At the end of August, my hostas are looking a bit ragged. They have had a tough year. Forced into early growth by a warm spring, a frost scorched the young leaves of many of the plants, particularly the green leaved varieties, which seem particularly susceptible to a late frost. Overcoming this early obstacle, the hostas forged on to produce lots of leaf and looked absolutely splendid in May. Strong winds then battered the leaves and here the larger leaved varieties suffered most. With foliage that was still comparatively young and tender they had not built up enough resistance to withstand the winds that barrelled down the side of my house. At one point they were all listing to one side like sailors who had been on ship for too long. Sum and Substance with leaves the size of elephant’s ears really struggled. A month of very hot temperatures has now left them looking very sad indeed. In a south facing walled garden they have basically been inside an oven and baked. Of course, hostas should not be grown in these conditions and in most years they have managed relatively well, but this year has done for them. Additionally, these stressed plants are also more susceptible to the depredations of slugs and snails. For the first time, they have been given a liquid seaweed feed. I’m hoping this will cheer them up a bit.
Ed: Here’s a clip of Vija’s garden at the recent Open Gardens event. Hostas definitely looking a bit cheered up!