When I first introduced this blog a year ago, I characterized myself as an obsessed gardener. I have to admit in some ways it is true. I do look at my plants every-single-day of the growing season, and then feel badly when it is time to cut the plants back for winter. Right now I am a bit disgusted with the slugs. To change the tempo and mood I want to offer you some poetry that would be suitable for children to learn, and maybe a few obsessed gardeners. [muwahahahahahaha!] The writing is my own and I suspect it is not exactly perfect. It tells of a obsessed gardener who implores their Hosta to grow … they might even have a hint of evilness on the side. Their garden has a very different theme - Hosta by Size! The reader might start innocently and move towards being more and more maniacal as they read it.
Warning: The cadence pattern differs from stanza to stanza, and ranges from A.A. Milne (Winnie the Pooh fame) to the archaic structure of a limerick. Unlike other poetry or songs this work starts on the refrain. Do you have your maniacal voices out … here we go …
By Peter Kelley
Grow My Hostas Grow,
Grow My Hostas Grow,
Grow My Hostas Grow!
Itsy Bitsy Spider
grows only as big as your hand.
At six inches in diameter
it makes a pretty good stand!
The dark and lovely ‘venusta’
can grow to one foot round.
But if it goes rhi’matious
three feet just might be found!
Gemstone grows with all its green
at two feet round; it's value can't be seen.
There's no white, yellow or even blue
and that whats makes it oh so true.
The namesake of the Grogan,
three feet do grow that crone.
It has so many eyes to see;
It just can’t turn to stone!
Singing a tune there’s always June;
at four feet round it covers the moon.
On bright summer days, in sunlight rays,
the yellow is seen by noon!
Blue Mammoth you really must heed.
At five feet it’s something to feed!
Those tusks were long; their feet were strong
and ya’ better watch-out for stampedes
Blackjack was a kindly old page;
At six feet it’ll stand on a stage.
With no order around her; she couldn’t have flounder
and the cast couldn't get her backstage
The Humpback Whale stood alone.
At seven feet they set the zone.
With no-one beside’m, or even to ride'm
They’re still very much unknown!
There was no hex for T-Rex.
At eight feet there’s nothing complex.
A flip of their tail, there goes the sail
and everyone else gets vexed!
(said more restrained)
As Sum and Substance grows to nine ...
everything else looks splendidly fine.
If there’s a ten, I’ll start over again
and rearrange things on a design!
I cleaned up part of my database for recording acquisitions and purchases of hosta. It is getting rather complex in its notation. These notation symbols are NOT universal, but rather my own system of taking notes about my garden with out having to write extensive comments each year. Different gardeners may have different notation systems. These seven (7) situations ought be cover MOST gardens.
[ Plant acquired.
1 to 4 Number of plants in question gifted, donated, or repurchased.
] Plant attempts ended at this point.
➔ Plant survived winter.
D Replaced by donation or gift.
† Plant was divided.
‡ Discontinued in garden.
IF no left bracket exists then plants existence may precede records.
These notes also have varying degrees of mixing between symbols. It may take a specialist to read my notes someday! Notice that I have separate notations for discontinued hosta and hosta that I am just not replacing at this time.
A Non-related Acknowledgment
On August 12th news hit the internet that Robin Williams (comedian and actor) passed away at age 63. His talent was unmatched in his time. As he played the role of Popeye in the less than well received movie of the same name; It is my opinion that he, and the rest of the cast, really did pull the movie off - despite bad reviews. The project was exceptionally difficult to do because taking a bigger than life cartoon character. such as Popeye, is nearly impossible to translate into a real action simply because of the characterization of the character. My rating is very high for this movie! And with that acknowledgment I would like to encourage the hosta hybridizers and originators to consider honoring both the cartoon character, and his performance, with a hosta. May I suggest the name: Hosta "Popeye's Spinach".
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The Hosta Report
A few issues back I wrote about '"Rest, Renew, and Regrow". This entry begins to suggest that being patient really does pay off when growing hosta. For me it is refreshingly exciting.
All of the Dixie Chickadee that I planted earlier this summer has exploded with leaves; some growing large for this variety! This hosta is characterized as being a 'slow grower', it is not being slow in this garden! Even the very small division of three leaves now has five leaves. The planting from four years ago is trying to produce longer stems (petiole) on the leaves; it has a ways to go; but its definitely trying to mature. Patience is paying off on this one.
Chartreuse Wiggles has blossomed and passed. Can't tell yet if any new leaves have grown.
X-Ray has sent a scape up! A nice surprise as I had not expected any flowers until next year. Some leaves at this point still have white and are curly at the tips. Hoping these all will become flat and smooth by the end of the season.
Blue Mammoth seems to be adapting as it leaves are moving up and down based on the availability of water. (a very good sign). Some leaves are also trying hard to become corrugated in texture. This is one of the fun characteristics of Blue Mammoth.
Little Devil, all plantings, seem to be producing new leaves. Leaves seem more leaf green than navy green this year.
Little Sunspot has definitely grown this year, double to maybe three times it size from past years, Still no sign of it changing its color back to its classic green and solar yellow. The leaves are still on the small size, but they are improving too! Maybe next year I will get the this plant to mature.
Frosted Mouse Ears has also produced twice as many leaves but is not much bigger than last year.
Holy Mouse Ears looks as it did last year - same diameter, and same leaf size. It would seem not all mouse ear hosta are created equal. It would seem this one is still 'resting'.
T-Rex had two leaves that had dried and so I tried to remove then only to find that they were a much smaller division of the plant that had been with it when it came. The two dried leaves had a newer leaf with it so the division was quickly replanted in the hopes that it will continue to grow. It is always nice to see a bonus plant where it was not expected. Those are the fun moments for gardening.
Golden Tiara is sending out late season leaves now that the flowers have passed. These first leaves seem to have a more mature coloration which has never been seen before on this plant which I have had for years. The same plant is also exhibiting a leaf of quite a different coloration green with a yellow stripe down the center vein.
There's two months left for the growing season! and a lot can still happen. The Sum and Substance scapes ought to be coming soon; and those are always exciting for their length and white blossoms!