Lotsa Hostas

Tuesday Slice of Life Writing Challenge – May 11, 2021

Once you start exploring hostas, you’ll find they get rather addictive!

The Old Farmer’s Almanac

It started with five. Five beautiful Hostas plants from a friend for our sunny border along the front walkway. The plants thrived and grew large enough to eventually split and share their beauty with the backyard. Fast forward another few years when the new neighbors moved in and dug out the hostas desiring to make their mark in the tired landscaping. I acquired a few more plants large enough to split and extend the display across the front of the house.

It’s not the gorgeous medley of green and fragrant flowers that appeals to me most, but the variety of shapes, sizes, and textures of the plants. Through seasons I’ve learned which types prefer sun and which prefer shade. I’ve dug, divided, and transplanted hostas multiple times to areas of our yard desperate for a little love and attention. I’ve purchased a few starter plants to add to the lineup.

Hostas are great for a gardener’s confidence. Maintenance is relatively simple, less the occasional slug and our digging dog. They grow vigorously when conditions are right, and they also thrive even when soil conditions are less than ideal. For our rather large yard, hostas are the perfect solution for creating gardens that make it appear like I know what I’m doing.

Last summer, after I dug up our hostas to divide, I moved onto my mom’s yard after years of neglect due to my dad’s declining health. The fifteen hostas increased to twenty-five across the front landscaping. Five enormously overgrown plants multiplied to fifteen alongside my parent’s home. I saved some clumps to add to my collection. It feels like a little bit of my Dad is with me as I learn to work the soil and learn how to grow things the way he loved to do.

I had been so sure I’d never attack an extensive job like splitting up hostas after tackling my mother-in-law’s garden the previous summer. Her giant plants were spilling over onto the sidewalk. I had decided my aching green thumb couldn’t hurt any worse and was destined for September surgery anyway, so I dug right into the task. Dividing the hostas provided enough plants for my niece to begin her own hostas garden and a few more clumps went home with me. I just can’t stop collecting hostas! Each variety reminds me of those I love. That’s the way it is with friendship and memory gardens.

Despite the cooler (actually freezing!) temperatures here in Wisconsin, the hostas are heartily making their presence known. There will be no digging, splitting, and transplanting this year. They can enjoy a bit of permanence for a season or two while I move onto my obsession with basil.

Published by Patty Nault

Retired elementary teacher with a passion for reading, writing, and living a life full of curiosity. "Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder." -E.B. White

4 thoughts on “Lotsa Hostas

  1. Yes! Hostas! I’m very much of the “let whatever I plant fend for itself” school of gardening, mostly because I haven’t developed the skill much further than that. I also love that you have this act of tending to hostas as a way of connecting to your dad. For me, it’s irises. ❤

  2. For starters – I love the Old Farmer’s Almanac – fascinating stuff! i love these lines: “Hostas are great for a gardener’s confidence” and “Each variety reminds me of those I love. That’s the way it is with friendship and memory gardens” – so beautiful.

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