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Choosing Shade Companions for Hostas


I often hear from gardeners about shade. They just don’t know what to grow and
actually there’s quite a variety of plants, hostas are certainly one of them,
but there are lots plant that can grow well with hostas. We’re here with Deb Guardia who certainly
has done a lot with hostas, but you also look at other plants and their companions. Are
there certain things that you look for when it comes to what’s gonna look well with a certain hosta? Well there is Sandy and I think the first
thing I look for is a companion that is a totally different texture. because as much as I love hostas
and I like combining them the eye needs a place to rest and you can
either leave space or you can add a different texture. And I think I’d in some cases rather do that with a totally
different piece of plant material. So things like certainly Astilbes are great
because of that finer foliage is good. Maybe painted ferns, I know you have a lovely
one here that I really like. The ferns are very nice — Ghost Fern and Lady in Red and just the
traditional Japanese painted ferns do well. So that finer texture I think is something
to sorta of look for. And Astilbes,
of course you’re seeing them right now, they’re starting to finish their bloom,
but a plant where its flowers will start to come up in between
and around the hosta leaves just makes for an interesting, well, eye candy. Yeah, it’s that contrast
I think that’s good. Now I know that people sometimes want the look of
grasses, but not all grasses, actually a lot of grasses, don’t do well in shade. Are there a couple that
you find do well in shade? Sedges. Many of the sedges and carexes will handle quite a bit of shade and many of those are perennial. There are some annual varieties.
I have a couple right here of the Amazon Mist. That’s kind of an annual. I have Carex Beatlemania. And actually there’s the Hakonechloa
I think is one that’s really nice. You know, kind of a tough name to pronounce sometimes, but it’s really nice. I like that kind. Some are more
chartreuse, so it really lights up a shady garden But it doesn’t necessarily have to be lighter
plants. You’ve actually selected some pretty dark-colored Coral Bells. Well, again. If you have light colored hostas, putting
a darker plant material next to that just gives you that contrast of color and lets your eye take a moment to stop and reflect on what
that plant material is.

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