ‘Great Expectations’, and ‘First Frost’.

Larger Hostas Get the Spotlight profiles ‘Blue Angel’, ‘Sagae’, and ‘Great Expectations’ with photos of how I have use them in my garden.

Hostas for Fall profiles hostas that hold up to the heat and slugs to look beautiful in fall, including ‘Stained Glass’, ‘Frances Williams’, ‘Blue Angel’, ‘Sum and Substance’, ‘Halcyon’, and ‘Praying Hands’, all available this year at Carolyn’s Shade Gardens.

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 2013 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.  If you are local, you can use the catalogue to see what miniatures are available at the nursery.  Next up is the final open house sale of the season on Saturday, June 1, from 10 am to 3 pm rain or shine, and featuring summer- and fall-blooming shade plants.  If you are a customer, expect an email shortly with all the details.

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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