Spectacular “Leafy” Foliage: The Glory Of The Hosta

The Glory Of The Hosta Leaf
The Glory Of The Hosta Leaf

The glory of the hosta. The cascading leaves that gracefully spill out throughout our gardens earn distinction as a perennial anchor. The beauty and distinction of the hosta within our gardens certainly deserves the square footage they eventually comprise. Rewarding us with very little maintenance paired with distinctive foliage, the glory of the Hosta is worthy of our attentions…

Found in endless array of color tones and sizes, these tough, beautiful and versatile “Made for the shade” perennials not only thrive in shade and part sun, but some also tolerate full sun. Flexibility and transportability paired with distinction and extended beauty from the Spring season into late Fall. Grown for their variegated and textured leaves, these compact and expanding clumps can range between sizes termed as “Mini”, “Small”, “Medium” and “Large”. Oh, my heartfelt desire for those that range from 6 feet across to 4 feet high! A breadth of impact with leaves,indeed! Stunning elegance in a leafy herbaceous perennial. And of the rippled leaf texture with cupped leaves? Personal sublime bliss. Whether wrinkled and puckered, pointed or blunt leaves, the distinction the hosta provides in the garden when incorporated into landscaping is stunning. Delight in a leaf, indeed. The flowers that sprout from the grand plant are merely embellishments, for it is the leaves that possess the glory. It is the leaf that offers the greatest appeal. Although some of the flowers produce a fragrance, the purple and white shoot of flowers is typically not the focus. It is the leaves. The leaf color is commonly green, although it is the hosta that holds a glaucous white coating covering the underside of its leaves that produces my greatest delight: the stunning blue leafed hosta. Although every variation deserves its appreciation, such as the yellow-green “Gold” hosta or the vatiegation with white and cream bliss, the multitude of variations and “Sports” that are within our grasp can be overwhelming. Perhaps it is the grayish-green appeal that attracts us or the chartreuse delight that beckons your shady spot. Perhaps it is the blue-green with creamy white centers or the yellow leaves with green centers. Choices of inspiration and endless possibilities to grace and highlight our exterior world…

The Hosta:  The Bliss Of A Leaf
The Hosta: The Bliss Of A Leaf

Designing with foliage of perennial style of the hosta has been enduring in gardens for centuries. The hosta plant originates from Asia, specifically China and Japan. For centuries this plant has been used in Japanese garden architecture. Hostaceae (or Funkiaceae) is a genus of species of lily-like plants in the family of Asparagaceae, a subfamily native to northeast Asia. Originally called Hosta Plantaginea, the first species of shade plants were introduced from Japan to Europe by Phillip Franz Bathasar von Siebold (1796-1866) in 1829. Siebold was one of many doctors and botanists working in Japan that collected and cultivated many varieties of the hosta. Of the botanists that contributed to the rise of the lush, leafed hosta to the gardens of the West, was Engelbert Kaempfer(1651-1715), another doctor and botanist, working for the United East India Company. Kaempfer is credited as one of the first Westerners to document, describe and draw a hosta. The history of the hosta as an esteemed specimen and botanical art form had begun. Enduring appeal, indeed. Of note, the generic name “Hosta” was first proposed by Austrian botanist Leopold Trattinick (1761-1848) in 1812. Said to honor an Austrian botanist, Nicholas Thomas Host (1761-1834), a botanist, author and physician to the Emperor Frances II. Who knew? A further generic name, “Funkia” was then proposed in 1817, which was rejected. However, the name remained common within many European languages when referencing hostas. I must add, the name “Funkia” certainly does not do justice for the grand leaf of distinction. In regards to the arrival of these lush plant species to America, it was not until around 1800 that the hosta would grace the landscapes of American gardens. An enduring botanical that has been coveted for centuries, the venerable hosta with its glorious leaves will remain a constant in gardens and landscapes throughout the world…

And of the decoration with stylish leaves of green? The grand display of the stunning hosta leaf within the interior is a simple, yet dramatic statement. The impact that a collected grouping of hosta leaves provides is simplistic elegance when brought into our interiors. The beauty of a leaf

Leaves Of Style In The Interior:  Hostas
Leaves Of Style In The Interior: Hostas

And of the beauty of the hosta leaf incorporated into one of life’s celebratory moments? A perfect backdrop for the moment of a lifetime…

 Celebrations WIth Leaves Of Style:  The Elegance Of The Hosta Leaf
Celebrations WIth Leaves Of Style: The Elegance Of The Hosta Leaf
The Dramatic Leaf Of The Hosta
The Dramatic Leaf Of The Hosta

Consider the leaf of the spectacular hosta. The ground the hostas cover is worthy of their entry into our exterior surrounds. For certain, selecting hostas for their distinctive and varied foliage creates a stunning garden scene that is stamped with personal preference. And mine? The “blues” and “chartreuse” colors win my heart every time. So strong is my admitted obsession for the sublime leaves of the hosta that at a previous residence I planted over 100 hostas of various masses of color, shape, texture and sublime delight. And yes, A few moved with me. Of course. An addict, perhaps? For certain, as there is no other perennial that I covet more than a hosta. For it is a hosta of distinction that I seek. Once quoted by a gardener: “Hostas are like accessories that set off that basic black dress”. Agreed. Yet, I believe that the hosta plant travels beyond an accessory. Perhaps they are the focal point. A “sea of hostas” surround me at all times wherever I reside and will probably follow me no matter where I land in this world. Perfection in a perennial that must surround me.

Spring into late Fall, the beauty of the hosta transforms our outdoor world. When the leaves turn golden, fading into the Fall surrounds, the glory of the leaf endures, thus providing enjoyment from season to season. Perennial bliss. And for me? Perennial bliss of a coveted sort. An admitted addiction to the glory of the spectacular leaf, indeed…

Kristin

(Ps: Incorporated into the image compilations are a few of my coveted hostas. Of course. A few of them holding droplets of rain water. Nature’s Beauty, indeed. For the record, never do I “split” or “divide” this glorious plant. Rather, I allow it the breadth of space it deserves…)

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4 thoughts on “Spectacular “Leafy” Foliage: The Glory Of The Hosta

  1. I’m a Hosta lover! I think it’s because it is one of the few plant that don’t die on me every year. That and hydrangeas are my absolute favorites. Love your photos!

    1. Thank you so much for sharing! Another hosta lover! The hosta truly is one of the most versatile and tough perennial. They certainly survive in cold climates, to my bliss. I, too, adore hydrangeas. Growing up on Long Island, the hydrangea flourishes in graceful blooms. Alas, a pending blog topic for certain! Thrilled you enjoyed the photos, too!
      Kristin

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