Of all the plants I have covering the ground, from the front hellstrip to the back alley, the ones that really do the best job of just that – consistently and neatly covering the ground – are hostas.
So, of course, that’s why I’m increasingly resentful of their presence and plotting to remove swaths of them so I can insert different cultivars that will accept the conditions.
And I’ll probably create quite a mess in the process.
When I first moved to this house more than 23 years ago, there were already two areas of well-established hostas. And then I added more. With full shade darkening the front beds from late May through October, they were an obvious choice and one that certainly offered reasonable variety. I found myself drawn to the big, thick-leaved varieties, like sieboldiana and its offspring (probably above).
And boy have they grown. After the snowdrops, species tulips, erythronium and other spring bulbs and ephemerals are done, the hostas rise up in a solid phalanx. There is definitely no ground to be seen.
Slugs don’t bother these -both the possible sieboldiana in the front and the definite ventricosa (above with some ‘First Frost’) along the side. There are some white-stripers, too, that are enveloping the area where they are, including a small boulder I paid good money to have placed. Those will definitely be reduced.
These plants are doing their jobs – if I were to anthropomorphize plants, they would be employees, not babies – but, yet, I’m still not satisfied.
I feel the urge to rend, to yank, to disrupt. Maybe a group of heucheras? Perhaps a few sedge? Maybe leave well enough alone?
Here’s a classic situation of a gardener creating a problem to avoid the ones that really exist.
Hostas, I can’t quit you, but maybe just a little interference is needed.