Low expectations


Occasionally, I’m reminded of a plant that once grew in the garden that’s no longer here. Certainly, this is not only me, and I suspect that it’s not unusual to lose a plant or two each year. Some are lost to the heat and dryness of summer, some to winter’s cold, and unfortunately, others to neglect by the gardener. I don’t want to give the idea that I don’t do a thing around here. One year a hosta or heuchera is looking troubled, though its circumstances are not so dire that immediate action must be taken. The next time it’s considered (or perhaps it’s never given another thought), it’s gone.Great Expectations hosta

A few years ago, ‘Great Expectations’ hosta (above) was rescued. It was planted a few decades earlier, and through the years a holly and Japanese Umbrella pine grew to shade it, then to crowd it until it faded to one measly clump with only a few leaves. It was tucked behind the holly, so luckily I caught of glimpse of it before it was gone. In a few minutes it was transplanted, but I had no idea if it would have enough root remaining to survive. It did.Frances Williams hosta

In fact, I’m pleasantly surprised that ‘Great Expectations’ has revived so quickly to grow into a thick clump. It is similar to another old favorite, ‘Frances Williams’ (above) except the margins of ‘Expectations’ are blue-green and ‘Frances’ is yellow . Both are sports of the large leafed, blue-green Sieboldiana hosta (below), which is a sturdy favorite and found in several spots in the garden. The leaves of ‘Great Expectations’ are a little larger and rounder, and at the time it was planted there were few variegated hostas to choose from. No doubt, ‘Great Expectations’ has stood the test of time.

Sieboldiana elegans hosta

Over three decades there are too many stories to tell of lost treasures in this garden, but at the least I am to be congratulated for saving ‘Great Expectations’.

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