Hosts - Variety of Species and Garden Use
Hosts - ornamental, large-leafed, unpretentious, luxurious queen of the shadow. The unique grassy perennial is so popular and indispensable that without it it is impossible to imagine a single secluded corner of the garden. Equally inimitable in both regular style and modern design, the host offers to admire the luxury of foliage in spectacular sockets. The choice of species and varieties is so significant that with the help of hosts you can decorate literally any garden and any ensemble. In this publication, we will talk about the diversity of the host and their use in garden design.
- Description of the garden host
- Host variety
- Using the host in garden design
- Selection of partners
Description of the garden host
Among decorative and deciduous plants, few of them can be compared with hosts in popularity, prevalence and beauty. The combination of practical and aesthetic characteristics allows this perennial to maintain the status of one of the favorite deciduous plants. Hosts are diverse, but easily recognizable, durable, undemanding and firmly hold the status of the most popular culture in the West, slowly it confirms the status of the queen of the shadow with us.
Hosts got their specific name in honor of the famous botanist and doctor N. Host, who made a considerable contribution to the development of medicine in Austria. Our hosts still love to call functions. This is an old plant that is not used today in official classifications; the name of the plant was also given in honor of the representative of medicine, only this time the German pharmacist H.G. Funka.
All hosts are short-rhizome herbaceous perennials that surprise with a strikingly compact and shallow root system that does not prevent plants from remaining highly frost-resistant. The roots are fibrous-cordlike, densely located. These are long-lasting, constantly increasing volume, lush and spectacular perennials that not only do not lose, but increase decorativeness every year.
Hosts without transplantation can grow in one place for more than 20 years, they are divided and transplanted only in two cases - if you want to increase the collection or you need to limit the area of planting.
It is difficult to classify a host as a fast-growing plant. This is especially true of the last varieties or specimens with non-standard color, which before reaching a sufficient volume of bushes spend 4-5 years, and a really impressive number of leaves the hosts reach only after a decade.
Hosts wake up late, starting the vegetation only at the end of spring, but they retain decorativeness not until the first frosts, but until a full winter.
Hosts create wide, spectacular curtains from basal leaves. In the process of blooming, they resemble lilies of the valley, appearing over the soil in tubes, and then turning around. Large, not too long petioles and whole large leaves are an invariable feature of the host. But the size and shape of the leaves vary depending on the variety.
The length of the leaves ranges from 5 to 25 and more centimeters. From narrow lanceolate leaves to oval, wide-lanceolate, ovate and heart-shaped leaves - there are plenty to choose from. Solid and even leaves are more common than fancy wavy leaves. On the surface of the leaves, hosts show up luxurious depressed veins repeating in shape the contours of the edges of the sheet plate. But venation is both pronounced and inconspicuous.
The color of the hosta leaves can be varied - from dark green to light green, blue, gray, golden, motley with white, cream and yellow spots and stripes. It is the differences in color that makes representatives of this genus so diverse. The color characteristic of the variety is usually manifested even in the first young leaves, which appear in late spring, but not always in young hosts.
But in the fall, all hosts effectively change color. Even fashionable variegated varieties are repainted in golden and yellow colors, thanks to which hosts pour into the fiery parade of the autumn garden until winter arrives.
Hosts remain a decorative-deciduous plant even despite the fact that beautifully flowering competitors do not stretch in grace with the flowering of this plant. Hosts are divided into two groups - plants with spectacular inflorescences and relatively nondescript species by these characteristics.
These perennials bloom in June, flowering usually lasts until August or September, at different times, on average lasting from 20 to 40 days. On high, from 60 cm to more than 1 m, straight peduncles, unilateral or loose brushes of inflorescences bloom. They collected elegant bells - funnel-shaped flowers of elegant shape, each of which is clearly visible. The flowers are usually painted in delicate lilac or lilac colors, but many modern hybrids of inflorescences can be snow-white or cream.
After flowering, the host is tied with nondescript fruit boxes with a leathery surface. Seeds ripen well, they are numerous, but quickly lose their germination.
The key to the popularity of the host and their status of an indispensable plant in landscape design, many consider the amazing diversity of these plants. Whatever host is involved, it still remains easily recognizable by its large leaves and growth pattern. But at the same time, hosts offer a very diverse selection.
The greatest variety is characteristic of a host by color palette. Classic green leaf hosts are also far from identical: dark, medium and light colors allow you to play with contrasts and the effect of highlighting compositions. But for those who are looking for original colors, the hosts also have something to offer. They are blue-leaved, sisolistic, golden and variegated. Borders, stripes, spots, ripples in a variety of combinations create modern and unique combinations on the leaves, transforming the appearance of the plant.
Hosts are divided into several groups according to other characteristics:
- Varieties with matte, wax and glossy leaves.
- Large-leaved and small-leaved hosts.
- Hosts with smooth, wrinkled, embossed, wavy leaves.
- Miniature, medium-sized and giant varieties with a height of 5 cm to almost 1 m.
- Hosts with small or large flowers.
More than forty species of plants are distinguished in the host family. In garden culture, not all species hosts are used, and hybrid varietal plants, combined into a species, remain the most popular and widely represented on the market Hybrid host (despite their unofficial status, plants are often sold under the name Hosta hybridum or Hosta hybrids).
Understanding the host classification is not easy. Many cultivated plants are classified as species, which only complicates the situation. It’s easiest to navigate the host variety according to purely decorative characteristics, choosing plants to your taste and the desired role in the compositions. The official register of varieties is considered to be the register of the American society of host lovers. Today, the number of cultivars in it has exceeded 2000 copies.
Among the host species are considered popular:
- variable waxy heart-shaped host Siebold (Hosta sieboldii), which was retrained and heart-shaped, waxy, with varied colors and beautiful flowering host Fortune (Hosta fortunei), and dark-leaved, with large lanceolate-heart-shaped long-leaved leaves host High (Hosta elata), and many other species previously considered separately;
- large, with heart-shaped leaves bright Host Swollen (Hosta ventricosa);
- small-leaved and stunted Hosta Beautiful (Hosta venusta);
- dense, narrow-leaved and compact Host Lanceolate (Hosta lancifolia);
- long-rhizome, with neat heart-shaped leaves low Host Small (Hosta minor);
- broadleaf developing in the form of spherical bushes Host Egg (Hosta ovata);
- bright hearty large host Podorozhnikova (Hosta plantaginea);
- powerful and dense, with vertical narrow leaves Host straightforward (Hosta rectifolia);
- mottled with bizarre wavy leaves Host Wavy (Hosta undulata).
Using hosts in garden design
In the design of secluded corners of the garden - shaded areas with light from penumbra to shadow - hosts are considered culture No. 1 for a reason. It is impossible to find a more spectacular, diverse and unpretentious plant for shaded areas.
But among the host there are varieties that feel great in sunny areas or in diffuse but bright lighting. The right selection of plants allows hosts to become a truly universal culture. If earlier hosts on ordinary flower gardens were considered something exceptional, then the modern palette of varieties allows the use of large-leaf accents even in the company of roses, lavender and the like.
Hosts are eastern plants that are most common in nature in the Far East. But the high decorativeness of the host has long expanded its natural area and made the plants authentic international stars. Fashion for hosts came to us from Canada and the USA, which not only made a significant contribution to plant breeding, but also made them absolute favorites of modern design.
However, geography or status does not change the universality of the hosts in any way: another plant that would look so good in any garden needs to be looked for. Hosts are good at natural plantings and regular gardens, in modern Art Nouveau and minimalist style, high-tech and expressionism to the same extent as in nostalgic gardens or projects with a narrow theme.
Hosts are elegant, impeccable plants for ceremonial and exemplary ensembles. The elegant foliage of the hosts is one of the noblest in the garden palette. The host is characterized by a unique ability to emphasize the beauty of any, even the most modest flowering plant.
Even the most unprepossessing perennials from among partners in the host company reveal their beauty, and the true favorites of flower beds and groups seem even more luxurious and shining.
By the nature of their influence on decorative compositions, hosts are rightly called plants that create harmony. Hosts, thanks to large leaves and ornaments, bring order even into compositions with a chaotic pattern. They soften, calm, balance the plants of different nature, enhance the beauty of neighbors or level the imperfections of greenery, make us perceive the color scheme holistically and easily bring unity to any group. With the help of the host, you can both add attractiveness and soften the variation in the characteristics of contrasting plants.
Using the host in the design meets all the principles of modern design, including the desire to minimize planting care to a minimum. Hosts are not just unpretentious, not giving trouble even to novice gardeners plants. They require almost no care, grow for decades and look luxurious in any suitable environment. Among large host weeds do not grow. They fit into the concept of a “lazy” or economical garden, justifying the purchase of varieties and allowing you to maintain diversity while using a minimum number of species.
With the help of the host, you can play with optical illusions and animate even the darkest corners. They literally color the garden, reviving the composition both in terms of introducing an ornamental effect and in its coloristic effect.
Hosts in the garden can be used both as a solo plant and in mono groups, placing different varieties or identical instances of spots, and in complex compositions. In the design of garden ensembles, hosts use:
- to create host flower beds;
- to decorate the front edge of the compositions;
- for arrangement of patterned, architectural, graphic accents and contrasts;
- as a border plant;
- in landscape compositions in secluded lighting;
- in freely growing groups;
- in shady flower beds and flower beds;
- in stalls, patterned mixborders, arabesques;
- in rockeries;
- as a soloist or large spots on the lawn (high and sun-loving varieties);
- in the design of regular mixborders and flower beds;
- in rock gardens and playing with stone dumping and rest areas in the Japanese style;
- as a large-leaved plant in the design of all types of flower beds;
- in the design of water bodies, including for framing small decorative ponds or introducing harmony and architectural accents to the coastlines;
- for edging or knocking out solitary shrubs and trees, for filling the space between large ornamental plants, and as an alternative to shady lawns (with a single or multi-tier planting, a game with perspective and light).
If hosts look great even in plantings without a visible structure or pattern, in imitation of thickets or landscape flower beds, then in planting the plants themselves it is better to be guided by geometry and symmetry. Hosts are placed not randomly, but in an orderly manner, correlating with the largest plants in the ensemble and observing an equal or proportional ratio between the bushes.
Hosts bring order to where it is lacking, and this property is reinforced with a landing strategy. When placing hosts, even in the foreground, it is worth considering alternation, considering the interaction of masses, contours, volumes, and composition fullness.
Hosts are also considered as a shearing culture. The inflorescences of these beauties are admired only in the gardens, but here the leaves are used for bouquets and arrangements quite often.
Selection of partners for the host
Fully meeting its reputation as a universal plant, hosts are perfectly combined with any garden crops. Of course, the growing conditions and the similarity of care always remain a limitation on the selection of partners, but hosts that can decorate any composition and corner in the garden will look great with almost any plant nearby. Neither large-leaved, nor flowering, nor decorative-deciduous crops are excluded from the list of suitable partners for this plant.
With traditional use in secluded corners of the garden, the best partners for the host are always ferns, aquilegia, astilbe. As a complementary groundcover, periwinkles are planted around the host. Regardless of the lighting, contrasting both in texture and character, the neighbor for the host can be selected from among decorative cereals, among which also not all species are sun-loving.
Perfectly in the composition with the hosts fit buzulniki, dolphiniums, milkweeds, geyhera and cuffs. A unique contrast with the leaves of the hosta will create the shining velvet of a silver Byzantine purest. The accents in the compositions will easily put any bulbous - both spring, summer and autumn blooms. Inimitable company host irises, forget-me-nots, daylilies, poppies.
Among the bushes and trees of the decorative type there are no restrictions. From roses and spires to rhododendrons, honeysuckles and hydrangeas - hosts are able to shade any soloist in a new way.
If the compositions with the host are not impressive enough, you should pay attention to annuals that can fill in the voids or set color accents. Begonias are the best candidate for a place next to a magnificent host, but its beauty will also be revealed by lobelia, sage, surfinia, marigolds, etc.