August 06 2021
I have a shade garden. Maybe it’s a moon garden, maybe a little zen, after all, there's a stone lantern. Luckily, I’m not tied to any specific design aesthetic, no one cares, especially not me. Actually, it started out being a shade garden (because it was already shady), but then a big tree had to come down and some sun loving plants moved in. Then, because I can see it from my bedroom, I thought some white blooming flowers would be great and more plants moved in. True, I do aid and abet said plants. I like to think the (concrete) stone lantern and some irregular stone steps add little zen.
One of my favorite shade garden plants is hosta, though not any particular one, there are thousands. They grow wild in China, so I read, and have been cultivated there and in Japan and Korea for centuries. Hostas are mainly grown for their wonderful leaves though they do have pretty flowers. To me, they add an almost tropicaI feel to a northern garden with their big lush colorful leaves. I have the big blue leaf hostas, green ones with white edges, green with white centers, combinations with lime green, and a long slender wavy edged one called ‘Curly Fries’. There’s a tiny one called ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ that is on my wish list along with some other small ones. They’d get lost under the big guys so maybe they’ll get their own garden-hmm, a shade garden with miniature plants-I’ll let my imagination run with that. I am limited only by my shortage of shady areas.
A common name for hostas is Plantain Lily-their flowers look somewhat similar to lilies, but they are in the Asparagaceae family. Yes, related to asparagus, yucca, and agave. Apparently you can cut those new little shoots and eat them-just as you would asparagus. Note, they are toxic to dogs and cats. I’m told deer and slugs love them, thank goodness my gardens are enclosed in tall fences and so far no slugs.
I think the hostas with white on their leaves fit both the shade and moon garden themes, anyway, we’re free to do what we want in our own gardens. You are the queen (or king) of your garden-it’s all yours. But I’m not eating my hostas, people, I don’t care if those shoots taste like asparagus. It’s just wrong and they’re way too pretty.
Hosta, zone 3-8, ‘Blue Angel’, 3’ tall and 4’wide,