Hostas

Overview

Hostas is the definitive guide to the popular hardy perennial that gardeners have come to rely upon and enjoy. Favored for their beauty and longevity, these shade-loving, low-maintenance plants bear foliage in all manner of shape, size and texture and in colors ranging from steel blue, tonal greens and yellows to multi-colored. Their long-blooming, aromatic flowers come in variations of white, pale lavender and blue-purple.

The growing season for hostas stretches from early ...

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Overview

Hostas is the definitive guide to the popular hardy perennial that gardeners have come to rely upon and enjoy. Favored for their beauty and longevity, these shade-loving, low-maintenance plants bear foliage in all manner of shape, size and texture and in colors ranging from steel blue, tonal greens and yellows to multi-colored. Their long-blooming, aromatic flowers come in variations of white, pale lavender and blue-purple.

The growing season for hostas stretches from early spring to late fall, and they flourish in Zone 3 — most of the continental United States as well as populated areas of Canada and Alaska.

Rosemary Barrett provides expert advice on these outstanding plants. Following a brief section on the history of hostas, she covers the various cultivars in fine detail, with topics that include:

  • Cultivation
  • Enhancing a garden
  • Propagation
  • Container-growing
  • Landscaping
  • Plant and tree companions
  • Borders and beds
  • A catalog of hostas
  • Garden settings.

Featuring lush color photographs throughout, Hostas is ideal for gardeners at all levels of expertise.

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Editorial Reviews

Pasadena Star-News
The book provides pictures of many varieties, which shows both their color and their setting in the garden.
— Linda Hutchinson
Science News
Clear and plentiful instructions about how to propagate and cultivate hostas and what other plants make good companions.
Landscape Architecture Magazine
Hundreds of vibrant photos... helpful information about propagation, color selections, container planting, and companion plants.
HortIdeas
Revel in the luscious images... We especially commend Hostas as an inspiring picture album showing the most appealing Hosta selections at their best.
E-Streams
Informal, almost chatty, tone... valuable resource for anyone like myself who has a large area of deep shade.
— Karin J. Shank
Edmonton Sun
Great landscaping ideas for many different types of gardens... will inspire gardeners everywhere.
— Patty Jessome
Halifax Chronicle Herald
A loving look at a garden staple... endless ideas for that shady spot in your garden.
Booklist / RBB
Guides readers through the limitless variety... excels with its clear concise format, detailed descriptions, and superlative color photography.
— Carol Haggas
Globe and Mail
Range of ideas and plans for different types of gardens, from large woodland expanses to small shade and container gardens.
— Jane Gadd
Kingston Whig-Standard
A good guide to have on hand... larded with photos of a great number of varieties... mini-catalogue of hosta varieties.
— Mary Anne Beaudette
Portland Oregonian
The beauty and versatility of hostas comes through big time here... All in all, a useful, handsome book.
— Kym Pokorny and Dianna K. Colvin
BellaOnline
Make it easy on yourself. Learn everything you need to know about choosing and growing hostas from Rosemary Barrett.
— Connie Krochmal
Pasadena Star-News - Linda Hutchinson
The book provides pictures of many varieties, which shows both their color and their setting in the garden.
Edmonton Sun - Patty Jessome
Great landscaping ideas for many different types of gardens... will inspire gardeners everywhere.
E-Streams - Karin J. Shank
A general interest book, written in an informal, almost chatty, tone... a valuable resource for anyone like myself who has a large area of deep shade in their yard... recommended for any public library.
Booklist / RBB - Carol Haggas
Guides readers through the limitless variety and versatility of each plant... excels with its clear concise format, detailed descriptions, and superlative color photography.
Globe and Mail - Jane Gadd
A range of ideas and plans for different types of gardens, from large woodland expanses to small shade and container gardens.
Kingston Whig-Standard - Mary Anne Beaudette
A good guide to have on hand... larded with photos of a great number of varieties... mini-catalogue of hosta varieties.
Portland Oregonian - Kym Pokorny and Dianna K. Colvin
The beauty and versatility of hostas comes through big time here... All in all, a useful, handsome book.
BellaOnline - Connie Krochmal
Make it easy on yourself. Learn everything you need to know about choosing and growing hostas from Rosemary Barrett.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781552978863
  • Publisher: Firefly Books, Limited
  • Publication date: 11/23/2010
  • Edition description: Reprint edition
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 1,458,801
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Rosemary Barrett is the author of three other gardening books and is co-owner of a nursery.

Derek Hughes specializes in gardening and horticultural photography. His work frequently appears in books and magazines.

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Table of Contents

  1. Introduction

  2. Discovery and Development
    • European Introduction
    • Hosta Species
    • Focus on Foliage
    • Development in North America
    • Hosta Flowers
  3. Cultivation
    • Planting
    • Shade requirements
    • Soil and mulch
    • Pests
    • Three Difficult Beauties
    • Diseases
  4. Propagation
    • Raising from seed
    • Pollination
    • Vegetative propagation
    • The "roundabout" method of propagation

  5. Landscaping with Hostas:
    Color Selection for Borders and Beds
    • For mixed beds
    • Seasonal changes
    • Blue selection
    • Green selection
    • Gold selection
    • Variegated selection
    • For a white garden
    • For a "hot" border
    • For a hosta walk
  6. Landscaping with Hostas:
    Some Typical Garden Settings
    • A large woodland-style garden
    • A small shade garden
    • Formal gardens
    • A small city or retirement garden
    • Courtyard gardens
  7. Landscaping with Hostas:
    Enhancing a Garden's Special Features
    • Integrating strong focal points
    • Hostas for water features
  8. Growing Hostas in Containers
    • Why grow plants in containers?
    • Choosing suitable containers
    • Planting up your containers
    • Container gardening in cold climates
    • Positioning your pots
    • Container creativity
  9. Good Companions
    • Trees for hostas
    • Shrubs for hostas
    • Companion shade plants for hostas
    • Clematis
  10. Catalog of Hostas
    • descriptions of 170 species and cultivars

    Bibliography
    Useful Addresses
    Index


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Preface

Introduction

Hostas are plants grown for their wonderful foliage of infinite variation. Depending on the species or cultivar, the hosta can have blue, green, yellow or variegated leaves in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and textures. The plants may be grown separately or mixed with other plants that like the same conditions. Hostas appear in early spring and disappear in late fall, and are hardy to zone 3. The hosta also has the grace to produce a very acceptable flower in colors ranging from white to pale lavenders and blue-purples.

To my mind the hosta is, without a doubt, a perfect perennial. Anyone who wishes to grow it can; no matter how small the garden there is always a place (partly shaded and damp) for at least one or two plants. They also look wonderful grown in containers (and there is always room for one or two of these).

My knowledge comes from years of growing these lovely plants. In this book I would like to share my experience of how, why and where to grow hostas and discuss which hostas, out of the infinite choices available, I have found to be best for the garden. For ease of use, I have listed all the species and varieties mentioned in the book in chapter 9, including details of leaf color and plant size.

There has been a great upsurge in the use of hostas in gardens in the last few years, no doubt because they are not only beautiful, and beautifully diverse, but because they are very easy to grow. For the modern gardener who does not have a great deal of time, or perhaps does not wish to spend it in the garden, the hosta is an answer to a prayer. As we shall see in chapters 2 and 3, their cultivation is easy — and the rewards are great.

While understanding the constraints of budget, it seems a great pity to perhaps own half a dozen of the more common varieties and just keep splitting them up and spreading them around the garden. I feel continuity can be taken too far, and that gardeners are limiting themselves by ignoring the beautiful and different hostas that are available. I hope this book will provide you with information on not only what is available but the many ways in which these lovely plants can be used and enjoyed.

Read More Show Less

Introduction

Introduction

Hostas are plants grown for their wonderful foliage of infinite variation. Depending on the species or cultivar, the hosta can have blue, green, yellow or variegated leaves in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and textures. The plants may be grown separately or mixed with other plants that like the same conditions. Hostas appear in early spring and disappear in late fall, and are hardy to zone 3. The hosta also has the grace to produce a very acceptable flower in colors ranging from white to pale lavenders and blue-purples.

To my mind the hosta is, without a doubt, a perfect perennial. Anyone who wishes to grow it can; no matter how small the garden there is always a place (partly shaded and damp) for at least one or two plants. They also look wonderful grown in containers (and there is always room for one or two of these).

My knowledge comes from years of growing these lovely plants. In this book I would like to share my experience of how, why and where to grow hostas and discuss which hostas, out of the infinite choices available, I have found to be best for the garden. For ease of use, I have listed all the species and varieties mentioned in the book in chapter 9, including details of leaf color and plant size.

There has been a great upsurge in the use of hostas in gardens in the last few years, no doubt because they are not only beautiful, and beautifully diverse, but because they are very easy to grow. For the modern gardener who does not have a great deal of time, or perhaps does not wish to spend it in the garden, the hosta is an answer to a prayer. As we shall see in chapters 2 and 3, their cultivation is easy -- and the rewardsare great.

While understanding the constraints of budget, it seems a great pity to perhaps own half a dozen of the more common varieties and just keep splitting them up and spreading them around the garden. I feel continuity can be taken too far, and that gardeners are limiting themselves by ignoring the beautiful and different hostas that are available. I hope this book will provide you with information on not only what is available but the many ways in which these lovely plants can be used and enjoyed.

Read More Show Less

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