A National Hosta Garden
A lovely, shady walnut grove beside Lake Drummond in Springfield, Missouri's Springfield Botanical Gardens is the setting for one of the most extraordinary gardens in the U.S.
The Hosta Garden came into being in 2002 thanks to its designer, Dr. Bill Roston, and the Greater Ozarks Hosta Society. Ten years later, in 2012, it underwent a major transformation and rejuvenation designed to win it accreditation by the American Hosta Society as a National Hosta Display Garden.
The transformation was successful, and in 2013 the Garden was indeed named a National Hosta Display Garden, becoming one of only 18 such gardens in the United States.
Today the Hosta Garden contains over 500 Hostas. These include 300 different varieties that together show the incredible diversity of America's most popular foliage plant in color, size, plant shape, leaf shape, and variegation.
The Garden today is maintained by the Greater Ozarks Hosta Society, the Friends of the Garden volunteer organization, and other volunteer groups and individuals.
The Hosta Garden emerges with almost breathtaking vigor in spring, reaches its peak beauty in June, and in autumn the Hostas begin to send up long scapes, or stems, with flowers ranging in color from white to deep lavender, many of which are beautifully fragrant.
To further enhance the garden, planted among the hostas are wild ginger, Japanese maple, coral bells, astilbe, and many colorful shade annuals. Plans are to add even more hosta varieties and continued improvements in the near future.
Today the Hosta Garden is made up of two garden "rooms," one a display garden for strolling and enjoying the hostas, and the other the event garden, an open, spacious lawn area with comfortable seating near a lovely rock garden water feature. The event garden serves as a beautiful setting for weddings and other memorable events and can be reserved easily by calling the Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center at 417-891-1515.
You can visit the Hosta Garden at 2400 South Scenic in Springfield, Missouri. Here we give you a bit of the Garden's story, and the links immediately below will let you view and learn about a great many of its individual Hosta plant varieties.
THE GARDEN'S INDIVIDUAL HOSTA VARIETIES
A - H I - N O - S T - Z
|A National Hosta Display Garden|
The plaque from the American Hemerocallis Society declaring the Garden a National Hosta Display Garden, a great honor for the Garden all of the volunteers who've contributed to its excellence.
Hostas are so favored by so many gardeners that they are now the nation's most popular perennial plant. Another indicator of their success: There are now more than 3,000 registered varieties, and some speculate that the number may now have reached 4,000. This marvelous garden allows visitors to see and learn about some 300 of the most successful
varieties, many of them award winners.
|The Garden In Early Spring|
In mid-March of 2012, a perfect day to do some real good in this world, members of the Greater Ozarks Hosta Society, Friends of the Garden, and other volunteers gather to prepare the Garden for the new season. Here Tom Lakowske, the Society president, hauls a wheelbarrowful of mulch. Tom, who oversees the garden, can be credited for shepherding the Garden through the major revitalization and improvement that led to its being named a National Display Garden in 2013.
|A Key Figure|
Also present on this work day was Bob Childress, a most extraordinary man who for many years has done, and guided, the physical work of building nearly all of the gardens that comprise the Springfield Botanical Gardens. Here he's holding his friend Daisy, a sweetheart of a companion who accompanies him on many projects and events.
|Bob at Work|
Bob Chil/dress in his more customary garb--rugged denim for serious get-it-done work in the Hosta Garden.
|A Dedicated Crew with a Mission|
Lisa Bakerink, at left, the president of the Friends of the Garden, and volunteer Ann Gunion were part of an industrious crew readying the garden for 2012.
|Ready for Spring|
The result of a good day's work--the Hosta Garden mulched and ready for the new spring season.
|Spring's First Sprouts|
The first Hosta sprouts of the new season, as they appeared in March.
|The East Entrance|
The east entrance to the Hosta Garden with its wrought iron gate and signs. The gate and picket fence surrounding the garden were inspired by the destruction geese caused a hosta garden the Hosta Society tried to install at the local zoo in 1999, three years before the creation of this garden.
|The Hosta Garden Sign|
This sign at the garden's east entrance also displays its Guide by Cell phone number. Each of the Botanical Gardens has a Guide by Cell number that enables visitors to hear a taped message with key information about the particular garden. To hear it, simply dial the phone number, then enter the prompt number. And yes, if your curious, you can make that connection now, at this very moment.
|The New Season|
The Garden is unusually lovely even in very early May, when it first begins to show its colors.
In less than a week the plants are truly taking form.
|New Paths and Beds|
The remaking of the garden also saw its beautifully meandering paths greatly improved by widening and replacing their mulch surfaces with gravel.
|Berms and Beds|
The Hosta Garden in its new incarnation makes especially excellent use of berms, the mounded soil and compost that provides the plants good drainage and increased visibility. In the garden's remaking, 10 tons of soil and compost were added to raise the levels of several beds.
The Hosta Garden is a superb model for creative garden design, as with this appealing island bed.
|A Smaller Bed|
Varying the size of island beds adds great visual interest to any garden or landscape. This smaller bed contains ferns, flowers, and two hostas of the award-winning 'June' variety.
|Opening Up the Garden|
The Garden was further improved by "limbing up" the larger trees (removing lower limbs), which allows the plants a good deal more necessary light and air.
One of the brightest additions in the Hosta Garden's award-winning makeover, this brand new pergola frames Lisa coming to install new hosta variety labels.
|The Hostas and the Waterfall|
The central focal point of the Hosta Garden for many may well be its lively water feature, an attraction that also can, and does, serve beautifully as a stage for weddings and other special events.
|A Wedding Setting|
Here the event garden part of the Hosta Garden is ready to serve as the setting for a July wedding.
|The Water Feature Up Close|
A closer view of the Hosta Garden water feature, including a large flat stone at the lip of the pool placed during the garden's reworking to provide good seating for photographs.
|The View from the Top|
The view from atop the Hosta Garden water feature out onto the event area. This was a work day in early May with the Friends of the Garden and other volunteers.
Now it can be told. The rewards of doing volunteer work in the Hosta Garden aren't all aesthetic. The Friends of the Garden also share, and certainly do justice to, some very good food.
|The Sense of Wonder...|
The sense of wonder on this young boy's face as he discovers the Garden is shared by many, many visitors.
NOW THAT YOU'VE SEEN SOMETHING OF THIS REMARKABLE GARDEN'S STORY, YOU MAY WANT TO RETURN TO THE TOP OF THE PAGE AND EXPLORE THE LINKS TO SOME BEAUTIFUL--AND HOPEFULLY HELPFUL-- PHOTOS OF ITS INDIVIDUAL HOSTA VARIETIES.
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