Thursday, May 19, 2011
I have come to rely on a few shade plants as the backbone of the garden, and hostas are one of them. We have received a lot of rain this year so far, and the hostas are getting so big that they are crowding on top of others next to them. This one above, which I think is called "Abiqua Moonbeam", wasn't that big last year but has boomed out to about 2 feet wide this year. Hostas are perennials, so you can collect them a few at a time and they will come back for you year after year. You can also divide them when they got too big, which I think I will be doing next year.
The chartreuse beauty here has always been the big daddy of the hostas in the garden, but this year it has also spread like crazy and is over 3 feet wide. I have it placed on a curve in a walking path, and it covers the space you would usually fill with 2 or 3 plants. It is called "Sum and Substance" and is one of my favorites. The chartreuse color really brightens up the darker shade. It also looks great against the dark mulch and slate lining the paths. Hostas do need to be watered if you get a dry patch during the summer, but overall they are pretty hardy. They are also one of the best plants for medium to deep shade. There are hundreds of varieties, so you could actually plant a varied hosta garden using few other plants. Try a few hostas in your shade garden and you will soon fall in love with them.
Friday, May 13, 2011
Anyway, I looked up these brown snakes and found that they are friendly, they eat slugs, which we need because slugs chew holes in the hostas at night. So, they are welcome. I did get the chance to pick one up yesterday when I saw my cat, Zippy, in the yard occupied with something. Upon further investigation, he had a baby brown garter snake about 8 inches long, which was scared to death and probably anticipating his demise. I shooed Zippy off and picked up the snake, which curled up in my hand. He was pretty nice, no threat, cold, not slimy or anything. I let him out under a hosta 30 yards away. Nice fellow. They are cool but unfortunately cats are fascinated by them. Time to have a talk with the cats....again.