Hostas in Landscape Design
More about Hostas
The focal point in each bed is the extraordinary large clumps. Glenda’s rule of thumb was that once planted, except for watering, leave them alone; until 2018 there was never a division or slicing off of any bit of a plant. Prior to that where in a few and rare cases more than one plant of a given variety was seen, each was a new plant and not a product of division. Glenda particularly favours THE BIG, THE BOLD and THE BEAUTIFUL! Outstanding amongst these are: Big Mama, Friar Tuck, Great Expectations, Leading Lady, Parhelion, Paul’s Glory, Squash Casserole, Sum and Substance, Sun Power (a splendid specimen and breathtaking to look at), Sagae and Winter Snow. Just to behold these fine specimens, including numerous others, is worth the visit.
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Hostas in Landscape Design
The distinct and memorable feature of Seven Willows is the predominance of hostas. The garden is a showcase of the varied ways in which hostas can be used in landscape and design. A new hosta bed was created annually between 1998 and 2014. The last bed devoted to hostas, Number 49, involved clearing away woody shrubs and ground cover in this old bed to which was added fresh soil and sheep manure to facilitate new plantings of 107 different varieties of hostas. The vast majority survived, and about 28 more were added on the east side in 2018 using divisions from old stock. This single bed now contains at least 137 different varieties of hosta and over 70 different varieties of daylilies.
Over the 44 years by exact count 1,304 hostas have been planted. Glenda has been fastidious in keeping a record of every hosta planted, recording the hosta’s name, whether there is photo representation or photo tag (P), year of purchase and from which nursery or garden centre and the exact location planted. For each bed there is a map showing the original layout and location where each hosta is planted. There are no tags or markers identifying hostas in this garden. Over the years the depletion in the number of hostas has been significant: deer, an abundance of rabbits, ground hogs, chipmunks, squirrel, turtles, more recently and most destructive, voles, gophers, beavers and muskrats, as well as earthbound insects, have been an ongoing challenge. Between 2012 and 2017 the attrition rate became alarming. In two front beds it is estimated over 50 hostas disappeared during the winter of 2012 alone as well as many daylilies and astilbes. The problem took a while to identify and ameliorate. All hostas seem to have survived in spring 2018 and the garden has assumed a glorious appearance. Spring 2018 has seen a major rebirth of the garden, and the hostas, now almost daily, photographed, are nothing short of spectacular.