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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Hosta 'Liberty' and more

A few years ago a the man who used to run the flower farm near my house gave me a little piece of Hosta. He told me that he'd paid quite a bit of money for a dozen tissue culture pieces and slowly each piece had died. The piece he gave me was tiny and in poor condition but he told me I should try to grow it on in my garden because it would be beautiful.

The Hosta is named 'Liberty' and I think it might be the most stunning Hosta in my garden. I don't have a serious Hosta collection, maybe 150 different cultivars are here. Yesterday I googled Hosta 'Liberty' and found out it was a sport of Hosta 'Sagae' which is another favorite of mine.

How do you like the colors on that beauty?

As my fascination of woodland plants grew, I bought myself a plant named Disporopsis. It's similar to Polygonatum (solomon's seal). Last year another neighbor was away and asked me to watch her house. She's an elderly woman who doesn't care for the yard at all and has let it "go natural". While walking through her yard I could swear I found a clump of Disporopsis but it wasn't in bloom at the time.

I just took the above photo in my own little wooded lot. The previous owner had sprayed chemicals like crazy here but in the past 12 years we've let nature have her way. Does anybody know anything about this plant? I'll be watching it to see if it blooms soon. It would be pretty funny if this plant popped up here naturally.

Last but not least, here's another little beauty I found in the woods today. Look how nice and shiny those leaves are. For those of you who have not been formally introduced to this baby, I warn you, don't touch! This is poison ivy and from now until a hard frost I will only be able to look at our woods and not enter it as I get the most horrific rash from this plant.

I wish I had some photos to share with you from yesterday's trip to the Bronx Zoo. It was amazingly beautiful, filled with trees and shrubs (Viburnum galore) all bursting in bloom. Unfortunately it was also drizzling or raining all day and I never took my camera out of it's protective bag. The zoo is only separated from the New York Botanical Gardens with a massive highway and is such a wonderful place to spend the day.

Today's post is a bit disjointed but it will have to do, I'm off to bundle up and work in the garden. We woke up to a frost warning and I'm a bit worried about my babies out there.


Nancy J. Bond said...

The color of your hosta is outstanding -- can't wait to see it when it's bigger!

Georgiagirl said...

Love the color and I will be on the look out for Liberty. I only have a few Hosta's and love how well they do here.
Liberty looks like a spot of sunshine.

thanks for sharing

Anna said...

I was at the Bronx several years ago. It was lovely. I love your hosta. Hope you didn't have frost damage. We got down to 38 and I think my caladiums made it. That's all I was worried about. It's very strange weather this spring. You got to keep your sheets handy.

Jessica Damiano said...

I love that hosta! I'm going camera crazy this week, too. Just can't seem to get enough of the gorgeous colors emerging after a bleak, straw-colored winter.

Linda Lunda said...

Hi! I most say... I am in love with your hosta'Liberty'! it´s so wonderfull!
Have a nice day.

chey said...

Love the color of the hosta Melanie! I'll bet it really pops in the garden. I've not yet run into poison ivy. How deceiving those beautiful shiny leaves are.

Gail said...

Liberty is indeed beautiful.
I can't keep Hosta happy here, they don't croak, but slowly dwindle away!

I found a product that helps me wash off the oil from PI..Zanfel....also, this is extreme but I do occasionally use comet if I think I touched it! Followed by lots of good lotion!


Hoot Owl Hollow Nursery said...

I've been growing 'Liberty' for about 4 years and it has turned into a beautiful thing. I like it so much I started selling it in the nursery this year. I don't find it at all fussy. It is certainly noticed by everyone who walks through our gardens.

Lin said...

'Liberty' is beautiful! Don't see a lot of them here in Southern CA. I'll have to check to see if they'd grow in my zone (9a).

Like you, I enjoy our local Zoo as much for its plants as its animals. San Diego Zoo has an outstanding collection of both, if you're ever in the area.

cindee said...

That is a beautiful color of Hosta. What a nice name for it too!!!!

jodi said...

I don't think I have this one--or have seen it before--but I'm liking it a lot! Mind you, most of ours are just barely emerging from the ground...;-)

margaret said...

Wonderful blog, thanks. I think your plant may be Disporum sessile, fairy bells. There are a number of woodland wildflowers that have wiry stems like that (Uvularia, Disporum, Polygonatum) but I think yours (with the pleated leaves) is Disporum.
P.S.--I was the garden editor at Newsday for a number of years long I am especially happy to see a Long Islander so passionate about gardening! Great pot selections. Very impressive.

Melanie said...

Hi Nancy, me too, I can't wait for this guy to grow! If I see it for sale in a large pot I just might have to get more.

Cherry, this Hosta really is great but there are also other fantastic chartreuse Hosta. Keep your eyes open for them. Up here they can tolerate quite a bit of sun but in Georgia I think they would need much more shade.

Anna, the only frost damage I found was on my Kiwi. All the leaves are wilted and I've got my fingers crossed that the flower buds survive.

Jessica, this is a great week for photos! I'd love to have you come by one day to compare plants.

Hi Linda, glad you like 'Liberty'!

Chey, you are lucky you don't have poison ivy. It's such a problem here, the entire wooded lot next to me is just covered with it.

Gail, thanks for the tip on Zanfel. I have a few products here for poison ivy but in a pinch we use household bleach (guess it's like the comet!). It works but it can really sting.

Jane, I wish I lived near enough to you to come get some Liberty.

Lin, I've been in San Diego (gave a lecture there at the botanical gardens) but I never saw your famous Zoo. Unfortunately I don't think Hosta will grow for you as they need to go dormant in the winter.

Cindee, yup, it's a keeper :-)

Jodi, I still have hosta that are just poking up from the ground. At the same time others are in full leaf already.

Margaret, thank you!!! I've also bought Disporum and it's somewhere in my shade bed. (Oh how I miss Roslyn nursery at this time of year.) I'll go look for my Disporum and compare the leaves. I remember when you were at Newsday, I've been reading the gardening section for many years now. This year there seems to be so many people in my area excited by gardening. I've met a number of them through my class here and others through this blog. Maybe gardening is have a popularity surge.

Lorraine said...

I picked up a package of Liberty in Costco today for $12. I went online to see what I could learn about it, and found your site. Looks like I got a good bargain!

Love your site. Is the unidentified plant Epimedium? Just a guess on my part.