I’m just back after a whirlwind tour of Buffalo, New York – boy do those folks know how to do foliage! Hostas must be the #1 selling plant, available in every conceivable shade of green, blue-green, blue, gold and white and ranging in size from monsters to miniatures. I was especially struck by the creative ways homeowners found to showcase the more petite specimens.
The American Hosta Society has set various standards as to what constitutes a mini (and these criteria have changed over the years). You can read about them here. I had a hard time imagining how they could be incorporated in my 5 acre garden (assuming deer and slugs left them alone) but after seeing these ideas I’m feeling inspired.
Edging a border
By placing these minis at the front of a stone-edged border they invite closer viewing, while having larger hostas at the back of the border gives a fun play on distorting the perspective!
I’m sure you’ve come across the Mouse Ears mini hosta that started the popular series in 2000. There are now lots of sports from the original blue Mouse Ears including this one (whose tag I forgot to photograph – sorry!)
Love how Marcia has used the cute metal mouse to emphasize the name, but she didn’t stop there…
This grouping of mini hostas, watchful cats and cute little mice is a wonderful display. I could have sat and made up fun stories of these characters for a series of children’s books, couldn’t you?
While many of the mini hostas are displayed in their own container, a few are grouped together.
Creating a Scene
When combining mini hostas with other plants, it is essential to keep the scale in mind. The container above is an excellent example, with several mini hostas, each offering a unique leaf shape and color, combined with a dwarf conifer in an aged hypertufa trough accented by a cheeky snail. The largest green/white hosta plays the role of a large tree or shrub in this scene.
Once again, hostas are combined with dwarf conifers, this time creating a life-like vignette, as two men pump the handcart endlessly around the train tracks! Such fun.
Ideas to Take Home
Although these ideas all feature mini hostas you could re-interpret them to showcase your favorite miniatures such as:
- Smaller succulents
- Mini coleus
- Dwarf conifers
Share your ideas with us in the comments below or on our Facebook page.