plant given elevated
status in Navan
the past 18 months I have been delivering the paper door
to door in Navan and only recently have I noticed the
townsfolks’ propensity for a certain type of plant that
many people in the ’burbs and elsewhere merely take for
am speaking, of course, of the genus Funkia – more commonly
known as hostas.
would be hard-pressed to find a house in Navan that didn’t
have a hosta plant in their front yard. I’ve been up and
down every street in the village and only saw five or
six houses without a hosta. Some houses have two or three
plants, while others have entire droves of hostas.
property has 13 different species of hostas. Now, I know
what you’re thinking – “There are 13 different species
of hostas?” Turns out, there may be as many as 45 different
species and over 3,000 different varieties which are the
product of hybridization by hosta enthusiasts the world
over. Wikipedia lists 24 “accepted” species of the plant
which originated in China – God only knows when – and
was later transplanted to Japan.
of today’s more popular species were brought to Europe
by German botan-ist Philipp Franz von Siebold in the early
knew that the hosta plant had such a rich history? I know
I didn’t. I just knew they were the perfect plant to grow
in a largely shady area and they’re prettier than ferns
which grow much taller.
was first introduced to the hosta plant when the ex-wife
and I bought our first house on Sunnyside Avenue in Rideau
Gardens. The street had a yard sale one weekend and a
lady from down the street was trying to give hers away.
couldn’t figure out why at the time and took a couple.
Three summers later the hosta plants had become hosta
bushes and were threatening to take over my entire garden.
That was about the same time our daughter Maggie was born
and I let the garden grow over.
of my daughter, she hates hostas. Not quite sure why.
When I told her I was going to buy a couple of hostas
to plant under the giant pine tree in the front yard she
cringed. And that’s coming from someone who worked at
Laporte’s for three summers.
happen to like hostas, for no other reason than they are
difficult to kill. I don’t have the greatest record when
it comes to plants and gardening. In fact, I have yet
to meet a plant I can’t kill. And it’s not from neglect.
No one tries harder to be a proficient gardener than myself.
I read the instructions when I buy the plant. I do all
the research on the Internet. I follow the advice of people
who are much better at it than I am, and still my plants
usually end up dying.
had the same problem with pets when I was a kid. My pet
turtle died in three months. My pet budgie in six and
none of my goldfish lasted more than a couple of weeks.
I began to think I was cursed and gave up ever having
a pet, if not for my own conscience than for the sake
of all the turtles, goldfish and budgies out there.
I’m doing much better with my cats, all of whom are healthy
and vibrant as they were the day I brought them home.
for my plants... only time will tell.
replaced two very large and very ugly globe cedars in
the front of my landing with a variety of plants suggested
by none other than Estelle Laporte herself.
warned her about my previous misfortunes with gardening
and plants and she assured me that all I had to do was
water them every couple of days.
not taking any chances with my indoor plants. Instead
of opting for a bunch of “live” plants, I bought a bunch
of fake ones at Ikea. They look so real they even fooled
latter are why I had to buy the fake ones in the first
place. The list of indoor plants that are safe for cats
is an very short one, limited almost entirely to palms.
bought a couple of those as well, just to see if they
would survive my not so green thumb. As it turns out,
the plants should be more worried about the cats than
my lack of knowledge. Cats love palms. Especially my Cuban
tuxedo cat Havana. He’s already broken off six branches.
At this rate the plant will be reduced to little more
than a stump in a couple of weeks. But at least I’ll still
have my hostas.
la vista baby!
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