Trades

Hosta "Lemon Lime" divisions, sent by Michael Laico, newly potted up and ready to grow.

Hosta “Lemon Lime” divisions, sent by Michael Laico, newly potted up and ready to grow.

Blogging friend Michael Laico offered a plant exchange on his site right after the Fourth of July.

He grows and hybridizes Hosta, and hoped to trade some divisions of Hosta for other plants he wants for his garden.

Michael offered up a miniature Hosta, called “Lemon Lime” which grows to about 8″ high.  It sounded perfect for growing in pots on the deck.

This Hosta offers beautiful golden green leaves and scapes covered in purple flowers, much enjoyed by hummingbirds.

Reblooming German Iris, "Stairway to Heaven."

Reblooming German Iris, “Stairway to Heaven.”

I offered a re-blooming German Iris, “Stairway to Heaven” in exchange; and the deal was done.

It has taken us about a week and a half to dig, prepare, and post our plants.

July 18, 2014 package 001

Michael received my package of Iris and some rooted Begonia cuttings on Wednesday, and I received his package of Hosta and Japanese Iris today.

What fun to get a package of new plants in the mail!  And how satisfying to exchange plants with friends.

Sometimes it is good to have a little faith that a friend’s gifted plant will be something you’ll also enjoy growing.

The plants as they appeared when I opened the box this morning.  They look healthy and ready to grow!

The plants as they appeared when I opened the box this morning. They look healthy and ready to grow!

Although I don’t grow many Hosta, since they are basically deer candy in our garden; I love Hosta foliage and flowers.

They are dependable shade perennials whose foliage can stand alone or provide an interesting backdrop for other plants.

I would have a garden full of them were it practical.  The six we planted our first season here survive- barely- even through nibbling after nibbling when deer finagle their way through the fences and into the garden.

Our Hostas were badly grazed early in the season.  This one blooms bravely, despite its chewed and mangled foliage.  yes, I do know about all of the deer repellant sprays on the market, and I use them every few weeks...

Our Hostas were badly grazed early in the season. This one blooms bravely, despite its chewed and mangled foliage. yes, I do know about all of the deer repellant sprays on the market, and I use them every few weeks…

So I will enjoy this H. “Lemon Lime” as a potted perennial, grown well out of reach of hungry deer!

I haven’t made up my mind yet whether to pot the Iris or plant them directly into the garden.

Since they love moisture, I’m leaning towards a pot whose moisture I can control; rather than taking a chance on drought or voles devouring these iris before I get to enjoy their blooms next spring.  Photos to follow….

Michael's Hosta divisions, ready to pot up.

Michael’s Hosta divisions, in good, rich soil, ready to pot up.

So thank you, Michael, for offering this exchange. 

Not only is it fun to trade plants, it is a very economical way to expand one’s garden.

These divisions are potted up with a rooted Cane Begonia cutting, which will have white flowers.

These divisions are potted up with a rooted Cane Begonia cutting, which will have white flowers.

I shipped USPS Priority Zone  Mail, and paid a little less than $7.00 for postage, which included tracking and $50 in insurance.

Here is the Begonia before I planted it tonight.  See the new stem growing from a node?  The rooted cuttings I sent to Michael already had miniature plants growing from the node, ready to grow into a new plant quickly.  These Begonia canes have been rooting in water for several weeks.

Here is the Begonia before I planted it tonight.   See the new stem growing from a node? The rooted cuttings I sent to Michael already had miniature plants growing from the node, ready to grow into a new plant quickly. These Begonia canes have been rooting in water for several weeks.

The plants traveled from Virginia to South Carolina in a day and a half.

Michael shipped Fed Ex.  It took about the same time, and his well packaged plants arrived in great condition.

These newly planted Hosta divisions looks a little droopy, right after planting, but will adjust quickly to their new home.  Hostas need shade and moisture to thrive.  These got a drink of Neptune's Harvest fish and seaweed emulsion immediately.  The roots are strong, and new leaves will appear with a week or so.

These newly planted Hosta divisions looks a little droopy, right after planting, but will adjust quickly to their new home. Hostas need shade and moisture to thrive. These got a drink of Neptune’s Harvest  fish and seaweed emulsion immediately after planting. Their  roots are strong, and new leaves will appear with a week or so.

We both poked holes in the boxes for ventilation, and packed the roots of our plants in damp medium and Ziplock bags.

So if you’d like to grow H. Lemon Lime for yourself, and have something interesting to trade, please hop over to Michael’s site and leave him a message.

He has great photos of the mature Hosta in bloom on this page, should you want to take a look at the beautiful flowers it produces each summer.

I promise you it is well worth the effort.

July 18, 2014 package 029

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2014

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About woodlandgnome

Lifelong teacher and gardener.

4 responses to “Trades

  1. good afternoon, I hope you guys are getting some of the rain too. We have gotten nearly 1 inch today and there is more to come. I am so glad the Lemon Lime and Japanese Iris made it ok! Looks like you split up the Lemon Lime into 3 containers? Give them two weeks in the shade with lots care and light fish emulsion and they will grow well for you! Have you figured out where you are going to plant the Japanese Iris?

    I planted the Begonias rooting’s in a container so I can baby them, got them on the porch for now since w have hard rain. Prepared a new garden bed yesterday for the iris, I am sure they are loving this rain.

    Thank you for the trade! 🙂 Did you see my post today about our trade and posted another plant for another plant exchange?
    http://michaelswoodcraft.wordpress.com/2014/07/19/plant-exchange-2/

    • Hi Michael, Thank you for the post and link. I haven’t had a chance to look at it yet- we’ve been out and about all day. The Hosta are in only 2 containers. Thank you for such generous divisions! I know these guys grow quickly, and wanted to give them room. The little pot will need to go up to a larger pot by spring, and the Begonia will come out of the larger pot in fall to give them more room. I have them in the shade on our deck. It is cloudy here today, but no rain. The clouds keep rolling past and we still hope to have a shower this afternoon.

      I bought a gorgeous pot today for the Iris. I just don’t trust putting them in the ground yet, and want to control the soil conditions at least until after they bloom this spring. I’ve lost too many new plants to voles in this garden. The Stairway to Heaven will love having a new bed made just for them! I had them in partial shade. If you give them more sun, they’ll be thrilled with their new home. Best wishes, WG

      • I have the Begonia container sitting 1/2 in water to allow the transition from rooting to the soil. This will help keep the roots moist. The iris had a lot of roots so I know they will accumulate quickly especially with the new bed. I can’t wait for Spring to have flowers. The bed is about 3/4 sun. I hope you get some rain so you don’t have to water so much.

        In the rain, while the soil is soft, I dug up a bunch or Siberian iris babies that I planted from seed and potted them for trades and maybe move a few around the garden. Michael

  2. Garden trades are a great way to economically increase your garden variety. (I just sent out ‘Nora Barlow’ seeds to a blogging friend in Illinois. Let me know if you want any as I have plenty!) When I was first getting started 24 years ago after we moved in, an older woman up the road helped me out with a lot divisions from her garden. She passed many years ago, but I see her gifts and think of her– she continues to ‘live’ through her generosity.

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