Saturday, August 1, 2015

August 2015 First Edition

Its been 15 days of new growth, lost growth, right plant, wrong plant …
and a scape that needed to be cut!

Also with this issue I begin my Third Year of blogging!

Now there's a Hosta Myth to be looked at!

Earlier this summer I was able to locate some Empress Wu to correct the incorrect purchase Princess Wu Wu two years back.  When it came home, back in May, it only had 4 leaves.  It is now planted and sitting there with 12 ... 13 leaves!  This suggests to me that it was ready to grow, and now liking where it is.  It's still only 11 inches tall.  This hosta will let me explore something I read in a Hosta book some years back when I first started growing these plants.  The statement was that, "… Hosta 'eyes' will produce no more than 18 leaves …".  In about 4 weeks I will be able to see what happens after that 18th leaf (if it grows that far).  Will it stop growing for the year; or send a new spike out at the base, or proceed with a scape and flowers, or keep going with even MORE leaves ... or some combination of the previous?  The scape on a mature Empress Wu can become exceptionally tall at 6 feet/1.83 meters!  That's another reason why the Empress is in my garden.

Some Might Wonder How I Read, and Manage, My Garden Diagrams

 If you have interest, and If you have access to a QuickTime Player Utility/App I can e-mail you a 6 minute video about about my diagrams. This presentation has no sound but explains how I diagram my garden over the season, and how I make that transition from one year to the next in my diagram.  IF you have interest please e-mail me at

This may be a good video for those who are just starting to do garden diagramming.  The information can be easily adjusted for your skill of diagramming (paper and pencil, simple drawing software, or a formal presentation or animation program).

For those who do not have Apple™ Macintosh®, fear NOT!  Apple™ now has has a Windows™  flavor of this application for you to download that's free!

Hosta on the Way

Snake Eyes
  • 7/15/15: Shipped out.
  • 7/20/15: Arrived.

White Feather has also been ordered.  That should arrive in about 3 weeks; during the week of August 2nd.
  • 7/16/15: Ordered on.
  • 7/27/15: A shipment arrived … but what was delivered WAS NOT White Feather.
After making the order for White Feather I checked on the reputation for this nursery.  I am finding that this company has a far less than shinning reputation.  If I get the plants, I do; if I don't, I don't.  If I don't it will have been a sad waste of money.

I remind all my readers to check any nursery's reputation before purchasing from unknown vendors.  I plan to be more diligent about this in the future.  Regardless of the above out come I may make a second order from a second nursery that has a far better reputation behind it as a back up plan.  Four hosta are better than none! 

  • 7/28/15:  My roommate and I are seeking a refund from the company.  Even with dotting our I's and J's, and crossing our T's and Q's reviews from elsewhere online of this company suggest that getting a refund from the company almost takes an act of god to make happen.  Will keep you posted as to what happens next.
I made it very clear to this Nursery that substitutes would not be received well; and yet they substitute out for Loyalist.  For some reason, and some how, Loyalist just does not quite fit the Chaos and Destruction theme.

The nursery that sold Snake Eyes to me is having a clearance sale prompted by some facility damage back in February.  It looks like I will getting my replacement of Vulcan from there, and splurging to reinforce my Popcorn for the next winter.
  • 7/14/15: Ordered on.
  • 8/31/15: To be shipped on.
  • 9/??/15: To arrive on.
This nursery has a decent reputation.  September may seem late to plant hosta but the Minnesota growing season can go into December IF the frost has not come by then (which has happened).  Most seasons it ends in October/November.  This is dependent on where you live in the state and how the 'city effect' might affect temperature.  (August and) September in Minnesota is known for VERY warm weather.  An arrival during September would test the hosta by heat not cold.

Hosta Observations

Last winter I did some video of hosta inside.  They show the hosta bouncing on a daily cycle.  As I look at the plants outside I find it interesting that one can see the leaves rise and fall during the day.  The mornings one sees them standing taller; and the evening has them relaxing again.  Probably the best time to get height measurements would be at noon when the leaves are neither up or down

July 12rd has been the first of several days of very brutal heat for both man and plant. Temperatures nearing 90°F/32.22°C.  It's so hot that I gave up looking at hosta after only looking at Snake Eyes.  Rain comes tomorrow, but the heat will still be there.

Dancing Queen
  • 7/17/15: The growth that I had thought was a new plant I can now say probably is developing a green color to it.
  • 7/25/15:  The spike that was at the base of one of the plants is dying back.
Empress Wu
  • 7/23/15: The 13th leaf is on its way up, and soon to open.  Five more leaves to go to prove or disprove the16th leaf theory.  Also watching Dancing Queen for this same observation process.
Faithful Heart
  • 7/17/15: Seeing a double leaf on this plant as well.
Frosted Mouse Ears
  • 7/17/15: Only one leaf left on the smaller division.
  • 7/18/15: Rhizome system on small division seems to be failing, the leaf still looks good.
  • 7/20/15: the small round seems to be loosing its last leaf.  The larger round still looks quite healthy.
  • 7/15/15: Small round ceases to exist.  Never fear the larger one still exists!
The plant finally has sorted out leaves and now begins to look distinctly like two divisions within one round.  I received this as a gift last year as It was producing two incredible scapes of well over 1 foot/30.48 centimeters tall.  It is a plant that can grow +9 inches/22.86 centimeters in height.  A scape of last years size would indeed reflect a mature round of this plant that it came from.  I am hoping I get something similar in height this year.

Mighty Mouse
  • 7/17/15: Only two leaves left on the division.  New leaf is larger. and not as dark as before.
  • 7/19/15: I believe that Mighty Mouse is once again trying to grow a third leaf.  I can't imagine it trying to grow a spike because (from my view) the leaves would not be large enough to support it.
  • 7/24/15: The plant seems to have paused in it's growth.
  • 7/29/15: Most recent leaf is dying back.  A year of very frustrating growing for this plant.
  • 7/17/15: since the beginning of the season I had presumed that Popcorn was a single division.  It would seem upon reexamining the plant for leaves there are TWO divisions.  The second seems to be producing two new leaves.  As whole what was 6 leaves now has 8!  This is the first season to have Popcorn produce additional leaves and not die on me.  I feel like I have made a very small step forward with growing this '1 in 50 hosta'.
  • 7/29/15: For the last few weeks I have been given this, and some other hosta, additional fertilizer.  The plant looks stronger and more respectable for a second year plant.
The Razor's Edge
  • 7/21/15: One of the eyes is producing two growths.  Leaves, or scape?
  • 7/24/15: The answer seems to be a scape.
  • 7/26/15: Second scape seen which is MUCH taller than the firsts.  Some times these things hide from me!
Snake Eyes
  • 7/20/15:  Arrived as a pre-emergent rhizome 'ball'.  It looks ok.  Took me a moment to find which was was up; I hope I have it planted at the right level.  Spikes will show imminately if it is.  The order was for 1 (division?), but the rhizome ball looks more like four to six eyes.  We'll see what happens.  Price divided by number of spikes equals value of each eye.
  • 7/21/15:  My thought after it arrived was that if I had two eyes emerge from the rhizome ball that would be acceptable to me.  The first green has shown – already!  The tuft may also be sending out a new leaf.  If more come that will be exciting.
  • 7/23/15: The growth that was there yesterday has grown twice as large over the night!  No other spikes seen at this time.
  • 7/24/15:  The leaf is at that stage of wanting to stay closed and yet still wanting to open.  I can see some of the coloration but what it really looks like won't be know until it really opens … tomorrow?  Again no other growth at this time.
  • 7/25/15: Leaf has opened.  Strong decent coloration seen; only one color of green at this point.  The water mark is uneven … what would one expect from a newly regrown plant. Leaf was definitely cut by nursery.  Now waiting to see where the next leaf comes from.
  • 7/26/15: The plant seems at a pause in growth.  The leaf seems to be opening and closing on the 'Y' axis day in and day out.  Still no sign of other new leaves yet.
Sum and Substance
  • 7/18/15:  We had a noticeable rainfall last night.  Two leaves are noticeably above the rest.  One of the two has become noticeably corrugated in texture.  Thats a pretty big change to happen in 24 hours.  S&S is supposed to grow 28 inches tall.  This new spirt in growth is over a year late … I think.

Hosta Scapes and Flowers

Dixie Chickadee
  • 7/17/15: One of the two scapes are above the foliage.\
  • 7/18/15: Scape stems are white, green and pink to red in color.  There is a distinct red at the base of the bract leaves.
  • 7/24/15:  the bloom cluster is separating.
  • 7/29/15:  First bloom opened.
  • 7/29/15:  Bloom fading.
  • 7/17/15:  More blooms opening.
Rainbow's End
  • 7/17/15: I believe that a scape is forming on this hosta.
  • 7/18/15: Growth now seems more like a leaf …
  • 7/19/15: … and I take that back.  There seems to be two scapes coming on this one,
  • 7/24/15: Only one scape.  What began as a white and green scape has changed over to a decidedly red scape.

More on Patented Hosta

I honestly do like Liberty.  It is an extremely lovely plant.  But with Liberty comes gardening ethics and responsibility as it has Plant Patent (PP) 12531 COPF attached to it.  What this means at this time of year is that I, as a general grower, cannot harvest the seed from this hosta for any purpose.  So on 7/29/15 I took my faithful garden sheers and cut the scape back AND threw all elements of it in the trash.  I found it sad to do but it had to be done.  What was sadder yet was that in the process I inadvertently cleanly cut one of its 6 leaves off as well.  The plant still looks nice, but in my heart I know it will not look as 'full'.

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In this last 15 days I've had a lot go on in my very small garden.  The largest problem has been acquiring White Feather.  At this writing I have sighted a vender to get it from that is much closer than the one mentioned above (or even the one not mentioned in these discussions); who also has a FAR better reputation.  I will probably be receiving that next spring around about April.  A Chaos and Destruction reference:  Loyalist can keep the ground warm until next spring when I give it a ... 'white feather' ... 

ON the other hand ... maybe I better watch out what I wish for because there's a 'rumor' that says there's a hosta division coming my way.  I had asked the owner for 1 or 2  leaves from it for exploring basic hydroponics.  They suggested that they were ready to divide it ...

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