Take your cue from Fran Wakefield’s garden and use these sculptural plants to balance slender grasses, shrubs and trees, bring light and life to a shady corner, or make eye-catching focal points in pots and troughs
The glorious diversity of hostas.
Long living, easy to maintain and irresistibly good looking, the majestic hosta is the strong but silent hero of the perennial world. These clump-forming herbaceous plants, be they in miniature or extra large form, are usually grown for their shapely, textural foliage, which spans the full range of greens from the moody blue of Hosta bella ‘Blue Angel’ and bottle green H. ‘Candy Dish’, the grass greens of H. ‘Sweet Sunshine’ and the lime-yellows of hostas such as ‘Dragon Tails’, to the variegated greens with yellow or white of varieties such as H. ‘Paradise Island’ and ‘Whirlwind’.
A number of the 2,000-plus registered cultivars also flower in the spring-summer, showing spires of elegant tubular blooms in shades of white through lilac to mauve, and there are even species of hosta, such as H. montana, H. sieboldii and H. plantaginea, that you can eat; the young leaves are forced and harvested before being boiled or steamed.