To begin, this is not White Feather. We like to be upfront with our dear readers. It is a primrose purchased from the big box store for pennies last year, out of bloom and very sad looking. The color is a surprise, and a very pleasant one. Enough of that. Onward to the meat of the story.
Here is Hosta ‘White Feather’ on April 3. This is a hosta that was given as a gift by offspring Semi several years ago, at least five, er maybe four. I don’t know. Anyway, the name comes from the newly emerging leaf spikes. After being gone for a week on spring break vacation, leaving in winter and returning to summer, this is what greeted us upon the return to Fairegarden.
Each day saw progress on the emergence, image taken April 4. Please ignore the uncut hellebore leaves, part of an experiment. Click to read about it here-Hellebore Experiment-The Results. Also, the exposed root of the Garnet Japanese maple that provides the shade for the trio of hostas, better illustrated in the previous image. The third clump is to the right, out of this shot.
Zooming out it can be seen that the maple is leafing out, trying to catch up with the hosta on its mission to photosynthesis. The rock wall has been rebuilt in front of the small tree and some touch up on the surrounding rock walls. Good compost was used to fill in space at the trunk and scotch moss added. I just hate to see bare dirt it seems. The golden creeping jenny will probably engulf the not true moss, but anywho…
Like time lapse photography, April 6 shows even more growth, and a little more greening along the veins. There has been heat and sunshine each day. The brightness is nearly blinding, difficult to capture but charming to the human eye.
Pulling way back shows the real view. The large trees just outside our property have not leafed out yet, but have begun that process. The sister maple on the other side of the pond, Crimson Queen is behind Garnet in the leaf department as well. You can see how White Feather is like a lighthouse beacon in the garden. Shocking almost.
By April 7, rain is in the forecast and I have been on hyperdrive doing garden chores to catch up to the growth. The pond pump was cleaned and the waterfall reconnected. We pull the tubing for winter to keep the works from freezing and to give oxygen to the fish, Fido and Casey. Even in the rain, white feather is brilliant on the hillside.
This restart requires wading into the pond, which is steeply sloped and lined with uneven rocks that are covered in slimey algae, very slippery. All manner of footwear and get ups have been worn to do this yearly job, but this year sneakers and waterproof pants rather than the neoprene waders worked very well. The water was the warmest it has ever been and our hands were able to fiddle with the tubing while retaining feeling in the fingers. Gloves don’t work for this surgical maneuver and it is often painfully cold. We even sat down in the water, making for a more comfortable back position, a real benefit of ninety degree days. April 8 saw over an inch and one half of welcome precipitation, nice and steady with some thunder but no hail as others received from this weather system. It also brought a thirty degree cool down. This photo and the previous one were taken from inside our bedroom, looking out the open sliders during the rain.
The garden is revived, and not a moment too soon. The flowers look refreshed and happy. Perhaps the hosta will remain white a while longer now, but will eventually turn a solid green. Rain really is a miracle.
The title of this post refers to the two previous stories from years past about this plant and the tree peony that normally blooms around this time. The peony buds are beginning to swell as of this writing. It will be featured when the opening occurs. To view White Feather in 2008 and 2009 click on the links below: