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Hostas

The Coldharbour Nursery Way
Coldharbour Nursery has been growing and showing hostas for a number of years. We increase our range every year and – whenever possible – we source our plants from UK growers. Recently we have introduced more of the miniature hostas which some people find a little addictive!

We believe in growing hostas ‘hard’ to produce good, tough plants ready for your garden. Long, leggy soft shoots are not what we like! In response to customers’ requests we have written this very brief guide to planting and growing hostas successfully.

Where to Grow
Hostas are wonderful for landscaping under trees or edging pathways through the garden. They look fantastic near water but will not be happy in boggy or stagnant soil. The ideal soil is – as it is for most plants! – moist and well-drained. Do not worry about the moist. We don’t and neither does Piet Oudolf the Dutch plantsman – he features hostas in Plants for Tough Places.

Hostas also look great in containers and with such a huge choice in ornamental containers you can select the right pot for your hosta whether it be classical or modern, chic steel or traditional terracotta. One thing to think about is shape – a curved pot will make it very difficult to remove the hosta without damaging the container, it is often better to grow the plant in an ordinary black plastic pot and stand it inside a shaped container.

Size matters so I’m told and with Hostas there is a huge choice. You can have a 3inch miniature or a 4ft+ whopper and everything in between. The miniatures are best grown in a container and people create amazing ‘gardens’ in sinks, troughs and other containers. All the other sizes can be container grown or you can create superb hosta beds in your garden or plant them where it suits you. They will all give you a long season of superb colour and structure in your garden.

Hosta foliage can be classified in 4 main colour groups: blue(glaucous), green, gold and variegated. The rules on where to grow them are: shade for blue, sun for gold, anything for green, shade for any variegation with white and sun or shade for other variegation, e.g. gold and green. These rules are of course fairly general and a few cultivars have more specific requirements, however in the main you can play about with where you position them. Some are better with some morning sun. Few will be happy in an exposed Mediterranean hot spot. As always, there are exceptions to the rule and many people grow them very well in full sun – even the blues. Just remember that hostas are tough hardy perennials and you can play about with positioning, you can always move them to another spot if they are not performing as you would hope.


British Hosta and Hemerocallis Society
If you love hostas and daylilies you should consider joining the British Hosta and Hemerocallis Society (BHHS). For a small annual membership you have access to a lot of help and information, meetings and events all round the country and a superb annual bulletin plus newsletters and the opportunity to meet a group of very knowledgeable and friendly people. Their very informative website is www.hostahem.org.uk or you can write to the address given right.

 
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