On July 31st, we hosted a tea and talk on hostas. The afternoon started with a wonderful group of guests enjoying tea, ginger scones, and lavender cookies. This allowed for an informal introduction and an opportunity for people to ask questions and stroll through the gardens.
Once underway, Rick shared some of his experience with regards to propagating, hybridizing, and growing hostas. While viewing the display beds, Rick pointed to examples of particular hostas, explaining about growth habit, unique characteristics and how to recognize them. People are always struck by the vast and distinct differences between hosta varieties. Whether it be size, color, or the texture and shape of the leaves, the assortment is extensive.
Rick shared an example of a hosta from his stock area that was showing signs of developing an interesting sport. A sport is when a division of a plant changes in color or form from the original plant. Many growers want to encourage this development by removing it from the existing plant, thereby creating a new cultivar.
Next we gathered around some work tables to get a hands-on lesson on how to divide hostas. After a quick demo by Rick, each participant was given a hosta to divide and take home with them at the end of the class.
We always enjoy a day spent with garden enthusiasts and love the conversation that happens when we can all come together and share our experiences and love of plants. We look forward to our next event here at Fernwood!