The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist in Residence

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Thursday, July 14, 2016

Hosta Garden Getting the Cardboard Foundation



Storms are on their way, very likely today, and perhaps on Friday and Saturday. I emptied the rain-barrels yesterday, on the fence roses and the Bee Balm transplants. Our helper spread cardboard out on the Hosta garden. I said prophetically, "Nothing brings on the wind like cardboard without the mulch."

Blue Hawaii Hosta

He said, "Are we putting mulch on the cardboard?"

"No, we are mulched out. We will weigh it down until we have leaves to add."

Mrs. Ichabod wanted a Hosta garden, and I realized one garden area was more in the shade than the sun, in spite of our massive pruning effort last spring. Mr. Gardener gave this a boost by donating some small Hosta plants to us. Direct Gardening then sent some bonus small plants reputed to be a different color than green. Not only that, Sassy kept taking me by a neat front yard, carefully managed and full of mature Hosta, so I was convinced.

How to view your new plants from Direct Gardening.

Even better, the tiny Hosta sent by Direct Gardening grew like weeds, even though the starts were tiny. They were actually more yellow than green, as promised.

Great Expectations Hosta
Hummingbird, by Norma Boeckler


Hosta Fans and the Hosta Garden
I first heard about Hosta when attending an evangelism conference with Mrs. Ichabod. The leader ran into Hosta fans somewhere and commented on that interest group - a plant he had never heard of. Later I recognized Hosta as part of our home garden in Moline. They are good pass-along plants, since they grow and spread so easily. Everyone needs shade plants.

Their reputation for attracting Hummingbirds increased my interest, and squirrels decreased my desire to plant corn again. Squirrels cleaned me out last year  and showed a distinct and passionate love for ripe Silver Queen corn, my favorite. They left the stalks.

Our helper just mowed that garden that was to be the Three Sisters Garden last year - corn, beans, and pumpkin. We had a thick layer of cut grass and weeds, including my 9 foot Pokeweeds (which the fireman eyed with concern). With two rows of Hosta already growing and soaker -hose laid along the house, that seemed like a good time to prepare the area for Hosta alone, plus one row of Blueberries.

Readers may remember how I saw a Blueberry stalk pulled down twice by a squirrel, so he could harvest the berries on top. Fortunately, the squirrels are allowing me to enjoy the Blackberries, which are so abundant that most would call them weeds. The State of Washington seemed paved with Blackberries when we were there, the woods mulched with them. They expand like Raspberries through their roots and are not fussy. Mine are Triple Crown  - thornless.

Our helper brought up the sunflower seeds we planted with abundance in the early spring. "Where are they?"

I replied, seething, "The squirrels and rabbits got to them, and they left one out of all the seeds we planted - hundreds and hundreds of seeds. Don't mention it again." We laughed about the second year of feeding squirrels and rabbits.

The bunnies are all over our area. He said, "I have five rabbits in my yard." I responded, "You have five rabbits you have seen, and 20 you have not seen." He has a large grassy yard. Sassy and I see them every morning in many yards.

Liberty Hosta

Hummingbird Blog for Addicts of the Little Creatures

Hostas for Hummingbirds

How to Plant


Hostas for hummingbirds are hugely popular. On account of their easy maintenance and shade tolerance, they are often called the perfect perennial. We can absolutely tell you that the hummingbirds certainly agree.

Taking Shade

On hot summer afternoons, my husband and I enjoy sitting in the shade. We find that we are not alone. There is usually a party going on. The hummingbirds are dancing all around our hosta plants enjoying the sweet nectar. These blooms are shade tolerant, so they are just right for the shaded areas of our property. Over the years we have purchased a few attractive and comfortable Adirondack chairs nearby, keeping cool, watching all fast paced hummingbirds. They have a special metabolism that allows them to keep a body temperature that is much higher than ours.
In our opinion, "Hostas for Hummingbirds" are definitely among their favorites!

How to Plant Hostas for Hummingbirds

  1. Select some plants - Did you know that you can buy them direct at
    Direct Gardening and save money. You might like to do this because Hostas are so lovely and easy to grow that many of us find that one is not enough. We soon find ourselves with a number of these plants and our hummingbirds don’t mind at all.
  2. Choose a location - Remember that these plants are perennials. Even though they can be moved, we find that it is better to plant them in the right spot the first time.
  3.  Sun requirements - Hostas for hummingbirds are shade tolerant. This can mean many things. Like most plants, they require some sun. When planted in a very dark location, you might see little growth. It is better for them to receive some light for a few hours a day or filtered sun throughout the day. We plant some of ours under trees. This gives the hummingbirds a perfect place to perch. Hummingbirds need to perch often, they digest food quickly while perching.
  4. Soil requirements - They thrive in a variety of soils. This is one reason for their enormous popularity. Now, if you really want to maximize growth potential, a rich well drained soil is optimum. We usually just add leaves or compost and our plants grow beautifully.
  5. Water needs -They grow best with adequate moisture. Those of us who plant hostas under trees need to realize that the trees are competing for water in the soil so they may need to be watered in drier spells. I love to water my plants because I then have the chance to view them and the hummingbirds.
  6. Pests - Hostas have few pests. Slugs will poke holes in the leaves of the immature leaves. Once mature, slugs can’t work through the thick, tough leaves. Deer and rabbits sometimes eat them. We do not recommend chemical pesticides of any kind. These will absolutely harm the hummingbirds. We use natural products…….. We are surrounded by forests and have plenty of deer. We use the old trick of tying a bag of ivory soap to a stick to keep the deer away.
  7. Plant division - A great feature is that hostas for hummingbirds are maintenance free. It is not necessary to divide them unless you would like to create more plants.