WD SSH BOG Growing hostas is fairly simple. By summer they have formed wonderful foliage clumps in compost enriched, friable soil in moist, semi shaded areas. Friable means that the soil is not fine and dusty. Natural mulch adds this friability and is really good for hostas. Leaf mould, pea hay mulch or pea hay nuggets are beneficial and keep the weeds down too. Pine needles or bark mulch also help. A general slow release fertilizer and slug protection are necessary to keep them growing and healthy too. They look very restful in the garden. Plant in groups for best effect. A contrast in colour and shapes looks very appealing. Some hostas do not mind sun. Amongst these are Sum and Substance, erromena undulata, the variegated, old, tried and true univitata and sieboldiana types with strong blue foliage. Some golden hostas will sunburn in the hot days in summer. Glory is stunning but needs more shade. Hostas come in shades of blue, green, and golden foliage, with variegated combinations of green and white, blue and gold, green and cream and golden shades. Hostas are dormant plants in winter time when they store energy to produce the new crowns for a bold show of foliage in spring, summer and autumn. In spring they rapidly send up new shoots from many small crowns and at this time and in winter they may be split and replanted. Watering may be erratic at times with hostas. They do not rot in wet winter seasons and when the dry times come they will survive OK with a good layer of mulch to keep the crowns cooler. If the dry continues they would need a good soak now and then. Borders may be made by using one of the low growing edging plants. In this modern day of smaller gardens the more compact hostas are very useful. I have used Blue Cadet and Blue Edger. The little, fine ribbed, green one, lanciifolia makes 45cm to 50cm buns and is an excellent green border plant for narrow gardens. Two variegated ones with more compact habit are Alan P McConnell and June.