My friend Chambercombe Bob asked if we could find a home for some hostas. I like hostas. I like their succulent leaves which are often washboard ridged; lime and chartreuse, avocado and absinthe, glaucous and steely blue, with variegations of cream and gold. I also like their spikes of sometimes scented flowers, mauve or white or palest pink. I like that in Japan, where they are known as urui, the yet to unroll leaves are harvested for lunch. I even like their original name, funkia, which never fails to raise a smile. What I am not so keen on is the heart break they so freely deal out. Just one night and the green goddess is transformed into a perforated wreck, perfection has been turned into despair. I think you know what I am talking about. Those demon molluscs. There is an attraction so strong that they will scale the steepest pot, pull their slimy bodies over desiccating soot or skin ripping gravel, risk electric shocks from copper bands and dodge poisonous pellets just to get a taste of the most delicious of them all. One tiny chink in the defences and they are there, munching like there is no tomorrow. Which is quite likely if I catch them. Don’t worry, when slugs die they go to Hosta Heaven and gardeners aren’t allowed there.
Do not fret, this doesn’t mean we said no. Two will be staying with us, to be potted on and watched night and day. The others will be part of my planting dating agency. They are strong and hole free specimens. CB tended and protected them well. Let us hope we can keep them that way!