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October 2017
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Herb, hosta societies volunteer at parks

 

Family Planting Day at Garfield Park in the new Childrenís Herb Garden; volunteers Diane Drake and Andy Klee planting herbs donated by Irwin Gardens, Columbus, Ind. Photo courtesy Herb Society of Central Indiana

Family Planting Day at Garfield Park in the new Childrenís Herb Garden; volunteers Diane Drake and Andy Klee planting herbs donated by Irwin Gardens, Columbus, Ind. Photo courtesy Herb Society of Central Indiana

Plant societies do more in Indianapolis than cherish their favorite flora.

Members of the Herb Society of Central Indiana have been volunteering in the Children’s Garden at Garfield Park. This year, they installed huge recyled tires, planted herbs and helped develop educational programs for Junior Master Gardeners and other kids involved in the garden. “I am very thrilled to be a part of this project, my family and friends have a long history in the area,” said Penny Klee, a volunteer from the herb society.

“I am a new member and this is very rewarding for my first project.  (The herb society) looks forward to a long relationship with Garfield Park,” she said.

Volunteers from the Indianapolis Hosta Society recently planted their favorite plant at one of the entryways to Holliday Park. The garden, at the south entrance off Spring Mill Road, allows the society to showcase the beauty of hostas,  said Randy Goodwin, a member of the society.

The main focus was to display massed single cultivar plantings with outstanding specimens as accents. Rock outcroppings enabled us to place the plants on several levels,” Goodwin said.

 

Indianapolis Hosta Society volunteers planted entryway at  Holliday Park. Photo courtesy Randy Goodwin

Indianapolis Hosta Society volunteers planted entryway at Holliday Park. Photo courtesy Randy Goodwin

At the Holliday Park Nature Center today (June 13) will be the society’s annual Hosta Show and sale. The public is invited to the noon sale and the show, which follows. 

 Hail-damaged hosta

If your hostas were shredded by the recent hail storm, here are some tips from Goodwin:

  • Large or blue  hostas with spring growth, leave alone. “If you cut those to the ground, they will never recover. Clean up the most tattered or unsightly portions and leave the remains,” he said.

In northeastern Marion County and the Fishers area, Goodwin has had reports that hosts were decimated down to the leaf stems, called petioles. “On those plants, even a plant with only standing petioles, leave alone, he said.

  • Medium to small hostas in greens or yellows, “then a total cutback is acceptable.”

Goodwin has had the same queries from hosta society members who’ve had to opt out of this year’s show. “That’s gardening and nature,” he said.

Add sparkle to landscape with silver plants

Plant sheen — ‘Excalibur,’ a silver-leafed lungwort (Pulmonaria) shines in the shade when paired with a solid green Hosta. © Karen Bussolini

Plant sheen — ‘Excalibur,’ a silver-leafed lungwort (Pulmonaria) shines in the shade when paired with a solid green Hosta. © Karen Bussolini

There are lots of reasons to like silver plants.

First, most silver plants are deer resistant. Second, they are usually drought tolterant and third, “silver is really pizzazy with other colors,” says Karen Bussolini, who with Jo Ann Gardner, wrote Elegant Silvers: Striking Plants for Every Garden (Timber Press, $34.95).

“Once we started comparing notes on what silvers we had grown, we came up with a really long list, both of silvers we had killed and ones that had been successful,” said Bussolini, who lives in Connecticut. She will speak about these shimmering garden jewels at 7:30 p.m., Nov. 10 at Woodstock Club, 1301 W. 38th St., Indianapolis. The lecture, sponsored by the Indianapolis Museum of Art Horticultural Society and the Indianapolis Hosta Society, is free and open to the public.

While Bussolini traveled the country looking for gardens and interviewing gardeners, Gardner remained on her farm in the Adirondacks conducting research. They spent four years working on the book, said Bussolini, an award winning photographer whose images illustrate the book.

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Avoid hosta slug fest

Crinkle power - Stained Glass hostas thick, crinkly leaves protect against slug damage. © Photo courtesy Walters Gardens

Crinkle power - 'Stained Glass' hosta's thick, crinkly leaves protect against slug damage. © Photo courtesy Walters Gardens

When it comes to the shade, few perennials work as well as Hosta.

We appreciate hosta for its foliage, which comes in a wide range of green and blue hues or with the leaves variegated, edged or splotched with color. The flowers, called scapes, are almost secondary, even though several cultivars are extremely fragrant.

And while we appreciate the leaves, slugs call them dinner. The slugs eat holes in the leaves, giving them the look of Swiss cheese. Slugs work at night. A trip with a flashlight outdoors after dark will confirm the presence of a slug, a generic name for terrestrial gastropod mollusks.

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