I love Hostas! and Shade Gardens

When I first got married and bought a home, I naturally wanted to give it my personal touch through some creative landscaping.  At that time, I was all about color! I experimented with flower beds that portrayed multiple colors...the more, the better.  Red Impatiens, orange and yellow Marigolds, pink and white Begonias, purple Petunias, blue Ageratum.

At that time, I wasn't too crazy about Hostas.  I thought they were ho-hum.  Green and white ... no color.  I didn't care for how wilted they look mid-summer, or how tall and gangly their flowers are.  Well, I have made an about-turn. I love Hostas!

Why the change?  It's the texture!  It's the dimension! It's the subtlety!  I still like color.  I like splashes of it thrown in among the green and white.  Azaleas!  Hydrangea! Rhodeodendrons! to name a few. Once I learned how to mix and match color and texture with Hostas, I really fell in love with them.

My  love for Hostas came with the resignation that they belong in the shade. My first attempts at growing Hostas, Azaleas, Hydrangeas, and Pachysandra ended in failure and disappointment because I had planted them in sunny spaces.  Even though the tags on them indicated that they are shade-loving, I made the foolish mistake of thinking that if I took really good care of them and watered them often, they would be fine.  A key to successful gardening is to place plants where they are proven to do well:  Sun-loving plants in the sun, and shade-loving plants in the shade.   Once I took that timely advice to heart, I fell in love with shade gardens featuring Hostas interspersed with other shade-loving plants!

Japanese Maples, Azaleas, Boxwood, Hydrangea, and Pachysandra all mix well with Hostas.
I'm just getting started with my shade gardens, but I can't wait to expand.  I love perennials because they keep giving back to you year after year with larger size and more blooms.  I'm ready to start adding some annuals like Coleus and Potato Vine.

Now that I'm on to Hostas, I want more and more varieties.  I never knew how many different ones there are, and how many different sizes.  There are over 50 species, and thousands of varieties!

A bed of Hostas in the shade of the trees (photo by Favorite Perennials)

Shade gardens don't mean "no color," and they deliver big on texture! They don't take much coaxing, as long as you plant them in the right spot.  They like shade!  What a lovely place to sit and relax and soak it in.

Shade garden with stone path (photo by Sisson Landscapes)

A note for chicken owners:  Hostas are considered low-toxic and safe around chickens. In fact, many people report that their chickens won't stop eating their Hostas.  I haven't had that problem; my chickens don't eat them.  However, they do scratch in the dirt around and under the Hostas in search of bugs, so my Hosta leaves are often shredded by chicken toes.  The good news is that they grow back really fast (the Hostas, that is, not the toes ;)


  1. Katie, I was delighted to see a new post from Maple Grove. Your lush photographs of Japanese maples, azaleas, boxwood, hydrangea, and pachysandra in your GREEN surroundings, bring back memories of childhood. What a lovely landscape you have created with these beauties! I am eager to see the progress as you continue to develop your vision with your skillful hand and appreciative (of nature) attitude.

  2. I have also started loving hostas from the day i have got some online from Hostas Direct

  3. I wish to possess a garden packed with Hostas. Actually have got some from HostasDirect and found them growing well.