Spring Garden Tips
2014 Hosta of the Year - Abique Drinking Gourd

Hostas are a favorite of many gardeners. All the new introductions allow you to create a fresh look with an old time favorite. But with so many choices it is helpful to have a bit of direction.

mgm audio 020714 drinking gourdThe American Hosta Growers wanted to help take the guess work out of hosta shopping. Each year, starting in 1996, they select an outstanding hosta variety that makes a good garden plant throughout the country, is readily available, and retails for about $15 a plant. This year's winner is Abiqua Drinking Gourd.

The large blue-green leaves are cupped and have an interesting seer sucker texture. These attractive thick leaves have good slug resistance.

White flowers top the plants in early summer, brightening the shade and providing nectar for the hummingbirds. Plants are hardy in zones 3 to 9 and grow 18 to 24 inches tall and 36 inches wide.

A bit more information: Consider adding a few or all of the past winners to the shady parts of your landscape. Use them as a groundcover or in combination with ferns, bugbane and other shade tolerant perennials. Visit the American Hosta Growers Association website for a list of and information about past winners.

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