Shaded by large oaks in the Woodland Garden, the Hosta Glade is naturalistic in design, using curvilinear lines and sweeping masses. This hosta collection places a greater emphasis upon the tried and true performers that the home gardener can utilize with great success. Many of the best cultivars for the home garden are those that are slug resistant or more sun tolerant. Generally, slug resistant hostas carry thicker, substantive foliage that is less prone to slug and insect damage. While sun tolerant hosta are best suited for partial shade, with increased watering some can even flourish in full sun. Sun tolerant hostas often have green, chartreuse or gold foliage that is thicker in texture.
The most successful use of hosta is in the context of a mixed border, planted with trees, shrubs, perennials and bulbs. Within the garden, shrubs like chokeberry, witchhazel, Bottlebrush Buckeye, Panicle Hydrangea, viburnum and spirea, serve as a backdrop for the hosta, providing both structure and seasonal interest for the garden.
In spring, the garden glows with daffodils underplanted among the hostas and shrubs. Underplanting is best described as incorporating multiple plants into the same space that will flower at different times, dramatically enhancing seasonal interest. The bulbs best suited for use with hosta are those with smaller, less conspicuous foliage that will not overwhelm the emerging hosta in spring. Some of the best bulbs for underplanting hosta are winter aconite, snowdrop, Siberian squill, and dwarf daffodil.
A small clearing, created among the hosta, provides a quiet refuge from which to admire the garden or a favorite hosta. Hostas bearing fragrant flowers, like ‘Fragrant Bouquet’, ‘Fried Bananas’, ‘Royal Standard’, ‘Honeybells’ and ‘Aphrodite’, are planted around this space to tantalize the senses. With this garden it is our goal to promote the development of knowledge and interest in hosta. This hosta glade was made possible through the generosity of the Central Illinois Hosta Society.