Hostas A Garden Essential

Hosta Touch of ClassEven after more than 30 years of growing Hosta I am still awed at the versatility of these amazing and adaptable perennials.  No garden is complete nor can do without these essential foliage plants.  They are one of the few plants that can adapt, survive and yes thrive in our west coast environment.  Hosta’s add a needed foliar element as either backing for other plants, contrast or interest on their own.  As container plants they are indispensible as one can shift and move them around where and as needed.  Hosta’s are very hardy, even in containers and tolerate our wet and highly fluctuating winters with relative ease.

They are not just your grandmother’s shade plants anymore, with the staggering amount of new varieties being offered there is something for everyone from more sun tolerant varieties to those that resist predation by slugs and other leaf-munching pests.  Many of the newer Hosta’s have improved colouring that holds through the season and there are even some that have nice fall colouring as well (see picture). 

Fragrance is not often something we think about when planting a Hosta but we should as there are a few select forms (see below) that have wonderfully fragrant lily-like blooms.  So come out and take a second look at the Hosta, I am sure there is at least one that will find its way into your garden…

More Sun Tolerant Slug/Pest Resistant Fragrant
  • Canadian Shield
  • Dream Queen
  • Guacamole
  • Harkaways Mini Gold
  • June
  • Patriot
  • Stained Glass
  • Barbara Ann
  • Blue Mouse Ears
  • Captain Kirk
  • Dream Queen
  • Elegans
  • El Nino
  • Fire and Ice
  • Fire Island
  • First Frost
  • Fragrant Bouquet
  • Harkaways Mini Gold
  • June
  • Pauls Glory
  • Diana Remembered
  • Fragrant Bouquet
  • Guacamole
  • Stained Glass


A Few Of My Favourite Hostas:

Hosta El Nino

Hosta ‘El Nino’

One of my absolute favorite Hosta’s, a sport of ‘Halcyon’ it retains the thick, ribbed chalky blue leaves but with an added pure white margin. This “must have” Hosta is simply stunning and forms an elegant mound with scapes of lavender blue flowers in midsummer, very slug resistant. Height: 40-50cm Spread: 60cm Zone: 3

Hosta fire and Ice

Hosta ‘Fire & Ice’

Striking reverse sport of the ever popular 'Patriot', the leaves of 'Fire and Ice' have a heavy substance and a slight twist, your eyes are drawn to their pure white centers surrounded by a dark green edging.  Attractive midsize Hosta that makes a great specimen, tall scapes of lavender flowers in midsummer.  Slug resistant.   Height:  50cm  Spread:  75cm  Zone:  3

Hosta Blue Mouse Ears

Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’

PLANTAIN LILY – Adorable miniature Hosta with slightly cupped, round blue-green leaves resembling little mouse ears.  Lavender flowers in midsummer.  Plants have good substance and form perfect, tight little mounds.  ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ makes an excellent container or rockery specimen.

Height:  15-20cm  Spread:  30cm  Zone:  3

Photo courtesy of Ontario Rock Garden & Hardy Plant Society

Hosta Canadian Shield

Hosta ‘Canadian Shield’

This medium sized Hosta forms a sturdy mound of thick, waxy, deep green leaves, scapes of pale lavender flowers in August.  This selection has good slug resistance and is more sun tolerant. 

Height:  40-50cm  Spread:  90cm  Zone:  3

Hosta Harkaways Mini Gold

Hosta ‘HarkAway’s Mini Gold’

A selection by HarkAway Botanicals this vigorous groundcover Hosta makes a wonderful accent with its narrow leaves of golden yellow and scapes of dainty lavender flowers in early summer; an excellent Hosta for mass planting or in containers; sun tolerant. 

Height:  10-15cm  Spread:  30cm  Zone:  3

Art's Nursery carries an amazing variety of Hostas as well as many other shade loving perennials. Call 604.882.1201 for availability or drop by and browse anytime. We look forward to serving you!


Lyle Courtice Lyle Courtice, A.H.
 Lyle is a certified Horticultural Technician (Niagara College), Landscape Designer, Nurseryman and the proprietor of HarkAway Botanicals. He is a guest blogger for Art's Nursery and his plants are available through us.
Since 1980 Lyle has worked in both the retail and wholesale sectors of the horticultural trade; he operates his own wholesale nursery, which focuses on an eclectic mix of rare and choice plant material from Asia, Europe and North America.
Lyle has appeared on The Canadian Gardener and is a contributing author to A Grower’s Choice (Raincoast books 2001).  His horticultural expertise makes him sought after as a consultant, lecturer, photographer, instructor and writer.  An industry veteran, Lyle is esteemed within the horticultural community for his passionate and often humorous enthusiasm for plants.


Author: Lyle C Source: Harkaway Botanicals


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