The New Encyclopedia of Hostasby Diana Grenfell, Michael Shadrack, The Prince of Wales (Foreword by)
Fully revised and updated with the best new cultivars The lush, sculptural hosta is loved by gardeners for its ability to both combine well with other plants and project a strong presence when planted alone. The New Encyclopedia of Hostas—the second edition of Diana Grenfell and Michael Shadrack's classic work—provides growth/i>/b>
Fully revised and updated with the best new cultivars The lush, sculptural hosta is loved by gardeners for its ability to both combine well with other plants and project a strong presence when planted alone. The New Encyclopedia of Hostas—the second edition of Diana Grenfell and Michael Shadrack's classic work—provides growth and cultivation information for seven hundred cultivated hostas. Detailed, easy-to-read descriptions include growing tips, recommendations for landscape use, and suggestions for companion plants. Clear cultivation advice is provided, including recommendations for hostas that succeed in challenging environments, such as the warmer regions of the United States. Captivating photographs show hostas up close and in a wide range of different garden situations.
- Timber Press, Incorporated
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- Revised and Updated
- Product dimensions:
- 8.70(w) x 11.10(h) x 1.40(d)
Read an Excerpt
Preface Hostas have moved on since my first book about them was published in 1990. During the research stage for that book, in addition to my own observations, I waded through all the learned publications available, sifted through the records of various societies, spent days in libraries and museums, wrote numerous letters, and made endless telephone calls. Now one only has to switch on the computer to find this information at the touch of a button, and communication is almost instantaneous. Before the 1990s hosta enthusiasts were thirsting for knowledge and were less discerning, or less critical, about the available hostas, rarely discarding any which were considered less than perfect. Now, thanks to the expeditions being undertaken by more and more collectors, breeders, and nursery owners who study hostas in the wild in Japan, Korea, and China, we know more about the habitats and conditions in which the species live and so are better able to grow them more successfully in our gardens. We are also learning from scientific research which hostas should no longer be considered species, and that the input of taxonomists on hostas is still in its infancy—the ploidy of hostas being a topic of much interest and debate. There is even a recently approved National Plant Collection of tetraploid hostas. George Schmid is building on his work on the species by making generally available to all hosta growers his up-to-date research; this can be found on www.hostalibrary.org. What is most exciting to the gardener is that hostas are now, and have been for several years, the number one perennial plant in the United States. There are, and always were, excellent reasons for this being so. First and foremost is the sheer sumptuousness of their leaves: they outshine the leaves of every other foliage plant in the garden. There is also the diversity of the size, shape, and color of the leaves, the ease of cultivation, and the quick response to a gardener’s care and attention. Hostas have given shade gardening the recognition and cachet it deserves, especially in hot climates, where cool, shaded areas are prized over sunny borders. All these qualities have earned hostas their place as the supreme shade plant. Moreover, small and large nurseries as well as tissue-culture laboratories are springing up everywhere, making a huge and ever-increasing range of hostas available to the gardening public. I have chosen to list the hostas described in this reference according to leaf color and type of variegation rather than alphabetically. An alphabetical listing would be an easier and more obvious way to tackle a book on colorful flowers, but I am suggesting that the leaves of hostas have such a special appeal that the descriptions deserve to be arranged in a directory by their leaf color and type of variegation. The penultimate chapter of the directory covers those hostas that experience tells us are mainly for connoisseurs, and I provide explanations in that chapter. Since publication of the first edition of this encyclopedia I have been aware that miniature hostas have become even more popular and sought after; therefore the final chapter is now devoted to miniature hostas and those with almost as small leaves which perform similarly in the garden. I hope this directory will enable readers to make more finely tuned hosta selections for their gardens as they consider how different-colored leaves perform in various garden situations and locations. For a number of years I have been aware of a gap in the market for a hosta book that has an illustration accompanying each hosta featured. I am grateful to my constructive and patient editor, Anna Mumford, Timber Press’s commissioning editor in the United Kingdom, for offering me the opportunity to write the comprehensively illustrated book I had always hoped to write one day. I am also grateful to my editor across the pond, Linda Willms, at Timber Press in Portland, Oregon, for her creative and helpful advice and input throughout this undertaking.
Meet the Author
Diana Grenfell is co-founder of the British Hosta and Hemerocallis Society and a life member of the American Hosta Society. With her husband, Roger Grounds, she is former co-owner of Apple Court, a British nursery specializing in hostas, daylilies, and grasses. Diana has done much to raise the profile of hostas throughout the world, broadcasting, lecturing, and writing many authoritative books and articles on the plant. Her garden in Gloucestershire is home to a National Plant Collection of miniature hostas.
Michael Shadrack is a photographer and active member of the British Hosta and Hemerocallis Society and the American Hosta Society. He regularly lectures in North America and Europe, and is an avid hybridizer. With his wife, Kathy Guest Shadrack, he keeps five distinct gardens at Smug Creek, New York. Learn more at smugcreekgardens.com.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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If you are hosta lover, you need to get this book. Good information and great pictures!
I have the first edition, but with new varieties coming in every year, I decided to upgrade to the second edition. Great pictures, easy classification, and gives you all the information in a concise form.