Carolyns Shade Garden 3rd Open House – May 15th, 2010

Large Hosta by WxMom

TheGardenLady is a big fan of hostas in the garden. They add such pizazz to any garden landscape. Mine are planted around trees to decorate the feet of the trees for a finishing touch. So in my garden, instead of just seeing a mound of mulch at the bottom of the trees, you see a sort of wreath of hostas that have pushed through the mulch. I think this adds such a pretty touch to the garden picture. If you want to buy hostas for your garden and are in the Philadelphia area on Saturday, May 15th, you should definitely visit Carolyn’s Shade Garden in Bryn Mawr.

Carolyns Shade Garden is having the third open house this Saturday, May 15, from 10 to 3, rain or shine, directions attached (checks and cash only). The display gardens are beautiful and full of great ideas, and the nursery has a huge selection of plants.

Appointment: Feel free to schedule an appointment during this week or next week if you can’t make it on Saturday. There seems to be a misconception that appointments are unusual. In fact, Carolyn does over half her business by appointment. Of course, if you only want a small amount of plants, the open houses are recommended.

Parking: For the convenience of my neighbors, please observe the no parking signs on Robinhood Rd and do not block mailboxes or turn around in driveways.

As promised, this is the best open house for hosta, ferns (10 varieties), and hardy geraniums, including hard-to-find and extremely desirable ‘Rozanne’.

There is also a great selection of phlox, foamflowers, bleeding-hearts, columbines, corydalis, lamium, pulmonaria, and, of course, hellebores (including the Lady Series, the Immanence Collection, and Christmas Rose ‘Jacob’). Japanese primroses and yellow corydalis are also ready.

Carolyn has some beautiful summer and fall-blooming shade plants, including white hardy begonia, ligularias, turtlehead, cardinal flower, great blue lobelia, Japanese anemone (six varieties), and yellow waxbells (Kirengoshoma).

A Word about Hostas: Carolyn has a great selection of hostas this year, including several varieties that she developed herself. She highly recommends that you walk around the gardens and look at the hostas in the landscape before choosing the type you want. Big-leaf hostas look totally different in a pot and often don’t develop their true leaf shape and gorgeous colors until they have been in the ground for a year. Smaller hostas cannot adequately portray their distinct habits in a pot.

When selecting hostas for your garden, you can’t go wrong by selecting a winner of the coveted Hosta of the Year Award from the American Hosta Growers Association. This award means a lot–only 15 hostas have received it out of the over 6,000 cultivars out there. I offer 1998 ‘Fragrant Bouquet’, 1999 ‘Paul’s Glory’, 2000 ‘Sagae’, 2001 ‘June’, 2002 ‘Guacamole’, 2008 ‘Blue Mouse Ears’, 2009 ‘Earth Angel’, and 2011 ‘Praying Hands’. Click here for gorgeous photographs:

Carolyn is totally infatuated with miniature and dwarf hostas and is offering 11 varieties at the open house.

New hostas for this year include:

‘Baby Bunting’: 6” tall by 12” wide; considered by many to be one of the best dwarf hostas, it has round, heavily textured, blue-green leaves and bell-shaped white flowers.

‘Blueberry Cobbler’: 7” tall by 18” wide; 2010 introduction; frosty deep blue, pointed leaves form excellent small mound; rare September flowering blue hosta.

‘Cherry Berry’: 10” tall by 14” wide; wavy leaves with central white area surrounded by dark green bleeding back into the center and establishing a lighter green “bridge” between the two areas; leaf stems are deep cherry colored and prominently displayed.

‘Earth Angel’: 30” tall by 5’ wide; 2009 Hosta of the Year; a phenomenal variegated version of ‘Blue Angel’ with large heart-shaped blue leaves and a wide creamy-white border–the first giant blue hosta to have a border; specimen plant.

‘Fantasy Island’: 7” tall by 12” wide; rippled, wide green margin with a speckled center that changes from yellow to creamy white; vigorous, sun-tolerant, and a good multiplier.

‘Frosted Mouse Ears’: 7” tall by 15” high; 2010 introduction; wide, creamy white margin, a bluish green center, thick substance, and attractive purple flowers; premier dwarf-sized plant for the shaded garden.

‘Holy Mouse Ears’: 6” tall by 15” wide; 2010 introduction; all the wonderful attributes of ‘Frosted Mouse Ears’ above but with a unique yellow to creamy white center and blue margin; the baby of the mouse ears family.

‘Purple Lady Finger’: 15″ tall by 2’ wide; narrow dark green arching leaves and brilliant dark purple flowers the size and shape of ladyfinger firecrackers; the flowers remain completely closed and are outstanding.

‘Tick Tock’: 6” tall by 12” wide; thick leaves that have a chartreuse-yellow center framed with a nice blue-green border—a mini ‘June’.

‘X-ray’: 8” tall by 15” wide; low, dense mound of narrow, heavily rippled and misted foliage that is beautifully variegated early in the growing season.

Questions: Carolyn’s catalogue is an excellent resource for information about the ornamental characteristics and cultural requirements of the plants she offers. Carolyn often finds incorrect information on the preprinted plastic plant tags and recommend that you go to her catalogue first. Printed copies will be available at the open house. If your question is not covered in the catalogue, please feel free to consult one of the knowledgeable open house “volunteers” in the blue aprons.

Email Issues: If you wish to be on the customer email list, please click on this address carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net and request this.

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