Why Hostas are the elastic pants of the plant world

Now it's important that I , up front, claim that I am not speaking of all Hostas in all applications. Just like, 99% of them.

In a ring around a tree, along the side of the house and stuck randomly,hopelessly in any shady spot, we know the Hosta can-do. Low maintenance, inexpensive and un-fussy... why not? We inherit crappy undulatas from our neighbors... we enjoy dividing them when the weather is conducive to puttering outdoors.

Hostas are like elastic waistband pants, they are both for when you've given up and you don't even want to look for other options.

It seems that each initial consultation I go to, each customer groans about how they want color, color, color and yet I shouldn't dare rip out their darling lancifolias. The flowers are LAME (except in a case in which the flowers are extremely fragrant, like in 'guacamole', a Hosta I don't totally hate, mainly because of the name) and aren't they more trouble that they are worth? Deadheading Hostas really sucks.

People don't often "get" foliage. Shiiiiiiit, they don't often "get" shade gardening past 3 flats of impatiens. The shade garden offers many options in texture- I find shade gardens very restful. I can almost always find someplace to rest my eyes.

All this being said, a well-done patch of the giant, seer-suckered leaves of 'blue angel' next to a fresh batch white Astilbe, a few Giant Goatsbeard and some floppy blue Hydrangea- with a dash of Ligularia 'Britt-Marie Crawford' for contrast? and SHUT UP! Where did my socks go? I think they were physically knocked off my body!

Or a wad of 'sum and substance' with Hakone grass, some feisty dark Heuchera, like 'obsidian' and some red Lobelia used as a stir stick. HOT-cha!



But that's not how they are used, right?

Maybe what I'm trying to say is not that I hate Hostas... but LIBERATE THE HOSTAS!

I dare you to ring that tree with a mix of Ladies Mantle and Rodgersia.

I double dog dare you to outline your house with a mix of Actea 'black negligee' and Chelone 'hotlips'- now there's a sexy combination...

Can we let Hostas be interesting again? (Like they ever were...)