Hostas have come a long way since Thomas Hogg Junior sent his first shipment from Japan to his familys Manhattan nursery in 1862. They are now consistently voted the gardeners favorite perennial and it takes merely a glance tounderstand why. Their clean lines, sumptuous leaves and elegant flowers offer great potential for striking specimen plantings and also make them the most accommodating of companion plants.
With the advent of tissue culture and the rise of specialistnurseries, the range of hostas available has increased rapidly, and now gardeners are faced with a bewildering choice of over 4000 species and cultivars. The core of this encyclopedia is a fully illustrated collection of the worlds finest hostas handpicked by leading specialist Diana Grenfell. This valuable resource provides a full description and color photograph for more than 750 plants, equipping hosta lovers to judge esthetic merit and to choose the right plant for a particular situation. Organized by color, the encyclopedia is tailor-made to satisfy quests for the perfect glaucous blue or a cheerful yellow to light up a dark corner. Mike Shadracks enticing photographs capture the qualities of each hosta that make it distinctive and uniquely desirable.
Since hostas vary greatly in their individual requirements, the fine-tuned advice in the cultivation chapter will enable growers to raise their plants to a very high standard. Readers will be fascinated as Grenfell vividly recounts expeditions by collectors, breeders and nursery owners to study hostas in the wild, and charts their introduction to the West. Informative sections on hosta classification and botany, gardening ideas, advice on pests and diseases and a quick-reference list of the best hostas for different purposes add depth to this comprehensive review of the present-day hosta. This book will delight all gardeners and find a treasured place on the bookshelves of hosta enthusiasts everywhere.