It started with a gift from lovely neighbour Martin a couple of weeks ago – a large pot containing a hosta, already showing its ‘horns’. It made me wonder where my hostas were, and the answer was, they weren’t.
Fast forward three weeks and they’re all coming along well apart from one – ‘Blue Mouse Ears’.
I have two beds including hostas, the first, the aptly named ‘hosta bed’ was created last year in a small north facing strip of a bed behind the new porch. I was due to open the garden in June, together with others in the village, under the ‘Secret Garden of St Helens’ banner, and thought this bed was looking particularly tragic with nothing but a rather untidy Hydrangea Petiolaris to offer. So when I was at the Chelsea Flower Show in May, I sought out the Bowdens stand, had a lovely chat and picked up a catalogue.
I returned from Chelsea and, of course, a few weeks went by before I finally got round to phoning Bowdens. The phone call started well with the charming man at the other end of the phone saying ‘hang on a sec, just let me wash my hands’ – talk about hands on knowledge! I decided to order their ‘Surprise Collection’ of ten hostas, plus one – the Blue Mouse Ears which I couldn’t resist – “Just what it says on the label, blue, small and rounded like the ears of a mouse, but with a remarkably thick texture”. He gave quite a long delivery time, but when I explained the opening date was only a week away he quickly revised his estimate and said he’d get them to me within a couple of days, (despite the Chelsea rush) which he did.
The hostas were all fabulous – bigger than I’d anticipated, an interesting mix and in wonderful condition. I planted up the hosta bed and still had some left over to add to the ‘shady bed’ too.
See below some of the hostas up close (I did bury the lables with the plants, but haven’t dug them all up to identify them, sorry!) I’ve bought a huge tub of the wool based ‘Slug Gone’ which seems to be doing fine (the only one looking a little holey was the first one up which I hadn’t noticed, but of course the slugs had). However the OH doesn’t seem to trust in the natural method and has added a few slug pellets. I’m not happy, partly because I don’t want to be using them, but also because it will now be difficult to see whether the Slug Gone has actually worked. I think a little pellet picking is in order….
The second bed is the so called ‘shady bed’, which actually gets more sun than I’d originally appreciated, but late in the day. The surprise success here is the inherited white rose (out of shot to the left of this picture), which rather undermines the theme of the bed, but is beautiful so I just go with it, and have actually used it as a prompt to make this a largely ‘white’ bed.
Above you can see the Fatsia and hellebore leaves, and also the Poeticus daffodils just out, as well as, below, a newly emerging hosta (amongst the honesty seedlings):
However, what’s sadly missing so far is my extra purchase, my Blue Mouse Ears. Let’s hope they’re still coming. Fingers crossed.
*For those without relevant aged children “Where are you blue kangaroo?” by Emma Chichester Clarke is a lovely children’s book about a lost toy. Thankfully it has a happy ending, let’s hope mine does too.