As a child, the idea of kissing, or the taste of beer or mushrooms, often elicits a response of,”Eww. You like that?” Hosta love appears to be the same, at least for me: something you warm up to, acquire a taste for.
Well, it finally happened; I am morphing into a hosta addict. What is it about hostas that makes people collect them like no other plant? I mean, they’re leaves. I knew addicts: my sister had been hosta crazy for years. On our visits to the garden centre she tended to linger long over the hostas, while I’d be eager to move on to something that had flowers. With colour. My casual glance at a swath of hostas on a bench left me thinking “What? What was I missing?”
I did plant a few of them over the years, of course, as gardens inevitably have hostas, particularly when neighbours are dividing theirs up and scattering them about. They lived with me, but were not particularly loved.
Then I found June. While still cool to hostas in general, I found that this hosta was…special. The dramatic leaf, the strikingly distinct markings, June glows in the shade. Striptease was next. Situated in a corner of my garden, it billowed out after a couple of years, and I finally understood the appeal: it anchored the space with a definite form: it was sculptural. It had those beautiful leaves.
A recent visit to a friend-of-a-friend’s garden, (a known hosta addict), left me astounded at how her garden, planted almost completely with hostas, was not only not dull, but delightful. It was cool, restful, peaceful. Confession: I bought four hostas that afternoon, then happily walked away with a number of offsets from my new friend. As I packed my hostas into plastic bags, I think I was floating a couple of inches off the pavement. It happens.