Friday, June 5, 2015

The Barry Sturgeon Hosta Garden

Just begun last year, the new hosta garden affectionately named because the benches we created from pine stumps were fitted with tops given to us by good friend Barry Sturgeon. They are very wide, live-edge boards which Barry was clearing out and knew that if anyone could use them, it would be us. Sure enough, they make perfect benches for the new area. The problem with the new garden was that there was very little definition between the garden beds and the pathways. The hostas are not to a size yet where they cover the soil, nor has there been enough time to build up a pine needle mulch as of yet. So, we decided to buy a load of dark bark mulch for the beds. Though I don't plan to keep this up in future years, it really accomplished what I had hoped and gave a distinction between garden bed and path. Meanwhile, I brought in some sod chunks for the path from the newly expanded Event Field Garden and sprinkled some grass seed in an effort to grass over the paths. Would love to see this area improve before the Maine Hosta Society tour happens on July 11. I have an opportunity to buy more plants this weekend as I am off on a bus tour to Mason Hollow in NH, and to view three private hosta gardens along the way. That will provide me with even more ideas along with a shopping opportunity!

Late May at Oak Hill Lodge

True, I have lost the daffodils and the tulips, but they are replaced with gorgeous blossoms from the rhododendrons, hostas emerging with even more vigor that the year before, and the promise of budding peonies that are soon to put on their magnificent show. Everything is such a triumphant green... claiming victory over a long, cold winter. There is lots to do in the garden this time of year: planting the veggies, the annuals, dividing perennials, edging to ensure nice sharp definitions between grass and beds. I like to give the tulips and the daffodils a shot of bulb tone before they die back too much to encourage larger clumps next spring. The cedars I had growing in the pots at the end of the front sidewalk show signs of stress and are now almost five feet tall. Time to find them a permanent home in the garden beds and purchase new little cedars for the pots. When I remove them, I find I have made the right decision as they are badly root-bound. Eric and I walk the Garden Tour path and discuss possible sites for them. We decided they are best suited to stand sentinels at either end of the Event Field Garden at Acorn Cottage end. There, they will be able to grow as tall as they wish, though be limited in girth. There are a few other conifers in that garden already and the variety of shapes will provide great structure.

The Empress- Miss Wu

Each year I wait with great anticipation to see how much larger the Empress Wu hosta I planted back in 2008. I bought two of them as starter plants through mail order. I had never done this before as I am usually more "sane" and can wait until they come to a nursery closer to me and can be purchased at a size that fills a spot in the garden almost immediately. But, Empress Wu sounded too incredible to wait for. Besides, there would be something exciting watching the two little tiny leaves the size of teaspoons develop into what was touted as the largest hosta EVER! The Empress has not disappointed. Each year she comes back notably larger than the year before and her leaf size has increased remarkably as well.