Sharing Spaces in a Minnesota Garden | Midwest Living

Sharing Spaces in a Minnesota Garden

See how two Minnesota neighbors transformed their unruly, shared woodland into a peaceful community garden full of top-performing shade plants.


Chartreuse ‘Sum and Substance’ grows at the top of the waterfall.
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Hosta-lined stairways meander throughout the garden.
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5 Hot Hostas

American Hosta Society members voted these hostas as their most recent top picks. All are easy to find and grow well in the Midwest.

‘SAGAE’ Vase-shape hosta with variegated green leaves and cream edges. “it grows upright, like it’s sitting in a vase,” says Gregg Peterson, president of the Minnesota Hosta Society.

‘JUNE’ distinctive variegation makes this plant pop. “if given more sun, the leaves will look yellowish green,” Gregg says. “if it’s in deeper shade, the leaves will be dark blue or green.”

‘LIBERTY’ Like ‘Sagae’, this dark green hosta forms an upright clump. Very wide yellow- or cream-color margins make this plant stand out when viewed from far away, Gregg says.

‘SUM AND SUBSTANCE’ (Top) “this is one of the largest hostas you can grow [up to 6 feet across],” Gregg says. it’s chartreuse in the shade, golden in sun.

‘BLUE ANGEL’ as the name says, this large hosta has bluish leaves. Site them in the shade, Gregg recommends. they’ll grow in sun, but the waxy coating that gives the plant its color will melt.

(A version of this story appeared in Midwest Living® May/June 2011.)


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