I GOT TO PAGE 67 IN THE PLANT DELIGHTS CATALOG last night, the first of eight pages of Hosta entries from Tony Avent, Chief Hosta Officer of contemporary horticulture. I was going to allow myself one new hosta this year, but which one? There are now almost 6,000 cultivars in commerce, hosta honcho Tony says, but, “of these, probably 500 actually are distinct and garden-worthy.” Which one can’t you live without, or wish you lived with (perhaps fluctuans ‘Variegated,’ aka ‘Sagae,’ above)?
My clump of ‘Sagae,’ whose highly textural, blue-green foliage is suffused with a warm cream from the edges splashing inward, is probably 3 or 4 feet across now, heading for a maximum of about 6. This is a statement plant: big, bold, beautiful, about 30 inches tall. I treasure it, and was glad to be affirmed in my judgment by the CHO, Tony, who calls ‘Sagae’, the “finest and most dramatic variegated hosta ever introduced.”
Another personal must-have would be ‘June’ (above), the month of my birth and also one beautiful hosta. I have to describe it as not just blue but nearly turquoise in spring, the creamy yellow centers heating up to chartreuse against a vivid blue. I’ve found ‘June’ to be a strong grower, clumping up to about 3 feet across, and have made numerous divisions from my original plants. As summer heats up, the ‘June’ foliage darkens to deep blue with medium green here, but it’s good-looking in that combination, too.
And then of course I need an all-gold hosta as a filler in such mosaics…and the old-but-good, vase-shaped big blue hosta ‘Krossa Regal’ for my big pots (yes, Hosta pot, why not?), and…you can see where this is going.
So tell me: Which hosta would it be, if it were only one per customer?