Mad for medio

There is little doubt that my wife favors the old time mediovariegata hosta. Otherwise, how can her tolerance for this mostly white leafed hosta that strays considerably onto the bluestone path be explained? Any and every other offending leaf or stem in the garden is chopped mercilessly, but not mediovariegata, which is in a most conspicuous spot, so it could not possibly be overlooked.

Clearly, favorites are given allowances not considered for others, and it is abundantly clear that my wife makes few exceptions. Just mediovariegata, I’m quite certain.

Of no great surprise, I will overlook foliage and branches that stray across, or even obstruct a path, arguing in defense that these soften the hardscape. I don’t want clean lines, not in my garden. If that path is obstructed, we can get to the door by going the long way around.

By contrast, I have many favorites, having planted the garden’s many treasures, but my wife and I share affection for this hosta that was once so common, and now is mostly neglected in favor of hundreds of newer introductions. I haven’t seen one for sale in a decade, at least, and this one was planted twenty-five years ago. Back then, it was common to see mediovariegata scorch in the sun in gardens, and probably this was the impetus that spurred development of hostas with stiffer constitutions.

In this spot, mediovariegata has bright enough light, but no direct sun with the shade of overhanging Ostrich ferns, and before the ferns were here there was a wide spreading, pollarded Paulownia. The Paulownia is a nuisance tree, and with pruning new growth and flower buds in pollarding its ability to propagate itself was taken away. So, there was no problem with seedlings, but the darn thing grows like a weed. And with pollarding, there was a full root system and a bunch of saved up energy, so there was way more work involved than the tree was worth. It pains me to say it, but I was overjoyed after I finally dug it out, and fortunately mediovarigata was not harmed in the process.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Lynn says:

    I have always loved that hosta, so I agree w/your wife. The white just shines in the dark, though I don’t have one of them here in VA, but did in Wisconsin.

    1. Dave says:

      I expect there’s a newer introduction that looks about the same, but tolerates sun, though this one is perfectly sited against green ferns.

  2. Ruth says:

    Dear Dave, it’s true. – that variety of Hosta has seemed to disappear! So glad your wife has been looking out for it, and you’ve been protecting it too! It looks lovely. Wonderful blog as always! Thank you! 😀

    1. Dave says:

      Another old time variegated hosta, Great Expectations was almost lost a few years ago beneath an Umbrella pine. It was rescued, transplanted, and now I’ve planted a few divisions of the now vigorous clump.

  3. tonytomeo says:

    Although I do not conform to the hosta trend, and there are quite a few hostas that I dislike, those variegated with white happen to work nicely with the dark green of rhododendrons, and the shade of redwoods. They are even better where there are not snails or slugs! I have not figured out why, but snail and slug damage is almost never seen here.

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