To see a lifetime in a Hosta


Hostas. They are indestructible, quick growing, and thrive in both shade and sun. The ubiquitous varieties are unremarkable. Except for late summer spikes of tender flowers, they are just, well, hostas. The more stunning varieties offer interest and texture—not classic elegance or prettiness, but a certain beauty and architectural depth.

Hostas are workhorses.

Meanwhile, frog songs are often dry, warty, throaty. But because frogs are so fragile and increasingly affected by natural and man-made toxins, a chorus of croakers sounds so sweet.

When it comes to beauty, context is everything…

Yesterday when I gazed at my “best” hosta (Blue Angel), I saw enormous rain droplets still sitting on its wide, waxy leaves. In that hosta I saw a team of friends bringing over bits of their gardens to help me start mine. I saw years of planning, experimenting, and planting, as I learned how to combine foliage for a cohesive effect with maximum interest. I remembered dividing my own perennials to take to friends with new gardens…

…and then all the people who have been a part of my life—some near, some far, some dead, some estranged—all sat on that hosta leaf. On that cool green surface we all had meals, went to the beach, planned weddings and funerals. On one of the broader inside stems, I did yoga, went grocery shopping, nursed colds.

When the rain began to fall again, I got up and went back inside. I hoped the hosta would offer shelter from the rain to a little bird and collect enough water for the bird to drink. And I hope to hear the frogs singing their pretty songs near the pond once the rain slows down.

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