Monday, June 30, 2014
Hosta Haul - 2014
After visits to Herb Hidu, Plainview Farms, and the Maine Hosta Society's 2014 Auction, and a gift from Marla and CR Davis of an astilbe, I have enough plant material to fill a new hosta bed. I credit Herb Hidu with most of my love of hostas. Previous to meeting him, I only had two varieties, both dug from my parent's home, one all green and one white and green. When I met Herb I was enamored with his beautiful old home in a very private spot in Sheepscot as well as his amazing knowledge of the names and growing habits of the 15-20 different hostas he had at the time of my first visit. He and his wife are wonderful people, so warm and eager to help others with their interest in gardening. I have made my spring pilgrimage nearly every year since my first introduction and though I may not acquire new varieties, his plants are so robust and sensibly priced that I eagerly gather more of my favorites. Plainview Farms happens to be along the way to Kat and Pat's, so it is an irresistible stop for me if time allows. They have the best selection of hosta in the immediate area and there are still a few I do not have. This visit I came away with "Firm Line" which supposedly goes to almost white as the summer continues. I am skeptical after purchasing "Mostly Ghostly", but it is a nice looking plant right now. Marla and CR were thinning out their beautiful gardens on Montsweag Bay and brought me a lovely pot of astilbe which will compliment the hostas. This trip to the Maine Hosta Society Auction yielded some spectacular plants. I am so pleased to add "Humpback Whale" to my garden as I have been in search of it since seeing it in a display garden on the National Hosta Tour in 2011. It forms a tight mound which very much looks like a whale surfacing for air at maturity. I also got "Royal Wedding" to place by "Diana Remembered" as I am so fond of all things English. Other hostas I added were, "Ullyses S. Grant", "Winter Snow", "Blueberry Waffles", and a sweet little mini named "Church Mouse". Erica is campaigning that it be placed appropriately in the Angel Garden, but it would also make sense to let it join the other minis by Nutshell Cottage. (Erica won, I planted it in the Angel Garden) Maybe a division is in order as it is loaded with plant material! One of my most exciting purchases was an unnamed seedling which Ron Dow of Belfast brought to the auctiion. The timing was amazing as I had only just read an article about the woman from Massachusetts who hybridized the "Birchwood series" of hosta so-called because that was the name of her home. I was so excited by the thought of an Oak Hill series, I did not contain myself and bored poor Eric to tears with a summary of her accomplishments in the Hosta world! Ron said that it would be a year or two before we could determine if the plant was distinctive enough from its parents to be registered, but that he would help me both with the evaluation and the registration process if I wished to follow it up. I shall keep my fingers crossed!