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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

Mickfield Hostas (Part Two): New at Hampton Court ‘09

Posted by Graham Rice on 11 Jul 2009 at 11:03 PM

Collectors' Corner at Mickfield Hostas. Image: GardenPhotos.comIn addition to their exhibit in the Floral Marquee at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, Mickfield Hostas also had one of the outdoor Plant Plots - and there, on the sales table, they featured their Collectors' Corner with at least four brand new hostas.

Hosta ‘Extasy' (below, click to enlarge) comes from renowned American breeder Hans Hansen. It makes a small, compact plant of long, slender, pointed blue leaves each of which is boldly splashed with a creamy yellow blotch that ages to white. The clump eventually reaches about 45cm/18in wide by 25cm/10in tall, although the spikes of lavender flowers will stretch to about 41cm/16in. ‘Extasy' is a cross between ‘Sweet Susan Streaked' and a hybrid between H. longipes and ‘Blue Blush'.

Hosta 'Extasy'. title=By contrast Hosta ‘Ice Prancer' is a much larger creature, reaching 50-60cm/20-24in in height. Its foliage is unusually thick and slug-resistant, in a cool blue shade, attractively rippled and with a long point to each leaf. With its bold architectural habit ‘Ice Prancer' makes a superb specimen, with midsummer flowers in pale lavender. It's a seedling of ‘Reptilian'.

The ribbed leaves of Hosta ‘Spartacus' mature into an elongated heart shape, strikingly rippled along the edge, with a wide central zone in dark green and a narrow yellow rim. In early summer, arching stems carry light lavender flowers. ‘Spartacus' is a sport of ‘Sea Gulf Stream'.

Hosta ‘Star Light Star Bight'. title=Finally in this collection of new hostas - and there were plenty of rare but not-quite-so-new hostas on display as well - was ‘Star Light Star Bight'. This vigorous seedling of ‘Tremors' from Kent Terpening has long, narrow, noticeably wavy, bright green foliage with a creamy edge which quickly becomes white and highlights the wavy margin. It should reach 35-45cm in height.

As the show opened, plants of these rare new hostas were available at the Show - though stocks were limited. Check the Mickfield Hostas website for mail order availability.

 

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