Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Cloudless Morn'

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A beautiful morning here on the mountain. The sky is clear and a breath of fresh air is enough to get you jump started for the day. I am heading to the garage in a minute for a new thermostat assembly for the Chevy truck and then off to work. Something like $325. Do not ask me how many times I have paid for this 2005 Silverado. Some people are paid too much for not doing a good job! I have real questions about the domestic auto industry.

Work on the new hosta/shade garden continues each night and it is really beginning to shape up. It looks good from our parking lot and from Route 2 but the down side is that you have to be willing to walk down a steep grade to get there. I have a plan for a system of native stone steps and accompanying side gardens but the economics of a second year nursery at a new location will dictate whether that happens this year or not.

I have always liked Yellow River, a large, vase shaped hosta. Some say it is too much of a monster but as with all hosta, it has a place and just deserves some consideration. I like any of the vase shaped hostas because they hold up and give a better view of the full leaf. This one has nice substance and looks good mixed with small conifers.

Red October was my first hosta with red petioles. I bought it years ago from a man in southern Vermont. The red stems are interesting and the gray-white underside of each leaf is also interesting but as a garden hosta, the leaf top becomes dull green early on in spring. To me it just fills a space and makes for conversation. I'm getting old enough that bending over to show folks the "red" is more trouble than it may be worth. Just the same, people like the name even though it blooms in September, not October when it gets droopy here from too many frosts.

Maple Leaf is nice because this is Vermont and the sugar maple is our state tree. The hosta has nice size and shape but on occasion there is a little leaf scorch which I haven't figured out. That may be just my garden or it may be a heritage thing, I don't know. Many plants sell not because of their beauty but because of their name and Maple Leaf does the trick for sales to the point that I don't think we have but one or two left for sale already. I keep it off the web site because it is not a fast grower and it's easier to just do local sales at the nursery.

Albo Picta is a hosta the fools neophytes. It is a beauty in spring and welcomes other hostas as it arrives early and has a nice display. What many do not know is that in short order now, certainly by the end of June here, it will be fading to solid green and the only color left will be surrounded by questions and "What happened's?" No hosta collector should forget it. It's old and it's good!

Jeff wrote a week back and asked what hostas I was planting in the new garden and I gave a brief list. So far I have added these: True Blue, Blue Angel, Spilt Milk, Diamond Tiara, Lucy Vitols, Midwest Magic, Little Miss Magic, Sea Gold, Fort Knox, Venetian Blue, Shade Fanfare, Queen of the Seas, Parky's Prize, Pilgrim, Invincible, Sparkling Burgundy, Ice Cream, Sultana, Geisha, Pacific Blue Edger, Jimmy Crack Corn, Royalty, Crepe Suzette, Big John, Ryan's Big One, Robert Frost, Bobbie Sue, Special Gift, American Sweetheart, Leather Sheen, Guacamole, Fried Green Tomatoes and a few more that don't register with an aging mind. If you get a chance to stop by, beware, as few have name markers yet but they are looking good. Here's a picture of a section I finished last night.

Must get going. Enjoy today! It's a beauty.

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
Vermont Gardens
Vermont Flower Farm A nice place to visit!


Teza said...

Creating a shaded hosta garden...... my fingers twitch with the excitement of seeing the finished results - looking good so far.
For a shade gardener, I sadly am not a huge fan of the genus but agree with your comment aboyt the vase shaped specimens. I love H. nigrescens! The other two in my gardens are another red petioled one called 'The Razor's Edge' and a gorgeous blue grey one called 'Ice Prancer.' Might I suggest these three for the new bed? Your blog is one of the first I visit every day.... so much a journal! A great day back at ya!

Nicole said...

Lovely hostas. I have one hosta, a passalong, green with lovely large rounded leaves. Even though your climate is very different from mine yours is quite an enjoyable blog to read.

James Trundy said...

Just did my own early morning walk-about and then cam in to enjoy your new entries. Like Teza, I ignored and disliked Hostas for years! Think it was because people "misused them"! In my opinion one does not line their front walk, house foundation or driveway with ONE small leaf variety, be it solid or varigated!

Hostas are to be collected and there are way to many spectacular ones to have them all...

The Sunpowers at the end of the front walk have doubled in size this past week. The Scarlet Runner beans that will cover the arbor between them should peak out with todays forecast rain.

Time for coffee! have some phenomenal fresh roasted and soon to be fresh brewed! Ethiopian Harrar Oromia.

George Africa said...

Hello James;

The hosta garden planting continues and today I will mass plant 25 Sunpower and 25 Elegans in big blocks. They are small (gallon pots) now but in a couple years will become attention getters. The grassy field in the picture of the hostas will eventually become a nursery strictly for lining out large quantities of commonly asked for large and extra large hostas. At some point here I want to get back to a little hybridizing using Big John and some of the Sum and Substance sports. I like the big ones!

I know you like peonies, James, and this week in Vermont there should be outstanding displays. I noticed mention of Cider Hill in Windsor, Harmony Farm in Hartland and Frost Hill Farm in Belmont ( Most places are having special events. I also came upon Peony's Envy on a search. Not in Vermont but some troublesome pictures in that I want them all.

Good gardening wishes! If anyone has any gardening friends that enjoy hostas, send them to Marshfield for a look at New England grown.

George Africa07

Carol said...

Hostas are great! Terrific forms and the flowers are fabulous too... some nearly like lilies. If only the slugs did not agree! Happy Planting!

Jeff Branch said...

I've seen Albo Picta locally, but have never bought it. Your photo looks great. I have Red October (I have a great photo of it on the Hosta Library) and I agree with you about being able to see the red petioles. Great post.