Garden Photo of the Day

Susan’s Hostas in Arkansas, Day 1

Hosta ‘Ripple Effect’ front right, ‘Mayflower Moon’ front left, ‘Captain Kirk’ in middle, large variegated unknown hosta from estate sale behind

Do you love Hostas? For those who can't get enough, a huge thank you to Susan Strong in Arkansas!

"We’ve had a wet spring here in NW Arkansas and my plants are flourishing.  I love shade gardens and hostas are my favorite shade plant.  Many that I’ve planted over the past four years are filling out and finally reaching maturity.   While some hostas are stars, others play supporting roles; however, all are wonderful.  Here are some of my favorites."

Keep sending in photos, everyone! Whether you've never shared before or you've been featured multiple times, we want to see your garden! Email a few photos and a little info about your garden to [email protected].

Hosta ‘Striptease’ in front, ‘Orange Marmalade’ at base of tree

Hosta ‘Rainbow’s End’ in front, ‘Paul’s Glory’ behind the Heuchera 

Hosta ‘Lakeside Paisley Print’ in front, ‘Sum & Substance’ behind

Hosta ‘Captain Kirk’ in front, unknown in middle, and ‘Sum & Substance’ in back

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  1. susan749 05/20/2015

    Very lovely!

  2. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 05/20/2015

    Hostas are grand! You've got quite a collection. I love Rainbow's End, especially with that dark-leaved Heuchera! Looking forward to seeing what else you have tomorrow.

  3. User avater
    meander_michaele 05/20/2015

    The heck with compliments about interior, Susan, have exquisite taste in Hosta ! What is your secret to getting them so full and lush when planted at the base of what looks like already in place good sized trees like in pictures 1,2 and 3?

  4. hostamom 05/20/2015

    Thank you for sharing these beautiful hostas. It didn't look like they are labelled. How do you keep track of what's where?

  5. Cenepk10 05/20/2015

    Very nice !

  6. terieLR 05/20/2015

    Stars and supporting roles ~ so true. Susan, you have blended the varieties wonderfully, pairing the tones to compliment one another. Haven for hosta! Love the sweet woodruff here and there. Do you have any trouble with slugs? My sister recently gifted a Kiwi hosta to our gardens. It's so sweet that I placed it in a container for the summer months to be adored on a daily basis.

    1. user-7007140 05/20/2015

      Picture please!

  7. user-4691082 05/20/2015

    My favorites are rainbows end and orange marmalade. Now look what you've done! Back to the nursery...

  8. annek 05/20/2015

    So many varieties of hosta and they're all so lush and green (except for orange marmalade). You've created a beautiful shade garden

  9. User avater
    HelloFromMD 05/20/2015

    Hi Susan,
    I too am a hosta lover and after planting 16 new ones this spring I'm up to 78. But these are spread out over all my shade gardens. So not a collector yet. So I am thrilled you included 'Paisley Print' in your photos. Has it been a good grower? I have been thinking about that one. I just added 'Ripple Effect', it's too cute. Mayflower Moon is getting huge for me. I bet you would recommend 'Orange Marmalade' as a top must have. Yours is beautiful. Can't wait till tomorrow to see more. Do you have any advice for hosta growers?

  10. NWAgardener 05/20/2015

    Meander1 - the secret is compost! The City of Bentonville sells screened compost for $16/yd and I spread it generously on my beds (all but vegetable) in lieu of mulch. The plants love it and my soil has improved dramatically in the four years I've used it. The large trees suck most moisture from the soil in that bed; therefore, it is a dry shade garden and requires regular watering other than during the rainy season.

    Nina - I keep track of my plants by keeping a file for each of my 20 garden areas. In each file I place the plant tags with the date planted and also keep a running list. It gets tricky when I transplant and forget to update the files. I am planning to use markers for the hosta now that I have over 70 varieties.

    Terie - Slugs have only been a major problem in one bed which is covered with Creepiing Jenny. I lost two hosta there. I just discovered Sweet Woodruff last year and love it. It spreads rapidly, but comes up easily if it invades another plants' territory.

    Rhonda - I, too, love Orange Marmalade and have three! Rainbow's End is even more vivid in real life than in the picture. It was the first hosta to come up this year and is a little showstopper.

  11. NWAgardener 05/20/2015

    HellofromMD - Paisley print is probably my favorite with the puckered leaves and ruffled edges, not to mention the exquisite coloring! I have three and they all perform wonderfully. It's a "must have" for any hosta gardener. I planted Mayflower Moon last year, so it will take a few years for mine to get "huge" like yours - can't wait! I just started growing hosta when I moved to NW Arkansas four years ago, so I'm no expert. I believe they are very hardy plants and I'm sure mine appreciate the generous "helping" of compost they receive each year.

  12. GrannyMay 05/20/2015

    Lovely hostas, Susan! More to add to the wish list! If it weren't for the darned slugs and deer, I'm sure they would become the backbone of a lot more gardens. I've been growing mine in containers, which helps protect them from some of their predators.

  13. Nurserynotnordstroms 05/20/2015

    Lovely collection of beautiful hostas I love "Lakeside Paisley Print"so many hostas so little time. Hosta can be addicting I got "Erotica" this year,so pretty.It seems once you begin collecting you find more and more to love. Susan I can't wait to see more of your gardens tomorrow. And as a quick comment I have been putting my coffe grounds around my hostas and it definetly seems to have helped. I do however have one in the front gardens that sluggo won't even keep safe. I think it's getting dug up and moved or banished from my gardens altogether.

    1. User avater
      gringopeligroso 05/20/2015

      NnN, (and others in this Disqussion),
      I'm trying something I stumbled across on Pinterest a couple of weeks ago and will share here as another weapon to use in our arsenals and strategies. (The slugs here are mowing down some of my seedlings better than a weed-eater.) Supposedly, slugs LOVE cornmeal. By placing small amounts about our plantings, it will draw them like ice cream does us Humans. They can consume the stuff but, can't digest it and it kills them. Exactly how, one can only morbidly imagine. The hard part is keeping the cornmeal dry. I'm using tiny paper "dixie cups," but perhaps olde pill vials, empty vitamin bottles or other vessels to shed rains and irrigation would work. I'm just starting this regimen so don't have any experience to relate to the efficacy as of yet, but I share the frustrations of many of us and am hopeful for any safe solutions!!

  14. MarciaGD 05/20/2015

    I live just over the NWA/ NEO state line at Grand Lake. Can you share your sources for that incredible collection of hostas? Do you purchase locally or do you purchase online, or from catalogs? I just haven't seen some of those names in my local garden centers, and I want them!

  15. thevioletfern 05/20/2015

    Glorious! I feel the need to add more Hostas to my garden. I love how you've created a "glow" effect.

  16. sheila_schultz 05/20/2015

    Your hosta beds are gorgeous, Susan. I love the way they snuggle in with all the other textures of your shade gardens. I love them all, but I must say I'm smitten with Rainbow's End... it's gorgeous!

  17. NWAgardener 05/20/2015

    MarciaGD - hello neighbor! I have a number of sources within driving distance and have only ordered one hosta online. Westwood Gardens (in both Rogers and Fayetteville) have a very nice selection, but I drive to Made In The Shade Nursery in Olathe, KS once a year to buy more unusual varieties. They carry hundreds of varieties and sell primarily via mail order, but it's just too much fun not to see them in person! I also make an annual trip to Hilltop Farm just outside Springfield, MO. In fact, I'm going there tomorrow. They are a full service nursery, but one of their specialties is hosta. The farm is lovely and worth the drive. Both Made In The Shade and Hilltop have demonstration gardens.

    Nurserynotnordstrom - thanks for the coffee grounds tip!

  18. GrannyCC 05/20/2015

    What a wonderful collection of Hostas. They all look extremely healthy and I look forward o seeing more tomorrow. Your varieties are amazing,

  19. user-7007140 05/20/2015

    I thank you SO much for your pictures and all the hosta names. Over the years I have been gifted/purchased quite a few hosta and know the names of about three! After viewing your photographs I can now name several more. I love Orange Marmalade in particular so will search that one out! This is exciting. I am so impressed with your efficiency, especially as my garden is home to the Not Sure What it Is, but gotta have it, variety. Thanks to so many knowledgeable GPODers I am learning a Lot.
    Note on the slugs - I don't have a problem where I live and can only assume the lack of pesticides,herbicides,etc encourages a huge population of birds and toads and garden snakes as well as other wildlife. I do use Preen (corn Gluten) from time to time and wonder if that also discourages slugs and snails. Will remember the cornmeal tip, too.
    Many thanks.

  20. perenniallycrazy 05/21/2015

    Tim is right: Yours is such a grand collection of hostas Susan! Your plant combinations and textures are amazing exalting the beauty of these foliage queens.

    Care to share any other additional growing tips with us? Have you ever had a problem where a hosta just stops growing or starts shrinking? My Big Daddy just stopped growing this year (year 7 undisturbed).

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