Hosta 'Sum and Substance'
- Position: partial or full shade
- Soil: fertile, moist, well-drained soil
- Rate of growth: average to fast-growing
- Flowering period: July and August
- Hardiness: fully hardy
In the warmer months this tough hosta has huge, corrugated yellow-green leaves, and in July spikes of pale lilac flowers that appear. This plaintain lily makes a bold statement in a large container in a shady courtyard. In a border, it looks stunning close to an entrance or path, or among other plants with distinctive foliage, such as ferns. Although it will cope with some sun, the leaves are best shaded from the midday sun and sheltered from cold, drying winds. Once established, its layers of leaves will suppress 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 planting it in a container.
Water your hosta well as soon as you plant it 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.
The trick to achieving the tropical effect is good preparation and dense planting, vivid foliage, fiery flowers and striking contrasts. The jungle garden is a place for theatrical planning and planting. If you don't have room or the inclination to turn yRead full article
Create an ‘outside room’ that overcomes the three challenges of shade, exposure and lack of space using uplifting, shade-tolerant shrubs, perennials and bulbs. A sense of seclusion can be achieved with decorative screens and trellis covered in deciduous,Read full article
Make the most of over 3000 years of gardening tradition by creating an oriental-style garden. Originally designed as a place for intellectual contemplation and meditation, they are an ideal sanctuary from the pressures of modern living. Japanese gardens aRead full article
Who can resist the allure of water in the garden? The gentle gurgle of a running stream creates a sense of calm and tranquillity, while a simple pond makes a focal point with magnetic appeal. You can create lush and natural-looking planting to show off thRead full article
Cordylines are tufted evergreen shrubs that originate from Southeast Asia and the Pacific rim, where they mature to form awkwardly shaped stubby trees with tufts of spiky leaves that resemble huge pineapple tops at the end of each branch. In this countryRead full article