The long, hot, humid Birmingham summer is taking a toll on gardeners. Gone are the enthusiasms of spring, the energy and the excitement. Hello, weeds.
This year most of us have had frequent summer rains. Our grass looks pretty good. The hydrangeas are not flagging. But my hosta collection greets me like a beautiful woman with rotten teeth. One hosta stands out for hot weather durability: Hosta plantaginea. With her thick, mid green leaves, she remains unscathed by our rain scald and is putting up masses of fragrant white blooms. Hummingbirds appreciate these big drifts of the Plantain hosta, and Paula robs the colony for her arrangements, both leaf and bloom.
Hosta plantaginea is widely available at better garden centers, and the selection Aphrodite is superior. Tell your friends with hostas that they make great host/hostess gifts, and then invite them over. The late fall is a good time to divide dormant clumps.