Hosta 'Big Daddy' (sieboldiana hybrid)

plantain lily

2 litre pot
pot size guide
£7.49 Buy
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The crinkled sea-green leaves of this large hosta bear clean-white flowers - but it’s the corrugated texture of the leaves that fascinate the eye

Val Bourne - Garden Writer

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  • Position: partial or full shade
  • Soil: fertile, moist, well-drained soil
  • Rate of growth: average to fast-growing
  • Flowering period: June
  • Hardiness: fully hardy

    Although it has spikes of greyish-white, bell-shaped flowers in June, this, like most hostas, is grown for its handsome foliage. It has enormous, quilted, grey-blue leaves with prominent veins that will light up a cool shady spot, provided it is sheltered from cold, drying winds. One of the earliest flowering varieties, it makes an excellent large container plant for a shady courtyard garden. Or try it as a full stop at a woodland edge, where it contrasts beautifully with ferns and other foliage plants. Once established, its layers of leaves will supress weeds, too.

  • Garden care: You'll get thicker, lusher leaves if you give your hostas a really good feed. An annual mulch in spring or autumn will help to keep the weeds down and is an easy way to improve soil and boost nutrient levels. Add a generous mulch of about 5-10cm (2-4in) deep of garden compost or leaf mould around the plant. Spraying the leaves regularly with a high nitrogen fertiliser during the growing season will also help to boost leaf size. Slugs and snails love hostas, so you will need to protect against them. Use an organic nematode treatment in early spring to ward off slugs. Or simply stick to a container.

    Water your hostas well as soon as you plant them and from then on water regularly during their first growing season. Give them a water about once or twice a week around the base of the plant, avoiding the leaves. Little and often can be disatrous as it encourages the plant to produce roots closer to the surface in a desperate quest for moisture.


Geranium phaeum

dusky cranesbill

Small, deep maroon flowers. Good for groundcover

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Sarcococca confusa

sweet box

Sweetly scented, pure white flowers December to March

£4.99 Buy

Polystichum setiferum (Divisilobum Group) 'Herrenhausen'

soft shield fern

Evergreen fern with fine, filegree fronds.

£8.99 Buy

Rodgersia pinnata 'Superba'

rodgersia

Looks great planted near water

£11.99 Buy

Helleborus foetidus

stinking hellebore

Lovely evergreen foliage plant with spring flowers

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