I’ve never quite understood the appeal of the hosta. It’s a big leafy green thing that just sits there. You can’t eat it, and it doesn’t produce colorful flowers. For the longest time, I thought of the hosta as dull landscape filler.
My dad, on the other hand, is a hosta devotee. A few years ago, I called him on a Saturday late in fall. He answered the phone with a very reverent, dreamy quality to his voice. I immediately became suspicious and asked him what he had been up to. He proceeded to explain that as the first frost was nearly upon his central Wisconsin garden, he had just come inside after cutting leaves from each of his numerous hosta plants and was in the process of placing every single one in its own pretty stoneware bowl throughout the house. So that he could worship the leaves just a little longer. Because he loves hostas so much.
I know, Scout. I know.
Anyway. I’m here to say that perhaps I too am becoming a hosta-worshipper. Here’s my story.
Back in March, I bought a low-maintenance, no-turn compost bin at Metro–the big Enviroworld thing you see there. Our yard is small and I was concerned it would be a dominating presence (and not in a good way), but there appeared to be an empty spot along our south fence between a couple larger bushes. I grabbed a shovel and jumped on it a few times to make sure I wouldn’t be covering anything up. I encountered no root structures, and there was no surface evidence to suggest that anything had ever grown or been planted there.
So there it went.
Towards the end of May, Jesse was in the yard mowing grass and noticed a leaf sticking out from underneath the bin. Ever curious, he investigated–and found this sad (and probably angry) specimen beneath:
FORGIVE ME HOSTA! I BESEECH YOU! I checked. I checked! With a shovel! There he sat, all white and slimy, with a few leaves poking out from underneath the bin shouldering the entire photosynthetic effort for that big plant. The compost bin was immediately relocated (thank heavens it had a bottom panel) and within just two weeks,
I was forgiven! I even made an offering of Sluggo to him, sprinkling the organic molluscicide at his hosta-feet, and now his leaves need not fear becoming slug lunch.
I’ve seen the light, as it pertains to the hosta. These resilient plants can stay, and it seems that they wouldn’t care if I said they couldn’t.
These days, I’m filled with the hosta spirit.