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Hosta Advice Needed...

17 years ago

I decided to post this question here feeling New Englander's would better understand my growing condition problem and have more suggestions.

As soon as the trees leaf-out, our back garden is quite shady with just spotty, filtered light from around 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. To brighten things up, I've been using plants with golden foliage. The golden foliage plants I've used, so far, are...

There's a hedge comprised of about 25 Japanese Hakone grasses (spotted here/there with Geranium 'Rozanne' for a touch of contrast color. This hedge is is, IMO, the highlight of the garden as it curves around a ribbon of turfgrass.

Next, I've used Hosta montana 'Aureo-marginata'. There are six of these planted at the base of an aged concrete wall.

Then, as ground covers, I've used a spotting of Vinca 'Illumination' and Golden Creeping Jenny.

At the far end of the rear garden, under a mature white pine are five Hosta 'Blue Angel'. Last season, we started a Hydrangea anomala 'Mirranda' at the base of this white pine. In case you're unfamilar with this's a climbing variegated hydrangea (green/golden yellow).

The garden also has various bleeding hearts, azaleas, clethra, daphne, and a pair of Ilex 'Dragon Lady' flanking the entrance into our "working" area of the garden (compost, shed, etc.).

There is a large, mature maple with seven Hosta 'Sum & Substance' skirting it & a regular climbing hydrangea going up the tree for vertical interest.

Now, right out our nine foot tall, palladium sunroom window...opposite end of the garden from the white pine... is a mature Colorado Blue spruce that's planted WAY too close to the house but we've decided to leave it because it shades the south facing sunroom all summer (unfortunately, it shades in the winter as well!). Just to the east of this spruce is an octagon brick patio with a wood, octagon patio table.

It's under the spruce that my question arises...

This is my moss garden and my pride & joy! I've never done a moss garden before & this is turning out to be the prettiest part of the entire shade areas. It's about 14' x 14' with the tree in the middle & packed-earth 2 1/2' wide paths on each path leads to the front, west-facing garden and the other path lead to a comfortable chair & stops. These paths are lined with various shade plants. (The moss is located around the tree and between the two paths...about 8' x 8' of moss).

The plants in these moss garden borders are: various brunneras, mertensia virginica, achemilla mollis, liliums, Japanese painted ferns, ostrich ferns, Hart's tongue fern, bloodroot, columbines, Hosta 'Sagae', primroses, Omphalodes cappadocica 'Parisian Skies', Viola 'Freckles', Scilla 'Spring Beauty', hoop petticoat daffodils, and probably a few other small things I can't remember right now. THERE ARE ALSO five Hosta 'Sum & Substance'...

These five hostas are my "problem children"! They are growing beautifully and are getting quite large. But, they are unhappy...they get powdery mildew every year by the end of June. There's just not much air circulation under this huge, old Colorado Blue spruce and here in Mystic our summer HUMIDITY is much higher than inland. I think, that the problem is the combination of the above two factors because the ones under the maple I noted above do not have the problem.

So, I want to trade these five hostas and replace them with another type of hosta that's not prone to PD and likes dense shade. I've also decided I need a hosta with brighter colors than 'Sum & Substance' in this area. I'd like to plant one that's blue/gold to tie into the garden's east anchor (white pine, H. 'Blue Angel' & variegated climbing hydrangea).

SUGGESTIONS, PLEASE, ONE WHAT HOSTA TO PLANT....I want one that will get large & lush looking.

So, with all that as background...what's a large blue/gold hosta with thick leaves that won't mildew in our coastal humidity?

I've grown hosta for years but am no just familar with the standard ones.

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