Hostas, also known as plantain lilies, are steadfast garden staples because of their beautiful foliage and sometimes, because of their fragrant flowers.
Hostas thrive in the shade but many can tolerate a bit of sun. There are many, many types as well as many sizes. The tiniest ones are called miniatures. The largest can grow over 6' wide!
Reading up on them, I didn't realize that I actually have (or had) a number of Hostas that have gained the Royal Horticulture Society's Award of Garden Merit! I have (Tardiana group) 'June', H. sieboldiana 'Frances Williams', 'Golden Tiara' and 'Krossa Regal'.
Hosta leaves, although beautiful, can be an open invitation as lunch for snails and slugs. I have found slug bait and other slug deterrents to be moderately successful. I heard that the best way to get rid of snails and slugs is to get up very early in the morning, to hand-pick them off and drop them into soapy water. You know? I'll get up early to catch a plane for a vacation but darned if I'm giving up my precious sleep for slugs :)
Slugs and snails don't (can't) eat through thick-leaved Hostas so that in itself is a deterrent. For late risers like me, maybe those our best bet.
One of the best sites for Hosta identification is Hosta Library. It identifies hundreds of varieties by name and photo.
Here is 'Blue Wedgewood' with perennial geranium, Painted Japanese fern, phlox, junipers and impatiens. It grows to about 14" high and 24" wide.
Another shot of 'Blue Wedgewood' beside my Weeping Norway Spruce. Great textural contrast!
This is 'Sagae'. It's big but has never reached the projected size of 31" high x 70" wide.
The prominent hostas here are 'Elegans' (foreground) and 'Paul's Glory' behind it. I used to have 'June' but I don't think that's 'June' at the right…(which should be variegated….I think it died out)
Here is one of the Garden Merit Award winners: 'Krossa Regal' beside Euonymus 'Gaity'
Elaine is surrounded by 'Golden Tiara' and columbines!
Look carefully along the pathway and you'll see variegated "Night Before Christmas'
'Frances Williams' among periwinkle, euonymus and Sweet Williams
One of the tiny miniatures 'Pandora's Box'. I shot this while on a garden tour so I don't know the names of the surrounding Hostas.
Here's my friend Sheila's 'Praying Hands' Hosta
Hostas make great border plants!
Check out recipes for New York Style Cheesecake and Mushroom and Leek Soup on my food/recipe blog: