Sunday, May 04, 2008

Weird hosta stuff

It could be that my refusal to divide any of my now at least fifteen-year-old hostas is finally coming home to roost. The hosta shoots are emerging, as always, but they seem to be fighting their way through a very tough looking above-ground root system that almost looks like discarded snail shells or something equally grotesque.

These are wonderful hostas, as far as they go. They have huge, glossy green leaves and tall, dark purple flowers. They created quite a stir last summer during Garden Walk, especially when I held up traffic to dig one out for a visitor. This is my only way of sharing them because I have no idea what type they are, except that they’re quite common around here.

(The flash fired, so they look much lighter than they are.)
The problem with them is that they decline earlier in the season than other hostas. So I’m not really interested in dividing them to spread them through the garden. If it’s necessary for their health, I might. Or maybe I’ll just pull them all up and give them away. Or maybe I won’t do anything.

A dividing task would be perfect for a hoe, I guess, if I had one. I don’t. I have the minimum of garden tools. I’m just not that interested in tools, so I buy only what I absolutely need. However, I have been admiring all the vintage equipment I’ve been seeing on the blogs this weekend.


Carol said...

Actually, you don't so much need a hoe to divide the hostas as much as a good sharp spade to dig up the whole clump of them, and then a good sharp serrated knife to cut them into divisions. At least that is how I do it in my garden.

Happy to know you are enjoying reading about all the hoes being posted this weekend. Some people have some really old garden tools!

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I think I have some of these old fashioned hostas. Mine smell divine when blooming. The ones I have were in deep shade and then we took out the huge bush they were under and they survived the sun last year with minimal pouting. I know what you mean about not really wanting to sprread them around more but I hate to give them up when they are so reliable.

Jane Marie said...

I agree with Carol. Hostas are very easy to divide with a good sharp knife.

EAL said...

Yes, I agree C and JM--I was just trying to work hoes into the post.

herself said...

I thought digging and dividing hostas was a major job. It must be 'cause I'd rather buy plants than tools.

I do remember that once I got going they kind of roll up like wall-to-wall carpet.

But good luck, you've got your work cut out for you.

Ladyk73 said...

Oh...those are pretty! Want to trade for some white stripy hostas from my garden?


Ladyk73 said...

Actually...I was half way to urban roots for the trade, when I retreated home because of the rain. bummer

EAL said...

I'm not really a hosta collector, ladyk. Think I'll just divide the worst clump, put the pieces back in the same bed, and call it a day.

I would give some away, if you want it, but I don't want other in return.

Robin (Bumblebee) said...

I have hostas that I haven't divided for about four or five years. Every single year I see them coming up and say "I need to divide those hostas." And about two days later they're fully grown. It's a small window. No wonder you haven't divided!

Robin at Bumblebee

Blackswamp_Girl said...

This is probably a dumb question, but I thought that the reason some hostas are so huge and fantastic are because they haven't been moved around and divided/diminished? We took clumps out of what might be a 'Sum and Substance' hosta in the garden bed at work, and the next year it wasn't quite as big or as bold. Or at least, so it appeared.

I guess my question is to wonder whether you really do need to divide them at all... unless you're seeing a lesser garden performance from them? Because they look fantastic in the photo... and I always like an excuse to avoid work like that. Especially when you're busy with your paycheck-variety work. :)

EAL said...

Kim, I totally agree I'd rather not to do anything about these hostas. It's just that my gardening friends are always saying divide, divide.

Blackswamp_Girl said...

Ah... gotcha. I'm not always up on "conventional wisdom" so I thought I'd best ask. :)

mshostas said...

EAL hi Iam the namer of Hosta Giggles ,I have a ART pice HOE for SALE!


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