Summer hosta planting for 2013/2014

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Summer hosta planting for 2013/2014

Postby Chris_W » Aug 11, 2012 12:21 pm

Yesterday it was raining but surprisingly the soil was still dry an inch or two down, so Brian and I spent a slow nursery day planting out new hostas for next year and 2014. Here's what we put in yesterday:

Tokudama Aureonebulosa
Rocket's Red Glare
a few plantaginea divisions (we can't keep up with the demand for this plant!)
some Ice Follies for 2014 (the roots just aren't looking good enough)
Mighty Mouse for 2014 (again, not enough roots yet)
Diamonds Are Forever for spring
Lakeside Shore Master
and Abba Dabba Do (after 18 seasons would you believe this is our first crop of this plant?)

Already growing off to the left are 3 year old Abiqua Drinking Gourd and 4 year old Sweet Innocence (amazingly slow growing plant!).
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Summer hosta planting for 2013/2014

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Re: Summer hosta planting for 2013/2014

Postby Chris_W » Aug 11, 2012 12:31 pm

Here is another section planted up for next year. This section has:

New divisions of Raspberry Sorbet for 2013 or 2014
New divisions of Li'l Abner
New divisions of Allegan Emperor that we may grow on to multiply out another summer to offer again in 2014 or 2015
Rubies and Ruffles
Regal Supreme for 2013 or 2014, though we have another batch of Regal Supreme that have already overwintered here twice now that we definitely will offer in the spring
Niagara Falls
Guardian Angel for 2014 (we hope the color of this batch improves next year)
Sum of All (we will finally have a huge batch of these next year to keep up with the demand and this is one section of 3 for this plant)
Blue Ivory (planted last summer for 2013)
Hudson Bay (also planted last summer for 2013)
and at the far right is Goodness Gracious but you can't really see it here

A lot of these plants were looking huge already this year - Rubies and Ruffles is an amazing multiplier - so next year these should be really, really nice :)
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Re: Summer hosta planting for 2013/2014

Postby jgh » Aug 11, 2012 7:22 pm

Nice hostas!

Now - just between us - I went through a hosta nursery yesterday looking at plants I don't have to see what they'd add. Goodness Gracious - I can see it has some real character. But what is the appeal of Rocket's Red Glare? And is Regal Supreme really an improvement over Regal Splendor... I mean, I like the original and wider margins aren't always better... and is Sum of All going to be "THE" green-with-yellow margin Sum and Substance sport? I kind of got tired of new S&S getting registered every year...
Diamonds are Forever - significant improvement over Diamond Tiara?

I've considered Abba Dabba Do one of the greats... but my giant clump shrunk to just large and seems to have stabilized that way... so now it is just nice instead of dominating its part of the garden... I think I've got something wrong in that part of the garden... wondering the if spreading of rodgersia has resulted in too much competition... maybe even something in the soil...
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Re: Summer hosta planting for 2013/2014

Postby Linda P » Aug 12, 2012 9:05 am

Chris, sounds like a really productive day! This would be a great week, weather wise, for me to be doing some
planting and relocating, but I have my 1-yr old grandaughter coming for 8 days. I'm not likely to get any garden
time in ...and besides, it's county fair week.
Jim, I've not seen Rockets Red Glare in person, but have seen a number of pics of it. The flowers are very nice,
and the combination of the red going up in the center on the front or the glossy leaf, with wavy edges...
I don't buy many hostas anymore (out of room, and have too many of my own seedlings coming on) but it's
one I may pick up.
Sum of All is definitely one of the best of the legions of Sum and Substance Sports. I also have Titanic, which
has a similar wide margin, but for some reason my Titanic is not the most stable..the edges vary from wide to
narrow on different parts of the plant, and now it's got some half and half leaves. Sum of All has been slow but
steady, and would have been much nicer this year if it hadn't been subjected to a little vole nibbling and the extreme
drought and heat.
And time remembered is grief forgotten,
And frosts are slain and flowers begotten.....
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Re: Summer hosta planting for 2013/2014

Postby Chris_W » Aug 12, 2012 9:34 am

Ah, I've had that feeling before, when looking through all the wholesale catalogs, picking apart all of the new offerings, wondering why some of the old ones are still there and wondering why they chose to grow the new ones that they did...

Yesterday I had someone with a problem - too many variegated plants in the garden and she wanted something solid green to set them off. Rocket's Red Glare fit the bill nicely, and I think red stems and red scapes are a great accent to other variegated plants as well.

And do you have Sum of All, Jim? We used to have some larger, semi-mature clumps here and it sold itself. Those really wide edges do set it apart from other Sum and Substance sports and while Sum of All can be similar to Titanic the latter doesn't seem to be as stable (or the TC plants aren't always culled properly) so I prefer Sum of All between the two. Linda mentioned that too, so it isn't just me, but people still ask for Titanic so I'm growing some of those too...

Diamonds are Forever is a wide margined sport of Diamond Tiara that still has some good vigor to it. Sometimes I think Diamond Tiara gets too big, becoming a medium sized clump, so Diamonds are Forever could work a lot better as an edging plant. I think it is an improvement, though I wonder if it is the same thing as Glen Tiara, from Viktoria, so question why it would be patented...

Regal Supreme is very showy with lots of great color variations, but it is slow as molasses so probably has gone fully tetraploid (the full tetraploid plants tend to lose a lot of their vigor). Is it better than Regal Splendor? No, I don't think so, and keeping the name for comparison was a poor choice. Is it different from anything else in this family? Yes, definitely, and if it had a name that was something catchy on its own like Tidal Surf or Cloud Nine (just examples, I didn't put any thought into those), without comparing it to the Regal family, then this would have been a knock out plant. I grew 20 plants for 2 summers before making up my mind but just planted 40 more and haven't even started selling them yet, so I think it is worth it and hope that it catches on, even without a catchy name.

I'm happy to start Abba Dabba Do, if nothing else because the giants are always hot and I've never had it. It is growing great, having been an older, vernalized TC, are multiple eyes already and will be an under $10 hosta :)

I could give you a list of the plants that I passed from the new stuff that is out there, and I'm sure some would question my choices there too, but I really do try to be rather selective in what I bring in here. Probably hurts my bottom line as there is still a large demand for anything new, no matter what it looks like, but I'm a bit crazy like that ;)
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Re: Summer hosta planting for 2013/2014

Postby rockNhostas » Aug 12, 2012 10:27 am

I think your selections are great, Chris. You have to make your choices keeping in mind that your customers will all have different tastes. I ordered a few variegated plants this year, but I ordered way more solid colored plants than I ever have...mostly greens. What I look for tends to change every year.

Sum of All is a fantastic plant! I purchased one two years ago with a "ho-hum" attitude. Another S&S sport....but ok, I needed a large plant with some sun tolerance. I am so glad I went with that one now. It's beautiful. I do think it's one of the best sports from S&S. I can't wait to see it next year.

Raspberry Sorbet is a great little plant too! Always looks good for me.
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Re: Summer hosta planting for 2013/2014

Postby John Polka » Aug 12, 2012 4:40 pm

I hope to get a hold on one of those blue ivory, regal supreme and guardian angel
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Re: Summer hosta planting for 2013/2014

Postby jgh » Aug 12, 2012 11:25 pm

thanks, Chris... I knew it would be enlightening to get your reasoning on selections.

I looked around - I guess I don't have Sum of All... just Lady Isobel Barnett (reliable) and Titanic (also spectacularly unstable for me). (Also have Sum Cup o Joe, Small Sum, Sum and Subtle, Vim and Vigor... I forget which others...)
So it would be nice if we could just settle in on SofA for the green with yellow margin... and is Final Summation the reverse that we should settle on?

Thanks for your thoughts on the other ones as well... always educational!
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Re: Summer hosta planting for 2013/2014

Postby Chris_W » Aug 13, 2012 10:09 am

Hi Jim,

From what I've seen, yes, Final Summation is worth growing as a green edged Sum and Substance. Sum and Subtle is way too subtle, but Final Summation really shows the dark green edge well and we'll have Final Summation in the catalog next season too (I've been wanting to get a picture of that section too, it was planted up last year). Q & Z has another green edged Sum and Substance sport too but I don't recall the name right now.

And while we are on the topic of Sum and Substance sports we have one coming out in a few years called Summer Rainbow. It is a dark green centered sport of Winter Snow with the same cream edge but a dark green center, sort of like a Vim and Vigor with a creamy white edge but it is a really good grower. Summer Rainbow actually starts out looking like Winter Snow with a chartreuse center but the center becomes dark green by June. The plant is a collaboration between myself and Dr. Dave Bowe and there is a bit of a story about the name, worthy of the "What's in a name?" column in the journal. Basically Dave told me that with any plant he is associated he wants a "bow" sound in it, just like the sound of his last name, and then it was up to me to put a name to this. I started thinking of something to play off of Winter Snow and after some brainstorming (for only about 10 minutes actually - it was quite the storm ;) ) I came up with the name Summer Rainbow. You get the "bow" sound just like Dave's last name, plus a play off the seasons (winter and summer), plus you get the "Sum" name back into it without sum silly accounting word. I think its kind of cool just for the name :D
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Re: Summer hosta planting for 2013/2014

Postby jgh » Aug 14, 2012 9:48 am

I like it... just wait for the reverse sport... Winter Rainbow...

oh, man... you've got me going... bowl, bowler, bowler hat, bowtie, bone, bone to lose...

I am a huge fan of Winter Snow - mine's well over 6' in diameter and I've hacked off pieces a couple of times. I've got a row of Vim and Vigor I pretty much had to give away because in pots it just looks like a green hosta with the mature leaves a couple of years in the future...

But a really big round-leafed green with white margin... should be a market for that!
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Re: Summer hosta planting for 2013/2014

Postby redcrx » Aug 14, 2012 7:54 pm

I like the instability of Titanic but I think Winter Snow is the best looking of the group.

Titanic 12 01794zbz17.jpg

Titanic 12 01795zbz22.jpg

Sum of All & Winter Snow 12 01626zbz20.jpg
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Re: Summer hosta planting for 2013/2014

Postby redcrx » Jun 26, 2013 7:58 am

Came across another sport in this line at Van Wade's garden called Lodestar.

Lodestar 13 06268zbz62-6-20.jpg
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Re: Summer hosta planting for 2013/2014

Postby ViolaAnn » Jun 26, 2013 9:04 am

I'm interested in Chris's comments waaay above about 'Sweet Innocence' (amazingly slow growing). I've found that too and wonder whether it's worth it in the end. I dug my slow grower last year, divided it, got rid of some of it, but kept one part which is now in the shady backside of my veggie garden and seems to be growing faster. But how is it long-term?
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Re: Summer hosta planting for 2013/2014

Postby gesila9 » Jun 27, 2013 8:16 pm

Sum of All adds great color to deep shade. I have a large collection of Sum & Substance progeny and it's the only member of the family that will not tolerate any sun here in West Michigan, not even morning sun.

Here's mine growing in deep shade in a pot that is stuck to the ground because the Maple tree roots have grown into. I'm going to rescue it later this summer when I return from vacation.

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