Pic of the Day--Lakeside Coalminer

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Pic of the Day--Lakeside Coalminer

Postby Hank Zumach » Feb 05, 2007 11:07 am

Hi All--Lakeside Coalminer is one of the darkest varieties. Its dark purple flowers add to the effect. At least that is what I'm expecting next year when I get to see the plant as it spends its first full year in our Friendship Garden. Since it is growing in a spot that gets full shade I'm hoping the dark coloring will be enhanced. Our first year plant measured 24x8, well on its way to Lemke's listing of 24x17.
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Pic of the Day--Lakeside Coalminer

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Postby LucyGoose » Feb 05, 2007 11:50 am

Hi Hank!

That is one that I can see people buying for the name of it.....me too as my grandpa worked in the coalmines.....but......maybe it will have great shape......to me.....well......green....maybe dark green..... :???: I know some greens are really beautiful.....What a great friendship garden we will get to see mature....

Thanks Hank!! :D
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Postby GrannyNanny » Feb 05, 2007 12:13 pm

Dark green hostas seldom look as dark in the pics as they are in reality. My darkest green is actually a seedling, from a batch of five or six that were all nearly as dark. I tried to find a pic, but couldn't. If I do later on, I'll come back and post it here.
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Postby Hank Zumach » Feb 05, 2007 4:14 pm

Hi--Mike Lemke posted 2 pix on the hostapix list, one about the color of my photo and another that was MUCH darker. Could it be sun exosure or micro-climate?
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Postby thy » Feb 05, 2007 4:24 pm

or Epson Salt .....
sure did something to mine and even more to my friends sandy soil growen hostas
Against stupidity the gods themselves struggle in vain.
E-mail for pics hostapics@gmail.com
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Postby renaldo75 » Feb 05, 2007 4:29 pm

Hank, my Lakeside Coalminer is in a location that gets a lot of mid-afternoon sun. It's been there for over 2 years now & has always been a medium green that gets lighter. I'll move it to a shadier spot this year. Greensand can help darken the green too.
GO HAWKEYES!!!

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Postby jgh » Feb 05, 2007 5:23 pm

Darn... wrote a whole long entry... and then lost it to computer glitches. I'll try again...

One of my first hostas was a ventricosa. It went into a little used area on the north side of my house. In a few years I learned something lots of people already know - that ventricosa self-polinates itself and, since it is a species, the seeds grow into other little ventricosas rather than the motley possibilities that come from planting crossed cultivar seeds.

These ventricosas grow in a lot of shade and are always very dark.

In 2000 I saw leaves of Lakeside Coal Miner at the convention and was wowed. I watched for it to be available in wholesale, but it wasn't around for several years. I got Lakeside Black Satin, though. Found it to be hard to sell ("no thanks... I already have the green one!") I also found I could not tell the difference in a blind trial between LBS and a regular ventricosa.

Lots of people have talked about Mary Chastain's "black" hostas. Some maintain that her soil is just naturally high in magnesium and that makes them darker. Some people say that dosing them with epsom salts to build up the magnesium will make them darker.

I finally got Lakeside Coal Miner and again, had trouble selling it. I'll enjoy doing a garden test to compare, but IMHO, I think most folks would be just as happy with a nice ventricosa grown in deep shade.

BTW, ventricosa, and all the ventricosa type plants have much more going for them than just the color. There is the viable seed that breeds true, meaning you can grow your own mass planting in a few years. They also have a nice kind of ripple to the leaf edge. And, most strikingly, they have a "sheen." Don't think shiny, like plantaginea... think a sheen, like velvet/satin.

I only have one pic labeled in my files, a first year Lakeside Black Satin, and it was late season and looking rough... but I'll include it to give a sense of what that sheen can look like.

oh, wait... I'll put in one more that is marginally a hosta picture... leaning out of my bedroom window...

And, with that... as my father-in-law would say... "we're off - in a cloud of hensxxt!" I will be absent for the next month in Guatemala and Honduras, places where hostas don't grow but pretty much everything else does! "See" you in a month!)
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Postby GrannyNanny » Feb 05, 2007 9:28 pm

Found my dark green/black seedling. It's from Karin as a pod parent, open pollenated. It has larger than normal white flowers -- alas, not fragrant. Nevertheless, they contrast nicely with the dark leaves. Phyllis
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Postby jgh » Feb 05, 2007 10:14 pm

I used to be able to sell Phyllis a couple of hostas a year... but not with beauties like this coming from her breeding and seeding... nice hosta!
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Postby GrannyNanny » Feb 07, 2007 10:40 pm

Thanks, Jim. Yes, I have so many that I want to transplant into my "real" garden (as opposed to the nursery, where they are cheek-by-jowl and really have no room to grow), that I don't dare buy any more. I do love to look at YOUR garden, however, -- how about if you and Sheila come here, and I go there, just to visit next summer? Phyllis
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Postby Hank Zumach » Feb 07, 2007 10:53 pm

Phyliss--I think that Jim & Sheila have left for Guatamala (?) and will be gone for about a month.
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Postby poppi » Feb 08, 2007 3:37 pm

JGH, I was wondering about your Lakeside Black Satin. Mine looks very much like yours with the same yellowing between the veins. The yellowing didn't show up until the fall. When was your picture taken? I was wondering if yours has nematodes. I didn't test mine so I wasn't sure.

Thanks, poppi
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Postby Hank Zumach » Feb 08, 2007 4:07 pm

Poppi--JGH is the "Jim" I mentioned in the above posting so I don't think he will be giving you a reply.
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Postby jgh » Mar 04, 2007 10:37 pm

Phyllis... we ARE going to make that happen this year!

And Poppi - I haven't noticed anything odd about the LBS plants in the past couple of years, so I hope I don't have nematodes. The pic was taken in 2003, in September, so I hope it was just first year stress and end of the season... I'll have to watch more carefully this year...
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Postby renaldo75 » Mar 05, 2007 2:09 pm

Good to have you back, Jim!! :P
GO HAWKEYES!!!

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