What's up at Walters Gardens

Hosta 'Rhino Hide'
Thanks to Susan Martin, Director of Marketing Communications at Walters Gardens in Zeeland, Michigan, I had a wonderful tour of their facility. In fall, we often can appreciate more fully the great foliage effects of many perennials, including Hostas, Heuchera, and Ajuga. With one particular Hosta, it's all in the name. 'Rhino Hide' has the thickest leaves you've ever felt! The color is great--blue margins on narrow light green centers that brightens to yellow. The thick leaves stave off slug damage, and offer a substance that holds up to the weather. They're even said to be more sun tolerant.

Hosta 'Designer Genes'

With a name like 'Designer Genes', I had to take a second look. Of course, I love chartreuse leaves, but a Hosta with deep red petioles has an extra pop going for it.  

Hosta 'Mighty Mouse'

Hosta 'Mighty Mouse', a sport of 'Blue Mouse Ears' has cute little leaves with good substance and creamy yellow margins. This one looks great in the foreground with 'Designer Genes', a study in contrasting foliage shape and color echoes, especially in the early spring when 'Mouse Ears' emerges with bright yellow edges.

An Ajuga with something extra--pink and cream scalloped leaves that are still fresh in September. 'Ajuga reptans 'Party Colors' would look great at the feet of a compact Tricyrtis like the Miyazaki hybrids.

Have fun with making combinations and inspecting foliage plants for their interesting forms, shapes, and colors.
Tricyrtis hirta Miryazaki hybrid

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