As well as keeping a specimen of most cultivars in the shade tunnel, I will of course continue to plant out the hosta collection in various parts of the garden.
Hostas in Full Sun
I have experimented with growing some hostas in almost full sun. Surprisingly, a large grouping of sieboldiana-types (some of which are almost certainly H.s.’Elegans’) has done very well despite the sun and without any additional watering. It should be noted that Suffolk is one of the driest counties in the UK with a annual average rainfall of a little over 500mm. They’ve grown very large, with one clump measuring in excess of 3.5ft x 4ft. They do of course fall victim to the sun eventually, losing their bloom and hence turning green after flowering in July and then deteriorating further in August as the leaves start to brown. Still, the overall effect (including their magnificent display of flowers) in the middle of a white-themed garden is very pleasing. Robert Barlow from North Staffordshire Hostas measured and photographed the clump when he visited at the end of May 2015.
Planting out in 2017.
With the arrival of Spring and some unseasonally warm weather, it was time to move some of my hostas from the comfort of their pots in the shade tunnel out into the wilds of the garden. One of the sites I’d chosen, close to the southern boundary of the property, comprised of several large, mature native trees together with many more younger shrubs and tress which we planted about 8 years ago to provide screening. It needed a good dig, the removal of a lot of tree roots and the addition of some organic matter. The area probably doesn’t provide quite as much shade as I’d like yet, but it should certainly be enough for the plants to get by and hopefully for them to thrive.
The idea now is to create a few ‘hosta-only’ beds, with different shapes, sizes and colours of hostas together with some mixed planted beds, featuring other shade-tolerant shrubs and perennials.
I’ve marked the hostas with what I hope will be permanent aluminium labels (but that’s another story for another day on another web-page). They look rather small in the big beds, despite the fact that they’ve been grown on in pots for 18-24 months after they were purchased. In fact the area appears to be more like a sculpture park than a hosta bed at the moment, but I’m sure the plants will fill out in no time!