The blue of the hosta mellows out the bright orange of the begonia behind it. In the garden, green functions as a neutral.

The blue of the hosta mellows out the bright orange of the begonia behind it. In the garden, green functions as a neutral.

 

I had a chance over the weekend to travel to Toronto in Canada for the annual Garden Bloggers Fling. This three-day event involves lots and lots of touring of great gardens. When you look at a lot of nice gardens in a short period of time you start to notice things, and here is one of my takeaway observations from some of Toronto’s prettiest gardens. Everything looks good next to a blue hosta.

Whether a purple Rodgersia, a bright pink azalea, an orangish begonia or a lime-colored spirea, pretty much every plant I saw on the tour looked better next to a blue hosta. Something about the deep, mellow tones of a bluish hosta, such as Blue Angel, gave the other colors a compatible background and a friendly foil.

Check out some of these pairings:

The bright pink blooms on the rhododendron really pop and complement the  blue hosta. Out of bloom season, the hosta is a calm underplant for the rhododendron.

The bright pink blooms on the rhododendron really pop and complement the blue hosta. Out of bloom season, the hosta is a calm underplant for the rhododendron.

In this gorgeous planting, the hosta, the ferns and the Japanese maple are all visually strong, but they don't clash.

In this gorgeous planting, the hosta, the ferns and the Japanese maple are all visually strong, but they don’t clash. The contrast in foliage texture adds to the effect.

In this beautiful, but very vertical garden, the hosta edged a path and contrasted with the stonework.

In this beautiful, but very vertical garden, the hosta edged a path and contrasted with the stonework.

8 Comments

  1. Linda Lehmusvirta on June 10, 2015 at 8:39 pm

    How lovely! That’s how I felt and wished we could grow hostas in Texas.

  2. Pat Webster on June 10, 2015 at 8:53 pm

    Mary, you were clearly observing the plants and plant combinations closely. Blue-toned hostas do act as good foils for many other colours at all seasons, and provide a cool and calming effect when combined with brighter blooms. I enjoyed our chats on the bus.

  3. Margaret on June 11, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    Although I do love blue hostas (and have a few myself), I hadn’t noticed that. You ARE very observant!

  4. Beth @ PlantPostings on June 11, 2015 at 9:00 pm

    Interesting observation, Mary. I agree: The blue hostas with the giant foliage are definitely statement plants, and they set off other plants with a flare. I’m finding it fascinating that we all observed different details from The Fling–some things in common, but many unique little details. Nice post!

  5. Barbara Phillips-Conroy on June 12, 2015 at 6:48 am

    Mary,
    So very true – I’ve even used them in floral arrangements when I’m light on blossoms – as Paul Zammit says, “It’s all about the foliage” Blue hosta make a lovely dependable foil.
    Barbarapc

  6. Karen on June 18, 2015 at 3:54 pm

    Come to the St. Anthony Park Garden Tour on July 11, 2015 from 10 to 4 and you will see so many blue hostas in our shady gardens. Tickets are available at our web site and are only $12 in advance and $15 day of the tour. Master Gardeners will be in each of the 9 private gardens and you will have a special opportunity to talk with University horticulturists in the Display Gardens on the St. Paul U. of Minnesota campus. Its a great way to spend a Saturday.

    • Mary Lahr Schier on June 22, 2015 at 8:39 am

      Thanks for the reminder, Karen. This is one of many great garden tours in July!

Leave a Comment