Hostas are best beloved for their ability to intensely brighten a shady garden.

Hosta - the shade plant which is so spectacular, it has spawned hundreds of appreciation societies across the continent. Hostas feature Penstemmon-like flower spikes in whites, pinks, and purples.

Hosta But it is for the foliage that Hostas are primarily grown. Buttery golds, lime green, emerald green, and sea blue are among the colours of Hosta leaves, and some of the most beautiful feature contrasting margins of white, green, or gold. Hostas have a mounding habit, and range in size from miniature to about 3' in height and width.

The gold leaves are particularly stunning and look almost as if they are lit from within. The golden varieties do best with moderate sunlight. The blue-foliaged strains achieve their richest colour in deeper shade. The veriegated kinds do best in bright shade, but will tolerate some sun. Hostas thrive if given soil rich in organic matter. They are appreciative of ample water in dry seasons, but are quite disease-resistant. They are, however, subject to being enjoyed by snails. For this reason, we have always grown ours in slightly elevated containers rimmed with copper tape. We implore you not to use snail bait in your garden as it is deadly poison to all the creatures you are sharing your land with, including you! We were delighted to see several companies offering snail-resistant Hostas this year, and are eager to try them out.

Many people moving to a new home can be discouraged when they realize how shady their yard happens to be. We encourage you to celebrate, instead, because you will be able to grow lush plants like Hostas, ferns, Bleeding Hearts, Fuchsias, and Begonias. Bright blooms and foliage will shine like lanterns in your restful garden.