Daily Flower Candy: Hosta “Halcyon” AGM


Alright, enough now, all this wet stuff has been marvellous but where’s the sun? This time last year it was scorching – so scorching in fact that my day at Hampton Court Palace Flower Show was made bearable only by copious ice-cold Laurent Perrier and the good humour of my heat-hardened Aussie friend Helen. Happily, tomorrow’s temperature is going to be more Margate than Melbourne, but please, no more rain. It hasn’t stopped since Chelsea, so let this be the end of our damp squib summer and the start of a long-awaited heat wave.

Among the plants that haven’t been complaining about the deluge are our hostas. Where they haven’t been nibbled, chomped or shredded by slugs and snails they are looking superb, especially Hosta “Halcyon”, quite simply one of the best blue-leaved hostas out there. If I could take only one Hosta to my desert island, it would be this one, although it wouldn’t last long in the heat. Halcyon’s not too big, not too small, ace-of-spades-shaped leaves are covered with a smoky bloom which causes raindrops to bead and bounce from their surface. It never wears off and helps the relatively tough leaves to repel slugs and snails as well as water. Clumps of Hosta “Halcyon” take a little while to build up, but once mature make incredible patio pot plants or front-of-border fillers for semi shade. Lavender-blue flowers, which are a nice bonus, appear in July.

Off now to perform a little sun dance ahead of visiting Hampton Court Flower Show tomorrow. Fingers crossed it works – I don’t do plastic ponchos!