Jessica Walliser
May 19, 2011

Designer Genes hosta
Photo by Jessica Walliser
My favorite plant find at the May Mart is the Designer Genes hosta.

Our local botanical garden hosted its annual May Mart last week so of course I made a trip to have a little lookie. In true form, I left with the back of my car full of plants. I like to tell myself it’s for a good cause. (It is! Really, I swear.)

I found a beautiful Acanthus (bear’s breeches) plant in a gallon pot for $10. I’ve wanted one since I saw a large, absolutely breathtaking specimen in the parking lot at Fellow’s Riverside Garden outside Cleveland, Ohio, a few years ago. I don’t know where I’m going to put it yet, but I can promise you it will have a choice position somewhere in the garden.

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I also got a new deep-pink butterfly bush and a handful of heirloom tomato transplants, including the Cosmonaut Volkov, Snow White, Pineapple and Green Zebra varieties.

But my best find was at the Pittsburgh Hosta Society booth. I got two beautiful Designer Genes hostas. In my humble opinion, the market is so saturated with hostas, many of which no one but the breeder could ever manage to tell apart. Sometimes, I think they come up with new ones just so they can figure out some fancy name for them. But the Designer Genes hosta is so very different from any other hosta I’ve ever seen. It has brilliant chartreuse yellow leaves with deep-burgundy stalks. Sooo cool. These will go above the new retaining wall we’re going to build, where the pond used to be. It’s the perfect location for an incredible plant. I can’t wait to watch it grow.

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