We’ve all heard the saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover” and that is sound advice even when applied in the horticultural world. These beautiful yet unfortunate specimens were stuck with silly, weird, or just plain ugly names, but that doesn’t keep them from making us smile. After all, a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, right?

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Hostas are tough perennials — the staple for any shade garden — and mostly known for their varied, colorful, and textured foliage. They often have beautiful flowers, too. Many produce bright, colorful blooms in the spring, adding a splash of color to the shadows in your garden, but the foliage is what draws most  gardeners to hostas.

Hosta Harpoon

Hosta 'Stiletto', with its smooth rippled foliage and creamy variegation, makes an excellent addition to shade gardens. The long, thin leaves look exotic and delicate, but the plant is very hardy. This hosta also produces wonderfully interesting purple-striped blooms in the spring.

H. 'Harpoon', another variegated hosta with rippled foliage — the thick spade-shaped leaves deter predation from snails and slugs — also produces an interesting purple bloom that perfectly complements the exceptional foliage.

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Year after year, hostas continue to be one of the best selling plants on the market. It's interesting because when most people think "herbaceous perennials" they are looking for blooms, but hostas are a primary source for foliage interest in many flower beds and small gardens nationwide.

Blue Leaf HostaHostas are closely related to lilies, and they do produce blooms–some actually produce very pretty, long-blooming flowers. They are grown from tubers and usually begin sprouting new growth in the early 
spring, and most will stay green well into the cold of winter. They are generally hardy, and because of their penchant for thriving in shade/part shade, are often a staple in shade gardens.

Wayside Gardens is offering a variety of impressive hostas this season in golds, greens, blues, and even some foliage thats almost white. Bright variegated hostas with intricate striping on big full leaves will fill in those empty spaces in your flower garden. You should really check out the "Blue Mouse Ears" It is a customer favorite–it is include in the Collector's Choice Hosta Collection, which included hand-picked varieties to give you a nice range of what hostas have to offer.

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Shade Perennials

Shade Perennials

Posted on Apr 13, 2007 | 2 comments

Shade plants are often come in a very limited color range because there is not enough sunlight to bring out most of those beautiful bright floral colors, and deep color is usually too dark to stand out. When designing a shade garden, one must rely heavily on textures and light-colored shade plants that will stand out in the low light.

This situation forces the gardener to be creative and shapes the subtle feel of the shade garden. Thankfully, there are some plants out there that have very interesting textures and the light eye-catching colors that are perfect for you shade garden. There are some new colors of fern, brilliant variegated hostas, and my favorite, new hues of heuchera.

Heuchera comes in a wide variety of colors and has a ruffled texture that will add interest to your shade garden. My favorite variety of heuchera is Wayside Gardens’ ‘Fire Chief’ which has a rich crimson color that will stand out against any deep green or purple foliage in your shade garden.

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