Hosta Garden

Hosta Garden Path

The Hosta garden, designed by Judy Dembsey and Mabel Herweg, is located at the northern end of the Arboretum adjacent to Taylor Road. A stone wall separates the garden from the road, and a small stream separates the garden from a large, open grassy area. Several ground covers, both woody and herbaceous, grow along the stream's bank. A thick stand of gray dogwood (Cornus racemes) stands on the opposite bank east of the Hosta garden, giving the garden a feeling of security and solitude. The dogwood mass provides important nesting habitat for gray catbirds and northern cardinals. Both of these frequent the hosta collection in search of caterpillars and grubs. Visitors are lead in and out of the garden by means of a circular path. Once inside, they enter a shady refuge created by a canopy of mature white pines. Two benches of native fieldstone invite the visitor to sit and enjoy hosta's green, blue, and yellow leaves that complement the soft lavender and white flowers. The Hosta garden's more than 120 assorted species range in size from 4 inches to 3 feet tall. The leaf sizes range from about 1 to 15 inches wide and long, some with beautiful variegated forms. All hostas were graciously donated to the arboretum by Judy Dembsey in memory of her mother. A few assorted companion plants including various viburnums, fothergilla, and stoloniferous cornus species add a vertical element to the garden, and include fruit and fall color. The evergreen foliage of several dwarf conifers adds for year round interest giving color, texture, and structure to the garden.