Skip navigation.

Graham Rice's New Plants Blog

Graham Rice Garden writer and plantsman Northamptonshire and Pennsylvania

Editor-in-Chief of the RHS Encyclopedia of Perennials; writer for a wide range of newspapers and magazines including The Garden and The Plantsman; member of the RHS Herbaceous Plant Committee and Floral Trials Committee; author of many books on plants and gardens.

  • Date Joined: 18 Oct 2006

Recent Comments

Mickfield Hostas: New at Hampton Court '09

Posted by Graham Rice on 09 Jul 2009 at 05:31 PM

There's a huge number of hostas introduced every year, many raised across the Atlantic, and some of the newcomers are to be seen at this week's Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. Mickfield Hostas from Stowmarket in Suffolk, holders of one of the National Hosta Collections, have one much respected new hosta on their marquee exhibit.

Hosta 'Heart and Soul'. Image: GardenPhotos.comHosta ‘Heart and Soul' is a small variegated. Each gently rippled leaf has good substance and measures about 3-4in/2.5-3in and its subtle leaf pattern changes as the season develops. At first the colouring is greenish yellow and then becomes cream and then a rather variable green edging develops.

The end result is a mature leaf which features a green rim varying from a slim green band at the sides to widening at some points along the edge. The central variegation features an almost yellow area close to the stem and this colouring fades through cream to greenish cream towards the tip. Once the leaves fully mature the contrast between the pale central area and the green edge is very striking. In summer, upright spikes of lavender flowers emerge and reach about 45cm/18in high..

This is a hosta often suggested as being more sun tolerant than most, although most soil is always a big help in taking sun.

Raised by the well respected hosta breeder Rob Mortko in 2000, ‘Heart and Soul' is a sport of ‘Vanilla Cream', which was itself derived from the tokudama hybrid ‘Little Aurora'. 'Heart and Soul' is the reverse variegation of another sport of 'Vanilla Cream', 'Ice Cream'.

You can buy plants at the Show or online from the Mickfield Hostas website.



My Garden is My Space said:

What sparked off these thoughts was seeing the Hostas and Hebes in flower. It is hard to believe that way back they were not that commonly grown in small gardens and were looked upon as something almost exotic. There were not many varieties to choose

on 14 Jul 2009 at 03:09 PM

Graham Rice said:

It's unfortunate that, with few shows being late in the season, we don't see so many hebes at the RHS shows. There's been some splendid new introductions in recent years, with some fine British-bred ones on the way, and although some are rather similar to each other there's a wealth of fine varieties to choose from. Of course with hostas - there are just so many it's impossible to keep up!

on 20 Jul 2009 at 02:18 PM