When I was young, the driveway to my childhood home – a multi-family in Quincy – was lined with a low stone wall. In the short bed behind the wall, big, green, leafy hostas grew about every three feet. I honestly didn’t pay much attention to the plant itself. To me it was something to run at and jump over. It’s big, bushy mound of leaves were hurdles and I made it my own personal Olympic event. Needless to say, I always won the gold. I’m smiling at the memory…
This summer, I discovered the real beauty, variety and usefulness of the hosta. There are hundreds of species in every shape, size, color and texture. Choosing a favorite is tough! Best of all hostas grow in shade and sun! A rare find for city scapes. So the hosta earns #2 in my 2011 list of Garden Lessons and Finds.
Hostas are easy to grow and shade tolerant. They can do well in 3/4 to full sun. According to the American Hosta Society (yes there is one), a general rule of thumb is “the greener the leaf, the less sun necessary for the plant to grow well.” The corollary to this “rule” also seems to work; “the more yellow and white in a leaf, the more sun necessary for sufficient photosynthesis to allow the plant to thrive.” And, some hosta growers have discovered that additional moisture will help a hosta survive in higher light levels!
The plant is native to Japan, Korea, and China and was first imported and grown in Europe in the late 1700’s. By the mid-1800’s, hosta were growing in the United States. Hostas are available at most garden centers and are worthy additions to any city garden – shady or sunny. Check out the American Hosta Society for more information.
Hey city gardeners! This site is for you!My name is Janine and I'm a dedicated gardener with years of hands-in-the-soil experience. My specialty is small space gardens in urban locations. There is all kinds of good information in here. Send me comments and ideas. Enjoy!
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- Beautiful garden containers and ornaments Importers of fine English garden ornaments, cast stone, lead and granite statuary, planters, urns, fountains, bird baths, sundials and more.
- Great horticulture classes and certificates Landscape Institute at BAC offers classes and courses that foster creative design and stewardship of the land.
- Growing vegetables Get practical info on vegetable and flower gardening. Check out Veggie Plantings in “How Does Your Garden Grow?”
- Taking care of trees and more! This Garden Club of the Back Bay site is terrific. Great info on local gardening activities as well as efforts to plant, prune and protect our precious trees.
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