Tuesday, August 25, 2009


My kingdom possesses many natural resources for me to utilize. I mentioned the abundance of Christmas Ferns in an earlier post that I have found throughout my kingdom. Another abundance that I have at my dirty fingertips is river rock. When most people see a rock, they actually see a rock. When I see a rock or lots of rocks, I see a bench, a path, and a garden; a river rock garden.

It is my goal when creating my hosta gardens to create a landscape that is both interesting and unique. In trying to differentiate from other gardens I have utilized river rock to do just that. My river rock gardens have proven to be both interesting and unique. By utilizing some simple river rock garden rules and unique ideas, I have created several river rock gardens that have provided drama within my quiet hosta gardens.

When I began my river rock garden, I selectively chose a few huge boulders that I wanted to use as the focal point in my garden. In addition to the large boulders, I also searched and scoured the river for rocks with a natural interest like an irregular shape, color or texture.

I also added drama in my river rock gardens by adding a walkway of flat stones which ended up at the focal point of my hosta gardens. The winding river rock path takes you to various places and focal points of both my hosta gardens and river rock gardens. Remember, to keep your walking paths smooth and as level as possible to create a safe grounds. I found play sand worked well as an inexpensive method to help level my paths. I am extremely proud of the river rock bench that I put together in my river rock garden. By utilizing some simple principles and unique ideas I have created a look that has turned my kingdom gardens into a great family photo spot.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Alright I admit it! I use a small garden gas tiller in my hosta gardens. The hot and humid summer months here in Ohio have made me a little lazy in regards to tending to my hosta gardens. Iquickly learned when I began my Kingdom that I needed the proper garden tools to help make my hosta gardening experience a little more pleasant. My grandmother gave me a gas tiller a few years before she passed away. The garden tool that she gave me is a tool that I use abundabtly to this day, with much enthusiasm. It is a Mantis gas tiller. Although I didn't have my Kingdom when she gave me the small garden tiller, it quickly became my favorite garden tool to use in my hosta gardens. This garden tool does the work that I don't want to do during these hot months.

Now dirt-under-your-nails gardeners, I don't want you to think that I don't get on my hands and knees to tend to my garden, however having a garden tool like the Mantis gas tiller helps me by getting through the small, narrow avenues of my garden, and at the same time mulching the area around my plants. I like this particular garden tool because it is extremely light weight and MOST importantly to me, it's easy to start unlike some of my other kingdom tools. The other factor that makes it valuable to me is that I can easily switch the blades to fit my gardening need.

I recommend a Mantis gas tiller to anyone who has a garden or a few gardens to tend. This garden tool light weight, is extremely easy to use, and best of all, allows me more time to enjoy my gardens during these dog days of summer.

If you have a favorite garden tool and would like to share, please comment. I'm always looking for tips and ideas to help me in my hosta gardens.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Adding Chistmas Ferns to My Hosta Gardens

My kingdom consists of many ecosystems, including an assortment of wild flowers, weeds, and Christmas Ferns. My favorite word is FREE so the idea of adding FREE Christmas Ferns to my hosta gardens was a no brainer.

In case you didn't know, The Christmas fern, (Polystichum acrostichoides), is an evergreen fern, and one of the most shade tolerant members of its species. Like most ferns, Christmas Ferns reproduce by spores. How cool! A plethora of free Christmas Ferns that reproduce annually. I'm set thanks to mother nature and her abundances, in this case, an abundance of free Christmas Ferns growing throughout my kingdom on the hills and valley walls.

As I was moving the Christmas Ferns, I was amazed with how easy it was to transplant. I simply used a shovel to dig up the soil around the Christmas Fern. I kept a large ball of its soil around the roots of the Christmas fern and moved it into my chosen transplanted spot.

My hosta gardens now have the spirit of Christmas, Christmas Ferns that is!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Hosta Gardeners Frequently Asked Questions

Good morning Dirt under your nails hosta gardeners! I have been surprised by the number of hosta related questions that have flooded my email box since I started writing about my, Hosta Kingdom! Today, I am going to start my first Hosta Gardeners FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) blog. My goal is to grow a list of frequently asked hosta gardening FAQ's that you submit to me to post on my sidebar. Please remember to comment on my list if you have any hosta growing suggestions or recommendations.

Are hosta plants winter hardy?

Yes, they are amongst the more winter hardy, shade tolerant perennials. All the varieties that I have planted in my hosta gardens have survived multiple winters growing unprotected in the open. I am one of those who do not cut my hosta plants back to the surface. I do cut off the tops, somewhere above the middle, and leave the remains to act as a protector.

I am on a strict budget for my gardening. Are hosta plants expensive?

No! Typically one gallon pots that contain one or two hosta crowns sell for $5 - $6 dollars
dollars at your local gardening center. Considering these may grow in the same spot with only routine care makes them affordable. I mentioned in a previous blog that hosta plants are also called the friendly plant. So another more inexpensive method might be to ask your friends, neighbors, family members, if they have any hosta plants that they could split or share. Most often the answer is yes. One effective method that I have tried in the past is putting an ad in the local newspaper. I was shocked at the number of people who wanted me to come and, "Clean Up" their perennial gardens. hosta plants are not expensive.

What’s the big deal about hosta plants? All I see are some green plants with white edges next to my neighbor’s garage.

There have been more than 4000 varieties of hosta plants introduced over the years. There is a tremendous variety from large to small and with green, golden, or variegated leaves and with sizes ranging from four feet high and six feet across to tiny ones right at home in a teacup. There may be more variety in hosta plants than in any other plant group. I have a few favorites that I will share in another blog.

Do Hosta plants require much maintenance?

This is one of the reasons that I began my Hosta Kingdom. Hostas require very little maintenance beyond dividing the perennial clumps every three or four years as needed. Pests can be a problem. Refer back to some organic pest control suggestions that I made in a previous blog.