"I love my cats because I love my home, and little by little they become its visible soul." Jean Couteau

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

hosta la vista, baby

The original goal for this post was to get it up for Father's day. However, I delayed in calling Miss Utility, so we couldn't get things planted as quickly as I had initially planned. But even if it's delayed, I still want to say happy Father's day to my dad, and thanks for all the plants and landscaping advice over the years!

A few weeks ago, Zach and I drove up to Michigan for a long weekend. The primary reason for the trip was to attend a retirement celebration for my mom. It was really great to be there and see Mom's many years of hard work acknowledged and praised. Being a fairly humble person, I think Mom was somewhat embarrassed by the amount of fuss that was made over her, but it was well deserved.

A side bonus of the trip was getting plants -- hostas, to be specific. A couple of weeks ago, I was mowing the grass, and decided that it would be easier to do that if the little spot in our backyard between the cement pad and side of the house was filled with plants. 

I have previously mentioned my dad's handiness here, but on top of that, he's also a fantastic landscaper/gardener. When he retired several years ago, one of the things he wanted to do was spend more time growing hostas and even set up a small business selling them locally. He now grows over 100 varieties of hostas in his home gardens! So, it only seemed fitting that I should finally get a few hostas in my own landscaping plan. Since hostas generally like shade, it had been infeasible to put them along the side of the house, which gets pretty much full sun all the time, but I thought that under the deck would be perfect. However, it turns out that there are now a few varieties that are OK with lots of sun, so we can put some in the full sun area at the end of the house.

Zach and I walked around Dad's extensive gardens, looking for hostas we liked. We finally decided on some larger, green hostas, called Honey Bells, for up against the wall, with some smaller, more yellow hostas, called Golden Scepter, for the front. For the full sun area, we picked one called Guacamole, which is light green with a darker green around the edges. Dad dug them up and put them in pots. When it was time to go, I got to use the 'tall' feature of my Honda Fit for the first time -- you can flip the back seats up to make more floor space, which was perfect for fitting nine hostas.

When we got home, I set all the pots out in the backyard to wait for the weekend, when we would have time to plant them. Dad said we could leave the hostas in their pots for a long time, as long as we kept them well-watered. With all the rain we've been having this week, that has not been a problem!

As mentioned at the beginning of this post, due to my forgetting to call Miss Utility in a timely manner, we couldn't plant the hostas the first weekend we were back. So, the next weekend, while I flew back to Michigan again for some more Mom-retirement-stuff, Zach dug the holes. As with our other landscaping project, digging the holes was not easy, due to large amounts of rocks in our 'soil.' Zach is a little afraid of anything to do with landscaping; I think he's afraid of messing things up and/or killing plants. So I got all the holes started before I left, so he's know where they were supposed to go, and told him that he only needed to dig the holes, not actually plant the hostas in the holes. 

Monday, after work, I went out back to plant the hostas and discovered that the rumors of deer in our neighborhood were true -- ALL the leaves had been eaten off the hostas! I know how much deer love hostas, so I'm sure it must have been them. I planted them anyway and emailed my dad, who told me to get some Deer Off to spray on them, which I did the next day. I was trying to figure out when the deer had gotten the hostas, so I asked Zach if they had been eaten when he was digging the holes. He said, 'You mean with all the leaves gone? I thought you did that!' I guess that's why I'm in charge of plants around here.

So now I just have to wait for the leaves to grow back, so my hostas look less sad than they do now:

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