Hostas forum: Need some design ideas

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Name: Karen
Watertown, WI (Zone 5a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hostas Dog Lover
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kaylyred
Jun 7, 2010 2:05 PM CST
As I posted in another thread, I dug a new addition to my front bed to make way for 'Sagae,' my auction win from this past weekend, which is ginormous. I planted it, along with the other hostas I've picked up over the past week or so, but now I need some thoughts on how to fill in the center of this bed.

Here's how it looks now, with 'Sagae' at the back, of course. On the right side (in the mid-afternoon sun...sorry about the terrible contrast in this shadowy photo) are 'Maui Buttercups' and 'Rainforest Sunrise.' I'd like to get 'Tropical Storm' to complete the trio, so I plan to save a spot there, probably just to the left of them to form a triangle shape.

On the far left in pretty much deep shade (under the canopy of a large red maple) are 'Rhino Hide' and 'Vulcan.' I tried to plant them so that the yellows would get a touch of sun and the blues and the one with a lot of white would get next to no sun. But now I'm stumped as to what to put in the center of the bed. All but the edge (where the yellows are planted) gets very little sun, so I would think heuchs are out, because they need some sun to keep them happy. I have a bunch of heuchs I need to move, but I don't think they're going here.

I haven't written off filling this bed entirely with hostas, but I was more inclined to throw in a few shade perennials.

Any thoughts? I welcome them all. Thumbs up

Thumb of 2010-06-07/kaylyred/2238c1
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Name: Christine
Southeastern MN (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Heucheras I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Level 2 I sent a postcard to Randy! Keeps Horses
Region: Minnesota Birds Raises cows Cat Lover Hostas Farmer
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Christine27360
Jun 7, 2010 3:09 PM CST
A few ferns always look nice -- or astilbe. Of course more hosta's would always do nicely!!! Maybe a heavenly tiara or sweet innocence?
"Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously."
2 Corinthians 9:6
Name: Karen
Watertown, WI (Zone 5a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hostas Dog Lover
Image
kaylyred
Jun 7, 2010 5:22 PM CST
Hehe...good suggestions, Christine. Thanks! In fact, I just planted 'Heavenly Tiara' there, as you suggested. And 'Grand Tiara.' And 'Golden Tiara.' And 'Twilight.' And 'Blue Mouse Ears.' And a fern-leaf bleeding heart.

I decided I didn't want to cool my heels and think about design ideas (I'm notoriously impatient for a gardener), so I went out back and looked around at some of the stuff in my overgrown back bed. I decided to move the Tiaras up to the front yard, so they now line the walkway. (Heavenly and Grand are still tiny, but 'Golden Tiara' is a nice second year plant.) 'Blue Mouse Ears' was a Mother's Day gift from my kids that was still in its nursery pot, so I decided to tuck it into a shady corner near the walk, too. I gave 'Twilight' center position in front of 'Sagae' were it'll hide its "legs," but not detract from the plant. And my dogs have been "excavating" around the bleeding heart, so I rescued it from them.

I'll post a picture of the finished bed as soon as I can take one. It's too dark in that corner now to get a good shot.
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Name: Bev
Garner, NC 7b
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: North Carolina Irises Dog Lover Hostas
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tggfisk
Jun 7, 2010 9:28 PM CST
If you add ferns, you must put in...drumroll, please...Lady in Red;))
Name: Christine
Southeastern MN (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Heucheras I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Level 2 I sent a postcard to Randy! Keeps Horses
Region: Minnesota Birds Raises cows Cat Lover Hostas Farmer
Image
Christine27360
Jun 8, 2010 9:28 PM CST
Ahhh -- Lady in Red... a nice choice Bev!!!

Karen -- cant wait to see the picture!! Drooling
"Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously."
2 Corinthians 9:6
Name: Karen
Watertown, WI (Zone 5a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hostas Dog Lover
Image
kaylyred
Jun 9, 2010 5:36 PM CST
The photos didn't turn out great because I couldn't get the sun and shadows to cooperate, but here are some shots. Thumbs up

This is probably the best shot I got of the entire garden with the new addition. Don't mind the compost and mulch bags in the background...I'm still working on other parts of the front yard.







Thumb of 2010-06-09/kaylyred/62147b
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Name: Karen
Watertown, WI (Zone 5a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hostas Dog Lover
Image
kaylyred
Jun 9, 2010 5:37 PM CST
Here's a view from the new Chinese astilbe I picked up today.



Thumb of 2010-06-09/kaylyred/07a1c3
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Name: Karen
Watertown, WI (Zone 5a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hostas Dog Lover
Image
kaylyred
Jun 9, 2010 5:38 PM CST
I like this particular spot with 'Rainforest Sunrise' and 'Maui Buttercups.'

Thumb of 2010-06-09/kaylyred/8aaad9
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Name: Karen
Watertown, WI (Zone 5a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hostas Dog Lover
Image
kaylyred
Jun 9, 2010 5:39 PM CST
Here's my mini Cat & Mouse Garden with 'Mighty Mouse,' 'Blue Mouse Ears,' and 'Cat's Eye.'

Thumb of 2010-06-09/kaylyred/2f3aef
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Name: Karen
Watertown, WI (Zone 5a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hostas Dog Lover
Image
kaylyred
Jun 9, 2010 5:40 PM CST
A look at 'Rhino Hide,' which is brand new and still a single-eye baby. No clue how fast this one grows, but it's supposed to get fairly large, so I'm giving it some room.

Thumb of 2010-06-09/kaylyred/2f07de
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Name: Karen
Watertown, WI (Zone 5a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hostas Dog Lover
Image
kaylyred
Jun 9, 2010 5:41 PM CST
'Twilight' is in its second year with me, and I just moved it from its spot in the backyard to center stage out front. I really like this hosta.


Thumb of 2010-06-09/kaylyred/ad6265
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Name: Karen
Watertown, WI (Zone 5a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hostas Dog Lover
Image
kaylyred
Jun 9, 2010 5:46 PM CST
Aaaand, 'Vulcan.' I got this one in order to "help" my husband the Star Trek fan get interested in hostas. It worked...if even just a little. Plus, I like this hosta and it's supposed to be a vigorous grower. All wins in my book!

Thumb of 2010-06-09/kaylyred/c5b931
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Name: Elizabeth
Iowa, zone 5a
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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conifers
Jun 11, 2010 7:30 AM CST
I bought my 'Rhino Hide' OS directly from Don Rawson last year. It was three small eyes. This year it is four eyes, but still quite small. It doubled in size and the leaves did get a LOT thicker but I would definitely not call this one a fast grower Sticking tongue out

Kayly I really like what you did with that area! There are a few slow growing dwarf and mini conifers that do well in part-shade like the area you have. I have a Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Fernspray Gold' that is growing only about two inches a year and gets about three hours of sun a day. I bought mine from Song Sparrow last year:
http://www.songsparrow.com/2010/plantlist.cfm?type=all&start...

Many of the Chamaecyparis will do well in part sun, though of course they don't color up as much as they do in full sun. Pinus strobus as a whole also tend to do well for me with only 3-4 hours a day of sun. Pinus strobus 'Blue Shag' is becoming more and more common and it really is a lovely slow growing plant with great texture. Pinus strobus 'Mini Twists' is another conifer that I bought from Song Sparrow that gets a lot of compliments. It is listed as sold out on their website but the picture is fun:
http://www.songsparrow.com/2010/plantdetails.cfm?ID=3004&typ...

I just moved mine to a more prominent location in front of the house where it will get more sun.
Elizabeth
Name: Elizabeth
Iowa, zone 5a
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Image
conifers
Jun 11, 2010 7:39 AM CST
My neighbor just bought a large (two feet tall and wide) Abies nordmanniana 'Golden Spreader' from a local nursery. I spotted the beauty on a recent visit and my budget didn't allow for the purchase - I've spent WAY more on plants this year than I should have! I told her about it because I knew she was looking for a specimen of something for a front lily bed. She bought it and now I can see it from my front porch swing or go visit it whenever I want Thumbs up

Here is what 'Golden Spreader' looks like when smaller, it is another great plant for part shade. I bought one a few years ago from a different mail order nursery that I won't deal with again, and it died Crying

I've only received great plants from Song Sparrow and would not hesitate to buy one from them:
http://www.songsparrow.com/2010/plantdetails.cfm?ID=2832&typ...
Elizabeth

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