Touring a Hosta Garden

Touring a Hosta Garden

One of the great benefits to being a part of a garden club is being able to see other gardens. This past weekend the Spring Hill Garden Club took a tour of a very cool garden based all around everyone’s favorite shade plant: Hostas! We visited Cornelia’s garden who is the president of the Middle Tennessee Hosta Society. Her garden is amazing. It’s full of hostas, hydrangeas, and another unique specimen from Japan: rhodea. Other plants are interspersed for variety but the almost 700 varieties of hosta take center stage in every garden. Some are in pots and others in the ground in smaller garden areas surrounded by walking paths. There is no grass to be found in the main garden and growing grass would be a challenge with the amount of shade Cornelia’s garden possesses, but her love of hostas makes it a perfect landscape for the garden. The pathways wind through her garden and offer a fantastic view of each individual garden area. Large leaf hostas like ‘Sum and Substance’ as well as many small miniatures in hypertufa containers like ‘Gosan Gold Midget’ can be found all around. With almost 700 varieties of hostas in her garden Cornelia says that she doesn’t divide them and prefers for the hostas to grow on to their full size.

She also shared a ton of interesting knowledge about hostas with our group. One of the most fascinating pieces of wisdom was how to identify hostas. I can only begin to tell you how as it is highly complicated but to identify a hosta you need to see them in flower, be able to count the veins on the leaves, the shape and color of the leaves and a few other factors. Like I said it’s highly complicated to trace a hosta back to its roots (so to speak).

She grows a number of hostas in pots including some of the large varieties. Cornelia recommended putting screening in the bottom of the pots to keep out voles and other damaging pests, then adding a layer of gravel for drainage, and lastly filling the pot with a soil level that rises above any glazing. She successfully keeps her pots outdoors year round with this method. (If you are in a zone colder than z.6 this may not work as well.)

The webmaster for the MTHS recommended to me to use large pine bark nuggets inside the planting holes when planting new hostas. The pine nuggets help to add drainage and provide slowly decomposing organic matter to the soil. Adding organic matter is often needed here in Tennessee due to our heavy clay soil.

Cornelia’s garden will be a featured garden for visitors from the American Hosta Society National Convention which will be in Nashville in June of 2012. In preparation for that tour she is getting all her plants into the ground this year. Next year will be a year for fertilizing (she recommended a tomato fertilizer) and growing (not planting) with 2012 being the garden’s showcase year. When it’s time for the tour she doesn’t want any plants to appear as though they were just planted. It will be one very beautiful tour!

For some more photos of her hosta garden please look below!



Dave has written since 2007. He gardens on an acre and a half where he raises his 4 children. He enjoys growing vegetables, herbs, and propagating plants. Dave has a side business growing and selling heirloom vegetables and herb plants through Blue Shed Gardens and works as a real estate agent in Spring Hill, TN.

This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Dave, I am glad to hear you belong to a garden club, great knowledge base. I am so bad at identifying hostas. Many of them look the same to me. It must have been great to visit this type of garden.


  2. Thanks for leaving a comment and I have not tried the coreopsis Jethro Tull. Always grew the native variety, Moonbeam is the only hybrid I have tried. What a wonderful garden tour to see all the beautiful hosta.

  3. Wow! It is wonderful, is it not, being able to get together with like-minded people? What a wonderful, full-of-inspiration garden!! 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

  4. You have got a nice garden out there. I think a connection with plants means a connection with the nature itself.

  5. Love hostas, but — of course, with deer, I have to grow pulmonaria instead.

    You left a comment on My Deer Garden is Full of Flowers story where you mentioned the deer were jumping your veggie fence…here's my reply copied over….

    Dave — if deer are a problem — try WIDTH to keep them out of your veggie garden.

    If you put up a parallel obstacle (like 30" high wire edging fence) about 3 feet away from the outside of your veggie fence, then they will not want to jump between the two fences.

    Deer do not want to go where they can be trapped or if they cannot see a way out.


    BTW — I have collected nigella seeds. Drop me a note from the link on my blog and give me your address if you'd like a packet.


  6. I was hoping you'd post on this tour. I have a post prepared almost with the exact same start as my garden club recently toured a hosta garden here in Clarksville. I would've loved to have seen Cornelia's though. I so wish I was better with identifying hostas because it is really interesting to me. Her gardens are awesome and great advice for growing the hostas.

  7. I wish I had more time to belong to a Garden Club. All those tours and stuff sound fun. Her garden is a real treasure trove of some of my favorite shade loving plants. Thanks for sharing the tour with us. 🙂

  8. What a wonderful garden tour to see all the beautiful hosta.

  9. Hey Dave,

    This is just like a secret hideaway garden:) I'm sure many will enjoyed having such a fancy garden yard.

    The hosta garden should look much colorful with addition of various flowers I guess..

    Jay Chua

  10. It has been a wonderful tour. I enjoyed it very much.

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