LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Hosta Meditation

When we purchased Red Oak House, we were thrilled to have so many mature trees, however, we recognized how these should shape what we would do with our landscaping, especially in the smaller front yard.

Sum and Substance (lime-colored) with Humpback Whale (front left). I'm excited to watch Humpback Whale grow as huge as the name portends.
Sum and Substance (lime-colored) with Humpback Whale (front left). I’m excited to watch Humpback Whale grow as huge as the name portends.

I’m no fan of mowing grass, and it grew in a rather insipid fashion under the shade of the red oak. Hence, I purchased these two books straightaway and proceeded to transform the front yard to a shade rock garden, dominated by hosta.

My dear friend, Bernnett, first turned me on to hosta and directed me to the Minnesota Arboretum, where they were displayed in glory. Yet, I’d not had the opportunity to grow them in earnest until we bought this house.

Once we’d identified the sprinkler lines, Jim tilled up the grass, and we began to haul rocks. I’m certain the neighbors thought we were nuts, particularly when we had the two huge boulders delivered. (In fact, just this spring, Dave, from across the street, the senior inhabitant of this block, informed me that in spite of his misgivings, my yard had begun to look quite beautiful, confirming my suspicions.).

It takes patience to complete this transformation and, indeed, it did not look very nice the first few years.

I love hostas colors and their clever names and different sizes and shapes and textures. As I tend these, I think how much fun it must have been for the propagator to cultivate and name these.

Now my garden is the peaceful place of meditation and shade that I had envisioned, and I’ve accumulated 120 varieties of hosta. These are punctuated by other shade plants such as astlibe, ligularia, ferns, globe blue spruce and impatiens. (These I buy by the hundreds in the spring from nearby greenhouses.) For some reason, the impatiens are slow to bloom this year.

Gentle reader, I hope you enjoy these photo highlights of some of my hosta.

Thursday, I capitulated to a dear friend in her request that we put our gardens on the Bismarck Mandan Garden Club tour in August. Please stop by if you are in the neighborhood and enjoy these in person. I hope we don’t get any hail storms between now and then, but abundant rain. Namaste.

The kitchen project is completed

On Thursday, I spray-painted the old stove hood to match the new stove we bought last fall and my newly refinished countertops.

All of the new light switch plates are installed.  The kitchen re-do is complete!

Let the cooking commence.