Garden Photo of the Day

Hosta’s are a Highlight in AR

By Kim Charles

'Diamonds Are Forever'

A vast array of hosta varieties take center stage in Susan Strong's garden.

"2016 was a wonderful year for gardening here in NW Arkansas.  Although we were short on rain, I was able to keep all my plants happy and healthy with a little help from my hoses.  I love shade gardening and hostas are my favorite shade plant.  I have well over 100 and plan to put them in an Excel spreadsheet this winter so I can track them better.  Last year I sent pictures of some of my favorites and here are pictures of more favorites (although it’s hard to choose as they are almost all “favorites”)."

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'Allegan Fog'


'Pocketful of Sunshine'

'Sum Of All'

'Empress Wu' in rear, 'Striptease' in front

'Guardian Angel'

'Orange Marmalade' in back, 'Dragon Tail's' in front.


'Summer Breeze'

View Comments


  1. frankgreenhalgh 01/16/2017

    Hi Susan - Your Hostas are responding well to your love and passion for them. Congratulations on your beautiful and healthy shade plants and excellent photography. Cheers, Frank

    1. NWAgardener 01/16/2017

      Thank you Frank!

  2. tennisluv 01/16/2017

    Susan, your Hostas are beautiful and so healthy looking. The combination of other shade loving perennials only enhances the lovely leaf patterns. I'm also fond of Hostas for shade but the deer never thank me for planting their favorite salad greens!

    1. WinstonSalem 01/16/2017

      I also love hosts and am so tempted to add more to my shade garden. The deer have often been a problem so I use a lot of ferns instead. However, Susan, do you have any tips for deer? Or, does anyone else have any solutions? Thanks.

      1. NWAgardener 01/16/2017

        Hi Ellen - I'm sorry, I don't have a solution for deer except fencing. I have been fortunate, however, because they have left my hostas outside of fenced areas alone.

  3. user-4691082 01/16/2017

    Dear Susan, I am going to bookmark this page and use it as a reference! I don't have enough shade but I am going to incorporate some of these anywhere I can! How old is your empress wu?

    1. NWAgardener 01/16/2017

      Thank you Rhonda. It's nice to be able to see how plants look in "real" gardens. I, too, wish I had more shade. I have resorted to planting more trees and shrubs as well as limbing up two eastern red cedars to find additional shade space. Also, there are lots of lovely new small and mini hostas that can be tucked in among other plants. This year I planted about a dozen and have a nice long list of additional minis that I will plant this spring. I planted my two Empress Wu's in 2012. They were a good 3' tall this past summer.

  4. user-4691082 01/16/2017

    Also, in the last photo, what is the plant next to the hosta? Not the daylily.

    1. NWAgardener 01/16/2017

      Rhonda - the plant in front of the 'Summer Breeze' hosta is 'Iron Cross' Oxalis. I received a dozen corms for free when I ordered some Oxalis 'Triangularis' through mail order. I lost most of them the first year to chipmunks, but since then, the remainder have regenerated and my little furry friends have left them alone.

  5. user-7007498 01/16/2017

    Good morning, Susan. What a great way to start off the week with pictures from your garden. I love designing with hostas, since their leaves really complement the textures and shapes of many other plants. If only they could be evergreen?. You have some real beauties. I really like 'Summer Breeze' and will need to find a place for it. Thanks for sharing.

    1. NWAgardener 01/16/2017

      Hi Kevin - 'Summer Breeze' is a real winner and definitely worth adding to your garden! I have it in a spot where it gets a little too much afternoon sun so it starts to look a bit sad later in the summer. I haven't moved it, however, because I so enjoy seeing it from my deck. Also, I'm hoping the 'Coral Bark' maple will provide additional shade in the future.

  6. User avater
    meander_michaele 01/16/2017

    You certainly have the magic touch with hosta, Susan. I possibly am being unduly influenced by the particularly beautiful composition of neighboring plants but 'Pocketful of Sunshine' has me going Hubba Hubba ...I really love everything about it! Hmm, speaking of...I wonder if there is a hosta called 'Hubba Hubba'...that'd be cute. Do you do any special soil amending when you initially plant a new one? Please share whatever hints you think might help the rest of us have such robust and healthy looking hosta.

    1. NWAgardener 01/16/2017

      Good Morning Michelle - One of the greatest attributes of hostas is how well they mix with and enhance other plants. 'Pocketful of Sunshine' is a small hosta that tucks in beautifully with other shade plants and I have three in my gardens. I got a big smile on my face when I read your comment about 'Hubba Hubba' and out of curiosity I "Googled" it and there is a hosta 'Hubba-Hubba'! Unfortunately, it doesn't appear to be available on the market. I think hostas are very forgiving plants and don't appear to require a lot of attention as I see them flourishing in gardens that seem to get very little care. That said, I baby mine with lots of compost. I add some at the time of planting, but I also lay down anywhere from 8 to 16 yards as top dressing in my garden beds each spring. With my well amended soil they don't seem to require any supplemental fertilizing. I water them especially well the first year so they will develop a good root system. Here in NW Arkansas (as I imagine in Tennessee) we can have very hot and dry summer spells. Although I don't have a significant slug problem, I do monitor my hostas and if I see signs of damage will take immediate action. If I see that I've pushed the limit on sun exposure for a given hosta, I will either transplant it to a shadier spot or learn to live with some singed leave borders in late summer.

      1. User avater
        meander_michaele 01/16/2017

        Thanks for being so generous with your happy hosta magic formula of compost, compost, compost. I noticed that you had planted 'Sum of All' in a sunken galvanized metal looking trough...did you fill it with pure compost? When it comes to hosta, is there such a thing as too much compost, I wonder...what do you think? I am surprised that 'Pocketful of Sunshine' is a small hosta although I probably should have guessed by how large its chartreusy companion seemed in comparison. I am captivated by the delightful glossy quality on the leaves of 'Guardian Angel'....what a beauty!
        Thank you also for doing the legwork on googling 'Hubba Hubba'. It is a fun name.

        1. NWAgardener 01/16/2017

          Michelle - The angle form which I shot the picture of 'Sum of All' is deceiving. The galvanized tub is completely above ground. I mixed potting soil and compost half and half when planting. Each spring I dress it with more compost as the mix seems to compress. I'm sure hostas would thrive in 100% compost, however, in some locations is may dry out too quickly. I took the picture of 'Guardian Angel' soon after I had watered the bed which is why the leaves are so shiny. It is a beautiful hosta never-the-less.

  7. User avater
    treasuresmom 01/16/2017

    I love your hostas. At my old house, I had soil of gold and my hostas would get huge. At this house the soil is bleeh so I have had no luck. But late last summer I bought a few that had been drastically marked down and giving them a try one more time. Hopefully, they will do well and maybe just maybe look as lush as yours.

    1. NWAgardener 01/16/2017

      Treasuresmom, the answer is compost! Amend your soil with lots of compost and your hostas will love you for it! Also, they may require some additional water the first year while they are trying to establish their root systems in their new environment. Lastly, perhaps you should have your soil tested (for free through your Extension Service) just to make sure your soil is not too alkaline. Hostas are pretty forgiving, but may need a little extra love their first year in your garden.

  8. Chris_N 01/16/2017

    Susan, you do not disappoint. Had to go back and look at your other posts as well. You have a treasure trove of gardening ideas. Love the kissing bunnies. The stone ones are much friendlier in the garden than the real ones.

    1. NWAgardener 01/16/2017

      Chris, you are correct - the stone ones are much friendlier! I have a rather large (and growing) collection of concrete bunnies and I have placed them in the 10' wide area between my fence and my neighbor's fence. At first I called this space the "alley" garden, but that just brings up images of Oscar and trash cans, so I tucked my rabbit statuary among the shrubs and perennials in that bed and now I call it the "Bunny Trial".

  9. user-5117752 01/16/2017

    Susan, your photos are simply marvelous! Your placement of the hostas is simply marvelous! You've taught me an important lesson about design. I, too, love hostas and have many in all my shady spots but yours jump out like shining treasures. I guess spring will be a big moving plants time, a rethinking about design and color combinations. Thank you for taking the time to share your passion!

    1. kenthpenter 01/16/2017

      I love Hostas as well, and really enjoyed your photos. I, too, need to do some serious planning and transffering this Spring..Bring it on...

    2. NWAgardener 01/16/2017

      Thank you Judy. So much of gardening is trial and error. I have moved so many plants, I swear I hear them say "Not me! Please move her!" as I walk by with my shovel. Fortunately, most hostas transplant very well. Some, like 'Great Expectations' are reported not to appreciate being relocated. I do think their beauty is enhanced by combining them with other plants and I am especially fond of mixing them with ferns, oxalis, heuchera, hellebores, and most groundcovers. The smaller ones also look lovely tucked beneath the lower branches of shrubs. Good luck this spring!

  10. NWAgardener 01/16/2017

    Thank you Diane. I have many more that I will share in the future. 'Sum of All' is a spectacular giant with lovely variegation and is a sport of 'Sum and Substance'. If yours is solid chartreuse then you may have been sold a mismarked 'Sum and Substance' (also a lovely plant worthy of any shade garden). I planted my 'Sum of All' in 2014 and it has grown quite rapidly. I planted my two 'Empress Wu's' in 2012.

  11. Sunshine111 01/16/2017

    I love your combination of color and texture. I hope you don't mind, as I'm giving you advanced warning, but I'm going to steal the pocket full of sunshine idea.... I adore it!

    1. NWAgardener 01/16/2017

      Hi Lily - 'Pocketful of Sunshine' is such a happy and tough little plant it will look lovely wherever you plant it. I do think the chartreuse Bleeding Heart enhances/compliments it's color. The other plants surrounding it are a Japanese Painted Fern and a silver/purple Heuchera (Coral Bells). The purple in the Heuchera echoes the purple in the center vein of the Japanese Painted Fern. I love that combination, too.

  12. sheila_schultz 01/16/2017

    Hosta growers would be very clever to barter plants for your photos to use in their catalogs, Susan! I'm assuming you had recently watered, but it looks as if you had just laid a new layer of dark mulch and polished every perfect leave of your hosta's prior to shooting these images! Do I remember from prior posts that you don't have a slug issue, or do you have a magic potion? Your hosta's could easily make a non-shade garden lover turn to the dark side!

    1. NWAgardener 01/16/2017

      Hi Sheila - welcome to the dark side! It's so much more fun and so much cooler in the summer! And much less deadheading. Good idea about bartering photos for plants! I may just try that. You are correct, I had just watered in a couple of the pictures, but there was no polishing. I lay yards and yards of compost on all my garden beds each spring. It works much better for me than mulch because it doesn't need to be replaced each year and it enhances the soil. Plus, I love the dark color - looks like rich loamy soil. The City of Bentonville (here in NW Arkansas) sells finished compost for $16/yard. Best buy ever! I don't have a slug problem, but if I do spot some occasional damage I use slug pellets.

      1. sheila_schultz 01/16/2017

        We lived N of Chicago until 12 years ago and my only option was shade gardening because of all the gorgeous, mature shade trees. Funny, in thinking back, the 100's of hosta's (or so it seemed) that framed our corner lot when we moved in never had a slug issue, it was only the one's in my well composted gardens that suffered! Go figure?

        1. NWAgardener 01/16/2017

          Do you dress your beds with mulch? I think slugs thrive just below the shady moist layer of mulch. I had a problem with them in a bed that was covered with chartreuse Creeping Jenny. While the contrast between the hosta leaves and Creeping Jenny was lovely, slugs thrived and devoured the hostas. So, I pulled up the Creeping Jenny and no more slugs! I think mulches provide the same happy environment for slugs. Just my theory, but...?

          1. sheila_schultz 01/16/2017

            It makes sense to me... the good thing about living in Denver is that we are so dry slugs aren't much of an issue, even with mulch! My gardens are 90% sunny so slugs are a thing in my past! I don't miss them at all!

  13. edithdouglas 01/16/2017

    Enjoyed the pictures, thanks. Would you happen to know a place that could supply Royal Standard, or could you tell me a currently popular variety with a similar scent? Am looking for white flowers, strong scent. Thanks.

    1. user-6536305 01/16/2017

      Hosta 'Venus' has double white flowers and very fragrant.

      1. edithdouglas 01/16/2017

        Thank you for the info. I had tried looking on line, but it was just too hard.

    2. NWAgardener 01/16/2017

      Good Morning Edith - When I am looking for a variety that I cannot find locally, I order from Made In The Shade Gardens in Olathe, KS. Their plants are large by mail order standards and exceptionally healthy. I just checked their website and they carry 'Royal Standard' for only $6. Be aware, however, that, like potato chips, you can't eat just one!

      1. edithdouglas 01/16/2017

        Thank you so much. You can tell I 'm not up on hostas as I should be, but I really love that scent! Had some and moved without taking any!

    3. Meelianthus 01/16/2017

      Edith, I have found 'Guacamole' to be very fragrant with it's white, long lasting flowers and a very robust hosta.

      1. edithdouglas 01/16/2017

        Thanks a lot! Really appreciate the feedback.

  14. User avater
    LindaonWhidbey 01/16/2017

    Susan, you've made me extremely envious with all of your beautiful hosta photos. I love hosta but our shade areas are not deer protected so they disappear overnight even with deer spray.That 'Pocket Full of Sunshine' is especially appealing. Thanks for sharing.

    1. NWAgardener 01/16/2017

      I am fortunate to have a good sized fenced back yard. A few of my shaded areas are outside the fenced perimeter, however, but they have stayed away. I see deer in the street and my neighbors' yards, but so far (six years) they have left my gardens alone. Perhaps they've heard I'm very mean! :-)

  15. Chalis2 01/16/2017

    Your hostas, indeed your entire garden, is just wonderful. Your placement of these plants makes the most of their varying forms and coloring...the entire look is just downright beautiful!

    1. NWAgardener 01/16/2017

      Thank you Ellie. Lots of trial and error, especially in the beginning.

  16. foxglove12 01/16/2017

    All so beautiful. Really love Enterprise. Thanks for sharing.

    1. NWAgardener 01/16/2017

      Thank you Lori - 'Enterprise' is a sport of 'Captain Kirk' Both have lovely coloration. The breeder must have been a Star Wars fan.

  17. VikkiVA 01/16/2017

    Susan, such beautiful hosta! Love each of them. Do you have your 'Sum of All' in a container? That one is stunning. Thanks for sharing. Vikki in VA

    1. NWAgardener 01/16/2017

      Hi Vikki - Yes, the 'Sum of All' is in a large oval galvanized tub. I planted it in 2014 in half potting mix and half compost. It is a sport of 'Sum and Substance' and has great variegation and texture. Most giant hostas get better year after year. This one is no exception.

      1. VikkiVA 01/16/2017

        I had 'Sum and Substance' years ago but I must have put it in a bad spot because it only lived for a couple of years. I think I will try to find 'Sum of All' and put it in a container as you have done. Have you ever trimmed off the flower stalks to provide all the growing energy to the foliage? I've heard some avid hosta growers cut the bloom stalks. Vikki in VA

        1. NWAgardener 01/16/2017

          Hi Vikki - yes, I often cut the flower stalks to channel the plant's energy into its foliage, especially for large/giant hostas because they take so long to mature. I was fortunate to find my 'Sum of All' in a large pot, so it was good sized when I bought it. It has increased in size substantially since I planted it, however. On the other hand, I have a 'Big Daddy' that is still a midget after three years. Upon research I found it was a very slow grower. :-(

  18. hostamom 01/16/2017

    I wish we lived closer, as I have several varieties also and we could exchange. I am in east TN, zone 6B. What Zone are you? Your plants are beautiful and VERY healthy looking. I gave up a good bit of watering during the looong drought we had last summer. Don't know what to expect this year but I'm hoping.

    1. NWAgardener 01/16/2017

      Hello Nina - I, too, live in zone 6B and wished you lived closer. It's so much fun to exchange plants with others - you think of them every time you look at the plant. I did a LOT of watering the second half of the summer and was able to keep everything looking fine (except my water bill). I think your hostas will be just fine though. They are very hardy plants.

  19. schatzi 01/16/2017

    Susan, your photos are great and your plants are healthy and happy. You are a very observant and knowledgeable gardener, and generous with your wisdom. Thanks for the tips. I have read that the reason thicker leaved hostas are slug resistant is that the little monsters can't open their mouths that wide! I resisted hostas for years because I considered them slug food, and we DO have slugs here in the PNW. But I like the green and white ones especially, for the shadier areas - they brighten them up nicely. My current favorite is Fire and Ice, but Pocket Full of Sunshine is a charmer. Your plant combinations are charmers too.

    1. NWAgardener 01/16/2017

      Hi Shirley - Thank you for your kind words. The first hostas I bought when I moved to NW Arkansas almost six years ago were the 'Fire & Ice' that line my front walk. They are a wonderful variety that tolerates a fair amount of hot summer sun (perhaps not a problem in the PNW). You are right on when you say that hostas with white leaves brighten up shady areas. One of my favorites is hosta 'Liberty'. The generous leaf margins start out a bright (spectacular) yellow in spring and lightened to white as the summer progresses. It has nice thick leaves and was the 2012 Hosta of the Year. 'Pocketful of Sunshine' and 'Sum of All' both pop in the shade and have nice thick leaves. 'Summer Breeze' (last photo) is also a standout.

  20. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 01/16/2017

    Just wonderful to visit your hosts-filled garden of wonder again, Susan. I'm completely charmed by little "Diamonds are Forever" and the giant "Sum of All". I don't have the room and shade for hostas that I used to, so I am culling to make sure I have just my favorites. Striptease is a favorite, but mine reverted pretty substantially. I painstakingly pulled it apart and think this spring I will be back to the original!

    1. NWAgardener 01/16/2017

      Hi Tim - I do the same thing when my hostas revert to boring green. I, too, am running out of space and decided that I will have to eliminate some of my duplicates in order to bring in new varieties. I have also turned to mini's recently because they take up so little space and make a nice statement at the front of beds and borders. I planted about a dozen this past year and have a mail order list prepared for another dozen this year. The really snazzy new varieties sell out quickly, so I'm planning on placing my order soon. I bought my 'Diamonds Are Forever' at Lowe's at an end of the season sale for a few dollars each. Love them! 'Sum of All' is a marvelous sport of 'Sum and Substance'. It grows quite rapidly for a Giant hosta, too. Another winner!

  21. Luvfall 01/16/2017

    Susan, your companion plants do so much to enhance your host a collection. I'm saving some screenshots for future reference. That purple oxalis is so attractive I may try it in a pot this summer. My philosophy on deer is to make my yard less attractive than my neighbors'. So far Milorganite and Vicks seem to be doing the job.

    1. NWAgardener 01/16/2017

      I use quite a bit of purple oxalis in my garden beds - both sun and shade. It's an absolute winner with beautiful foliage and summer-long pink blooms. Did I mention it's no work? It's listed as deer resistant, so maybe you should give it a try in the ground.

  22. user-7007940 01/16/2017

    Those are nice Hostas

  23. user-5117752 01/16/2017

    So glad you responded, Susan. Funny, I particularly like the shape of 'Allegan Fog'. The color is not as exciting as the others but the shape is lovely. Have you tried 'Praying Hands'? Another very different shape for a Hosta. I'm also smitten by 'A Pocket Full of Sunshine'. Where do you buy your plants mostly? I live in Western North Carolina and have a marvelous but expensive nursery that I haunt but also check out Lowes and Home Depot. Needles to say the box stores rarely have anything unusual and I don't believe I've seen your Hostas anywhere. Since it takes a long time for Hostas to mature, I hate buy from catalogs but will if I simply have to. Any suggestions?

    1. NWAgardener 01/16/2017

      Hi Judy - I'm so glad you mentioned 'Allegan Fog'. It is one of my favorites and is has delicate speckles in the leaves - just a beauty! Yes, I do have 'Praying Hands' and I wasn't happy with it until I moved it to a spot where its vertical vase shape could be featured. Now it's happy and so am I. I shop for hostas locally (specialty garden centers as well as HD and Lowe's) and overall have very good luck. However, when I want a hosta that is not available locally, I order from Made In The Shade Gardens (Olathe, KS). They have a marvelous selection, are reasonably priced, and ship good sized bare root, healthy plants. I also try to take a trip up to their greenhouse annually because it's so much fun to see the plants "in person". Of the hostas above, 'Summer Breeze', 'Allegan Fog', Orange Marmalade, and 'Dragon Tails' came from them.

      1. user-5117752 01/16/2017

        I'll look them up immediately. Thank you! Just took a stroll through my garden. Lots of bulbs peeking their little green leaves out because we've been having such a warm spell. Gosh, I am beginning to itch for spring!!! Just about 2 !/2 more months to go. Some of my hellibores are starting to bloom so that's a nice happening. Do post more pics if you're able!

        1. NWAgardener 01/16/2017

          This warm weather has my plants confused, too, but I don't have any bulbs coming up yet. It's 61 degrees today in the middle of January and we had two days last week that reached 70 degrees! As much as I love the warm days to get out to rake leaves and tidy up, I'm not sure these warm weather "head fakes" are good for perennials that need a cold winter nap. I, too, am anxious for spring, but winter is when I do all my gardening paperwork, planning and dreaming. That's fun, too. I just completed my 20-page "Late Winter & Early Spring To Do List". It only took a day to compile the list, but I'm sure it will take two months to completer all the tasks. :-)

        2. NWAgardener 01/16/2017

          Hi again Judy - I sent in 20 pictures to Kim and she posted 10 today. She said she will post the remaining 10 sometime in the next couple of weeks. I will also send in more this coming season. Hopefully by that time some of my mini's will be ready to showcase.

          1. user-5117752 01/18/2017

            Hey Susan - have not received notice of the posting. But I did look up Made in the Shade nursery
            and have started my list for an order. Of course 'Alligan Fog' is first and then I noted Frisian Waving
            Steel. What do you think of that one? So appreciate your communicating with me. Looking forward
            to the pics!

          2. NWAgardener 01/18/2017

            Hi Judy - I love 'Frisian Waving Steel' - great blue color and wavy edged leaves! Plus, it's a medium sized hosta, so it shouldn't take long to achieve its mature form. I'm not sure how I missed that! I'm so pleased that you're going to order 'Alegan Fog'. Its beauty is so subtle. Perhaps you could submit pictures of some of your hostas next year???

          3. user-5117752 01/18/2017

            Hey Susan - It's really quite funny that my son is a professional photographer and has never thought to
            give my gardens a proper viewing. I have essential tremor and can't hold a camera with confidence
            anymore. But let's see what this spring will bring - I'd kind of like to show off a little even though
            my gardening is on the wild side. I just can't resist having 1,3,5 of anything I'm not entirely
            familiar with just to see what it might do for me. And, I hate having empty spots. My favorite nursery
            sees the dollar bills flying when I arrive - I'm one of their favorite customers, of course.

            I still haven't seen your latest posting - did I miss something? Have you seen it?

            Love chatting with you!

          4. NWAgardener 01/18/2017

            That's a great idea to have your son take pictures of your garden/plants. He will know how to compose the pictures to show your plants at their best. Be sure and add their names as I get so frustrated when I see a great plant, ask its name, and get no response. :-( To me, the best part of this website is learning about new plants, combinations, and design/decor ideas. I know what you mean about having to try new plants and spending lots of money testing them out. The nurseries I frequent are happy to see me walk through their doors, too. You haven't missed my second hosta posting. Kim said she would post the pictures in the next couple of weeks. Love chatting with you, too. Gardeners make such good friends.

          5. user-5117752 01/19/2017

            BTW - Happy and Healthy New Year to you and yours!

  24. User avater
    HelloFromMD 01/16/2017

    Hi Susan, I especially like the oxalis with the hostas. Is yours hardy or do you dig up the corms?Do you have a good source for the oxalis? I have a lot of hostas too in my fenced in yard and Popcorn, Goodness Gracious, Deep Blue Sea, Sagae, and Last Dance are some of my favs. Never had any luck growing Great Expectations although I love it. Always gets leaf spot. So did Rainforest Sunrise so although I love your Pocketful of Sunshine, I hesitate to grow it. Do you grow Great Expectations successfully?

    1. NWAgardener 01/16/2017

      Hello - I, too, love oxalis mixed with hostas, especially the purple oxalis 'Triangularis'. I prefer to buy the corms because it's less expensive and they multiply so rapidly that after a few year you will be able to share corms with all your friends and neighbors. I do not have to dig them up here in zone 6B. I have purchased corms from Easy to Grow Bulbs (both 'Triangulais' and 'Iron Cross'). I just planted 'Sagae' (which I wish I had planted years ago since it takes so long to mature) and 'Last Dance'. 'Popcorn' is already on my 2017 wish list and after researching your other favorites, they will be added, too - especially 'Goodness Gracious'! Deep Blue Sea has such wonderfully corrugated blue leaves. Does it take long for an immature plant to develop the corrugation? Thanks so much for the suggestions.

      1. User avater
        HelloFromMD 01/17/2017

        Although I have had Deep Blue Sea for a few years now. I do think it is corrugated at the start. For me blue hostas change to green by mid-summer so I am especially fond of DBS since its corrugation makes it look great in its green phase.

        1. NWAgardener 01/17/2017

          I love corrugated leaves, so I will be sure to add that to my list. I forgot to answer your question about 'Great Expectations'. I have planted two - one late summer 2015 and the other early spring 2016. I had to transplant one at the end of last season because it was getting too much direct sun (but otherwise very healthy), so I'm hoping it will come back strong this spring. (I've read that they are finicky and don't like to be moved, so we'll see.) The other is under a large tree where it gets no direct sun and is doing fine. It takes them about five years to display their mature full glory so I have another few years to wait.

          1. User avater
            HelloFromMD 01/18/2017

            I am trying to grow other GE lookalikes in Hudson Bay, Beach Boy, and Summer Joy since GE gets fungal disease for me. Locally I can't even leave the nursery with a specimen that's not infected. The other hosta I love that I want a lookalike for is Fan Dance. It is similar to Gold Standard. But to get a hosta with that look but with some leaf substance! I do have slugs. To combat them I do not use mulch in the shade garden and rack out every last bit of debris so there is nothing for them to hide under. That yearly effort coupled with slug resistant hostas works well. I so loved Fan Dance but what a slug magnet.Do you have a recommendation?

          2. NWAgardener 01/18/2017

            How about 'Rainforest Sunrise' as a substitute for 'Fan Dance'? It is about the same size, has gold leaves with dark green margins and has thick corrugated leaves which hold up well against slugs. I got mine mail order from Made In The Shade Gardens. If you get it from out of area you should be able to avoid fungal disease. I love all three of your 'Great Expectations' lookalike choices. Of the three, I think I would choose 'Beach Boy' because it looks most similar to 'Great Expectations'. That makes sense because it's a sport of 'Dream Weaver' which is a sport of 'Great Expectations'. It has thicker leaves and is a more vigorous grower - two great reasons to choose it. I do, however, LOVE the tri-color 'Hudson Bay' and will add that to my wish list. Thanks for bringing them all to my attention!

  25. faithfranks 01/17/2017

    Morning...hostas are wonderful favorites of mine. Thank you for sharing yours! I love your idea of the spreadsheet catalogue, maybe with a thumbnail image of each variety :))

    To the GPOD staff: FYI, the correct abbreviation for the state of Arkansas is AR rather than AK, which is the abbreviation for Alaska. And the plural of "hosta" is "hostas," no apostrophe.

  26. anitaberlanga 01/17/2017

    Susan, I just love your hosta placement! And the photos are gorgeous. Question: how old is your Empress Wu and how large is it currently? I'm contemplating one of the giants and it's between the Empress Wu and Krossa Regale. Wu scares me a little - I'm thinking she might just take over the bed!

    1. NWAgardener 01/18/2017

      Hello Anita - I planted my Empress Wu's in 2012, so the pictures were taken four years after they were planted. They are about 3" tall and about 5" wide. They still have some more "growing" to do. They are in the back of a deep bed, so for me space is not a problem. Their mature size is supposed to be 50" tall and 108" wide, while the mature size of 'Krossa Regal' is 33" tall and 71" wide. Their forms and leaf shape/size and quite different, too. 'Empress Wu' has large round shiny green leaves in a sprawling rounded form and 'Krossa Regal' has strappy blue/green leaves in an upright vase shape. If you plant 'Krossa Regal', you might be able to underplant it with some smaller hostas or ground cover. Good luck on your decision.

      1. anitaberlanga 02/03/2017

        thanks! that gives me something to go on - once our reno is done I will be redoing my side garden and Wu is on my list of possibles!

  27. fredsaccavino 01/23/2017

    Good day Miss Susan, I love the photos of your hostas and I would like to know how do I find out what the names of my hostas are? Most of my hostas I either received from people who needed to get rid of them or I bought them from a nursery that was going out of business and they didn't have tags on them($.50 a plant, not bad and I got about7 or 8 different ones), I have also been given some from family who needed to break them up for space. Thank you for any help you might be able to give me.

    1. NWAgardener 01/25/2017

      Hello Frank - I apologize for the delay getting back to you, but I just saw your post. It's great fun to have hostas "gifted' to you, but frustrating not to know their names. I have a couple of suggestions. One would be to go to online hosta mail order sites. They usually have good pictures and a description of each variety. You should be able to identify most that way. Made In The Shade Gardens sorts its hostas by color, size, etc. which may make it easier for you. The best solution would be to find a nursery in your area that specializes in hostas. They would have people who are experts in raising and identifying them. Many have demonstration gardens. The American Hosta Society may be able to help you find one. I bought a mis-marked hosta a few years ago and was finally able to identify it when I was at Hilltop Farm's demonstration garden. They had over 300 varieties and I was able to identify my plant as 'Dream Weaver' as soon as I saw it in their garden. Pintrest may also be another good source of information. Just type in "hostas" and you should be able to pull up thousands of pictures. Not all provide names, but lots of fun anyway. Good luck!!

      1. fredsaccavino 01/27/2017

        Thank you for getting back to me, I will check out your suggestions I look forward to finding out what the names of mine are.

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