Saturday, July 25, 2015

July 2015 Second Edition

Some Hosta Addiction, Climate Change, and a Hosta that has a second bloom!
 Thst's what I have in-store for you in this issue!

You Know Your Addicted to Hosta When …

You keep looking at hosta and your garden space is full … and you just keep buying them.  Hosta growers say kiddingly that hosta growing is an addiction.  The 2015 growing season for me I am learning that first hand as to what this phenomenon is about.  I currently have 5 openings in the garden; and even those are questionable since my existing hosta could easily fill in the space over the coming years ... OR ... I could move plants back and forward if I wanted to.  Instead of listening to my better judgement — I go out to buy more hosta.  I am normally a very sensible person.

Of the hosta I have spotted (and have wanted for some time) include: Snake Eyes, Corkscrew, and Electrocution.  I also throw in there: Shiny Penny, Pandora's Box, Chartreuse Wiggles, Greatland Sunny Mouse Ears, White Feather and of course the replacement for Vulcan.  Since I can't have all of these I must find a way to narrow this down a little.  Pandora's Box looks much like Vulcan or Popcorn so let's take that off this list.  Greatland Sunny Mouse Ears could be struck because I have 3 other hosta from the Mouse Ears collection.  If I were patient I could take Chartreuse Wiggles off since that is growing and holding it's own.  I remind my readers that what looks easy in this writing is agonizing in mental thought.  The hosta that are left are:
  • Chartreuse Wiggles
  • Corkscrew
  • Electrocution
  • Greatland Sunny Mouse Ears
  • Pandora's Box
  • Shiny Penny
  • Snake Eyes
  • Vulcan
  • White Feather
While the garden has 5 openings these openings would be better suited for hosta that were 12 inches in diameter and none of the remaining match that characteristic.  Those remaining are more like 18 inches and greater.  So the issue becomes optimizing hosta characteristics and saying to myself that these are temporary plants as I am also beginning to think about downsizing even further in a few years to just 3 to 6 hosta!

As I look at the six left I recall that at Vulcan is a three colored hosta.  That's something not fully represented in this collection.  Snake Eyes would also be in that line of thinking and could compliment Vulcan.

Of what is left Corkscrew has spiral leaves and also has forked scapes; but would anyone understand why Corkscrew meets the garden's theme of Chaos and Destruction, other than myself?  Electrocution presents leaves that 'stand up' and have a ripple that is on the 'z' axis but I am unsure if people could easily perceive that.  Shiny Penny is a low lying green hosta that starts yellowish and goes green over the summer.  There are number of chartreuse hosta in my garden at this time.  The concept of money being chaotic or destructive could be covered by Snake Eyes (a reference to dice and gambling), so Shiny Penny can be removed for now.  Each of these are remarkable hosta that would be worthy of any hosta garden.  The issue again is lack of space.  In the end that leaves me with:
  • Snake Eyes
  • Vulcan
  • White Feather
That seems to be where my choices are heading.  I hope that's where my Hosta addiction can be stopped for this year, because I think I got the fall watering issue understood to prevent both freeze out and crown rot.

What Does Climate Change Have to Do With Hosta? 
Footnotes are in (red)

Actually very little, except for the fact that everyone's hosta are going to really like the next 15, 30, 60, or possibly even 75 years.   Since the 1960's the world community has slowly come to grips with global warming, and it's impact on the Earth and it's ecologies.  It has been cited many times that the "… Average temperatures have climbed 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit (0.8 degree Celsius) around the world since 1880 …" (1)

Recently astronomers who study sunspots have announced that the Sun, and the Earth, are moving towards what is known as a “Maunder Minimum”.  A “Maunder Minimum” is where the Sun takes a 'rest' and slows its making of sunspots to almost nothing. The sun has a normal cycle where sunspots increase and decrease every 24 to 25 years during the normal course of things, but the last three cycles of sunspots are suggesting to scientists that the next one will have a particularly noticeable  absence of sunspots. One of those periods is referred to as a “Maunder Minimum”.  A “Maunder Minimum” can in fact last the time period of one, two, or even three normal sunspot cycles (24 to 75 years).  How this effects the Earth is that the Earth's temperature will drop an average of between 1 to 2 degrees.  The last time this occurred was between 1646 to 1715.  It was well documented around the world at that time as many of the worlds major rivers froze through the winter.  The Thames River in England has the best records for this event.

So what does the global warming of humanities industrial age, and the up coming Maunder Minimum cycle have to do with each other?  In very simple terms they will cancel each other out during the next 20 to 75 years.  The warmth produced by humanities 'industrial pollution' and the cooling effect of the Maunder Minimum will bring the Earth's temperatures down to where they were just prior to when the industrial age began in 1880.  REMEMBER the pollution does not go away, it's still there; and humanity MUST still face that problem at some point.  What the Maunder Minimum gives humanity is a very brief moment of time to take ecology of the world back to it where it ought to be and give us time to correct our mistakes.  Humanity may not get another chance at this for well over 400 years.

And so what do the hosta get out of this?  … Their cheering in the background for the cooler, harder, winters because their reproductive cycle will be improved.

(1) this information is cited from many websites including:
  •  Updated June 14, 2007

Hosta On the Way

Snake Eyes has been ordered and is on the way.  While this plant is has wonderful watermark as a pattern; it may become a filler plant that I hand off in a few years as the other hosta fill in over the next few years.

Hosta Observations

Dancing Queen
  • 7/3/15:  This plant has double leaf coming on it (one leaf inside another).  I know this is common in other hosta gardens but this is the first time I have seen it in this garden.  In addition I think there might be a new spike growing at the base of one these divisions.
Empress Wu
  • 7/1/15:  I finally had to measure this plants height.  No, it's not terribly tall … yet.  At 11 inches / 27.94 centimeters it has reached a decent height for its first season in this garden.  According to who you ask online this hosta might reach between 3 to 4 1/2 feet / 0.91 to 1.37 meters tall.  If leaves keep growing on this hosta as fast as they have been over the last two months then by the end of the growing season I might see 21 leaves with a height of just over 12 inches / 30.48 centimeters.  At this time there are 11 leaves on this plant; when it came home from the garden store it only had 4.  During 2016 I would expect this plant to be a little shorter as this is its first season in this garden; and in 2017 this plant ought to regain its height.
Frosted Mouse Ears
  • 7/3/15: From the beginning of the season, just like last year, I have had two of these plants.  The second plant this year is considerably smaller than last years plant.  Last years had about 8 decent sized leaves.  This year it has had two to three leaves switching between two extremely small divisions that keep looking like they are first emerging.
You're saying right about now that no plant can't move leaf cells back and forth.  Actually plants CAN move cells back and forth if given the right conditions if what I have read is correct leaves can be sent out and then taken back.  From what I can tell … the re-emergent leaves on hosta are small enough so that hosta can send them out and 'retract' them as they need to. 

This week these two divisions shifted once more to become one, and a third leaf has again been sent out from the central division.  I am hoping that the fertilizer that I am feeding it is helping this plant find its strength to regrow to bigness!
  • 7/7/15:  Third leaf still remains, as do the other two.  It is looking promising.
  • 7/14/15: only one leaf remains on this smaller division.
Mighty Mouse
  • 7/7/15: This hosta has also been dealing with being on the small side this year, but it's growth has been much more stable than Frosted Mouse Ears (mentioned above).  With its third leaf growing much bigger (4 times the size?) than the first two, and I am waiting for the 4th one to come at some point; they emerge as solid chartreuse. One of the earlier leaves has finally changed color, and this demonstrates to me how the pigmentation is in this hosta evolves.  I believe that online references to this variety also suggest that the chartreuse also changes to white, or yellow, at some point too.
  • 7/13/15:  The last and largest leaf is fading.  A new leaf is also emerging. Coloration suggests that it will be darker than the last which was a light green.  This plant can't seem to hold on to leaves but it's also is not dying.  It's putting up a good fight to live. 

Scapes and Flowers 

Dixie Chickadee
  • 7/9/15:  Scape seen emerging from eye of this plant.  Not often I get to watch this from the beginning!
  • 7/3/15:  Scapes seen.  Last year there were 6 and this year there are the same number.
  • 7/10/15:  I … think … these scapes are a little taller than last years.
  • 7/14/15: Additional scapes now being seen. 
Lemon Lime
  • 7/7/15: Flowers have faded.
  • 7/10/15: Flowers have faded.
Little Sunspot
  • 7/8/15: One scape has passed.  A second scape has now appeared.  I don't think this is re-bloom; but rather a second blooming; since scapes that are finished blooming will not send new flowers out.
Sum and Substance
  • 7/3/15: The flower has opened MUCH sooner than I had expected.  Normally this hosta has scapes that are 3 feet long, and this year the hosta produced a scape that currently stands not more than 17 inches and is just barely above the foliage of the plant.
  • 7/7/15: Flowers have faded.
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The last 15 days went by fast.  A lot more has happened than what I would have expected.  By next time Snake Eyes will be here to fill space, and there are hints that other hosta might be here too.  We'll see what happens.  Catch you later.

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