Wednesday, April 28, 2010

we got pumpkins, we got pumpkins

And a whole bunch of hosta, but first, the pumpkins.
Pat and I left an uncarved pumpkin, leftover from our Halloween decor, in the flower bed over the winter. The remains of the pumpkin got mixed in with the dirt and sweet peet when we enlarged the bed. Lo and behold! Little pumpkin plants started to push through about a week ago. How cool is that? It is a wonderment. It's the first vegetable we've grown (inadvertent or not) from seed. Pumpkins are a vegetable, aren't they? The vines will look really good wandering around the bed in the early fall. With luck, we'll have our own pumpkin collection in the fall. Or maybe the scourge of the earth, also known as rabbits, will eat them. Maybe rabbits don't like orange peels.
We still have hosta that haven't pushed through yet. I can tell by the circles of dirt here and there in the yard. As usual the lancifolia were the first up. What I always find interesting is that lancifolia are the last to flower. This hosta is great for path borders and mass plantings for a ground cover. A steady diet of leaf mulch and sweet peet allows us to split these guys every three years.

This guy spends the winter in the ground. We dig him out in late March. It sure looks like a giant green ice cream cone sitting in the soil tile. For some reason the deer ignore this one. The impatiens we used to plant in the soil tile were eaten to the nubs.

Can you here me crying? I guess this hosta doesn't taste very good. I'm telling you, I have to figure out a way to get the Aztec in the back yard so I can chase the deer.

This is mama hosta. Shirley, the mother-in-law, brought it with her on her first trip to Cleveland. The lancifolia is papa hosta. So I have Shirley to thank for this hobby or obsession. I guess it depends how you define having over 400 hosta. But you know, you can never have enough hosta.

Notice the fern between the hosta and the ligularia? We tried to remove all the ferns from the patio bed a couple years ago. Well you know how that worked. Ferns and ligularia have to get their growing done before the hostas unfurl. By June the hosta will crowd out everything that is shorter than them.

All hail Big Blue, master of the hosta patch.

The ligularia is all from seed. It is one to three years old. The three year old plants should flower this year.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hey Jim, you are going to have to help me with the Hosta. I love Hosta, but I am not great at remembering their names.


Anonymous said...

Hi Jim, I'm very excited for you about the pumpkins sprouting and I'm looking forward to seeing how they progress.
By the way, I think 400 has to be an obsession in anyone's books, but what's the point of a hobby if you can't immerse yourself in it? :D

Kyna said...

I think I'm partial to Shirley (that's my mum's name) :)

And I got a huge laugh when I got an image in my head of you chasing deer down in your Aztec. In my imagination, you've got your head out the window and you're yelling LOL

Floridagirl said...

I can't have too many hostas! They are such wonderful plants. I miss my old collection, but I enjoy visiting your blog to see your hosta garden.

Anonymous said...

Jim, I am reminded of the year I was 10, when my father seeded the front lawn of our new house in late October, just about the time so local rowdies smashed pumpkins in the street as part of Halloween hijinks. The following summer, we had pumpkins growing in the front lawn! My father was so proud of those pumpkins, you would have thought he planted them on purpose. -Jean

Lona said...

Hey, not everyone gets a free pumpkin patch.Now that will be an experience for you.
Your hostas are beginning to look so good. The one in the tile planter looks so nice.
I see you have vinca minor vines the evergreen variety growing where the deer nibbled the hosta.I hope it does not take over your hostas but left alone in years to come I am afraid it will choke them out.

leavesnbloom said...

Jim 400 hosta's thats amazing. I honesty did not think there were as many varieties - you know what you might even be growing the national collection there!

Oh thats terrible about the deer - I hope succeed in defeating them. But its great about the pumkin - just make sure there are no big slugs about as they might prefer your pumkin to a hosta leaf. I know that I grew them from seed once and the slugs and snails ate the lot.

Those pumkins will love that rich soil of yours.

Muhammad khabbab said...

i have never seen such beautiful foliage. and yes the pictures on your sidebar of butterflies and bees are very pretty as well.

Noelle Johnson said...

I do love thing that I cannot grow here in the desert. That is way cool about your pumpkin seedlings. I love surprises like that in the garden :-)

Is the Wiz said...

How come your hostas (hostae?) don't get slug damage?

Jim Groble said...

Eileen, I'll give all the help you want. I also am horrible with names.

Gippslandgardener, I might have a borfer line obsession, but I can grow hosta. Everything else is a crap shoot.

Kyna, With Neil Young and Crazy horse blasting.

Lona, The vinca minor only grows around the edges of the hosta patch because Pat and I bury it every year

Leavesnbloom, There are something like a bazillion types of hosta. Is there anything that slugs don't eat.

Wiz, Two words. Soapy water.

Floridagirl, I would be really bummed out without my hosta.

Jean, Geez, when I saw the pumpkin plants growing, I ran over to my neighbor to show her our pumpkin patch. I did not mention it was an accident.

Noelle, Surprises like this makes gardening so special for me.

Muhammad Khabbab, It is a pleasure to meet you.

The Redneck Rosarian said...

Your hosta's look great. I now have two large ones. I will see how they progress. The pumpkins are gonna be cool! Can't wait to see how they do.

Chloe m said...

I am just thinking of several nice cuss words for those deer.

Your Hosta looks extremely healthy and LUSH.

Meredith said...

Jim, it is so exciting to see your garden truly coming alive -- now that your passion (400 hostas is a passion) are finally poking their heads above ground. I can hear the excitement in your writing. :)

Those pumpkins are something else! I love that story, and I definitely hope you leave them to wander in the flower bed. I never heard of rabbits eating pumpkin seedlings -- although they can do a lot of damage otherwise!

Jennifer said...

I think that's so cool that you have an inadvertent pumpkin patch!! I can't wait to see it grow!

D said...

Your Hosta sure are beautiful Jim. Sorry about the rabbits. We used to have several a few years ago that would strip the leaves off the oriental lilies. With the increased hawk population around here, squirrels now seem a bit more dominant.