The Unheralded Hosta

When you perennially perform well, after a while it gets to be old-hat and expected, and such stalwart show-stoppers, appreciated and fawned upon in their early years don’t often get the recognition after they’ve done it for a while. This is unfortunate, as some stellar plants tend to go unheralded simply for their ease of cultivation. They also tend to get put into impossible situations, where such hardiness is abused in punishing locations.

Case in point is the hosta. Known and celebrated primarily for its foliage, it also offers these lovely lily-like blooms at this time of the year. Some are subtly fragrant, particularly on warm summer nights, adding to the enchantment at work amongst its gorgeous leaves.

When given less-than-ideal places in which to grow, they will usually do all right, but if coddled in their preferred environment, they will be spectacular after a few years. Rich soil, dappled light, and even moisture, coupled with a decent layer of mulch and a vigilant look-out for slugs will result in specimens that are as exotic and elegant as they are hardy. They will also reach their maximum size, which in most cases is much larger than the mass mall-plantings seen in many public spaces. A little pampering almost always works wonders.

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