This is not the time of year when we usually think of hostas turning on the color but look at this ‘Paul’s Glory’ outside my window here in Pennsylvania. All summer the golden leaves with their narrow blue-green edges have made an impressive clump but now, as the edges turn yellow and the centers fade to white (as they tend to do in shade), ‘Paul’s Glory’ takes on a whole new look. And it’s not the only one.
Years ago in my garden in Northamptonshire I grew that old favorite ‘Halcyon’ in a terracotta pot (below right, click to enlarge). And every year it turned this lovely biscuit brown in the autumn. The little hardy geranium in amongst it is a self sown Geranium thunbergii. I grew some from seed collected in China but it proved to be a small-flowered weedy ground cover although its autumn leaves take on these attractive tones.
The other hosta I especially like for its autumn display is the oddly named ‘Christmas Tree’ (below, click to enlarge) whose bold puckered leaves are turning a lovely soft yellow now.
Regular readers will appreciate that these all fall in a group of plants for which I have a special enthusiasm - individual varieties which have two different seasons of display. Powerhouse Plants, my publisher insisted on calling them for the book in which over five hundred such plants are covered – some of which actually have four or five different seasons of interest.
And after all, what's not to like about hostas that look wonderful all summer – and then turn a different shade of wonderful in the fall?!