Happy Hollow- Hosta Mecca

Hosta Heaven
Hosta Heaven

Do you want a  garden trip to a run of the mill big box store? Or do you want personal attention? And do you have shady areas in your garden that need TLC and need the ideal plant for that perfect spot? Look no further than Happy Hollow nursery in Cockeysville, MD. Specializing in hostas and other shade loving plants, Sue Bloodgood grows the most extensive collection of hostas around and can share excellent advice on plantings in difficult shady areas that you are scratching your head about.

Selections of miniature Hostas at Happy Hollow
Selections of miniature Hostas at Happy Hollow

Carrying over 200 hosta varieties, Happy Hollow nursery is tucked away in a suburban neighborhood in Cockeysville, MD, and a great place to see the many varieties of Hostas. These can vary from tiny plants suitable for troughs or rock gardens to massive 4-foot clumps with heart-shape leaves almost 2 feet long that are puckered, wavy-edged, white or green variegated, blue-gray, chartreuse, emerald-edged — the variations are virtually endless. This tough, shade-loving perennial, also known as plaintain lily, blooms with white or purplish lavender funnel-shape or flared flowers in summer which are attractive to pollinators.

Sue Bloodgood surveying her dizzying array of hostas
Sue Bloodgood surveying her dizzying array of hostas
A tray of miniature hostas showing the variety that the 'littles' come in
A tray of miniature hostas showing the variety that the ‘littles’ come in

Two large greenhouses full to the brim with hostas and other shade companion plants, like Brunnera, Pulmonaria, Tricyrtus, and shade grasses, Sue carries many unusual and hard to find plants, like “Praying Hands” Hosta.

Praying Hands Hosta
Praying Hands Hosta

Praying Hands is a 2′ wide clump composed of strangely folded, dark green crinkled leaves, each with a narrow, creamy yellow border which resembles a multitude of hands folded in prayer.

Praying Hands Hosta
Praying Hands Hosta

I went to Happy Hollow when I needed some miniature hostas for some clients. My local wholesaler carried about 3 varieties of minis and I needed more. Sue Bloodgood carried at least 2 dozen varieties of minis and it was hard to choose from them all.

I was designing plantings for a boulder garden in the shade and wanted miniature hostas
I was designing plantings for a boulder garden in the shade and wanted miniature hostas

 I fell in love with one of her hostas, called ‘Striptease’ and had to take one home.

hos.jpg
Hosta ‘Striptease”
Hostas are the perfect foil for so many plants
Hostas are the perfect foil for so many plants

 

 Boutique nurseries are becoming more and more popular when you are looking for something unusual and the selection at the big box stores can be limited. I haven’t seen miniature hostas other than ‘Mouse Ears’ or the one pictured above called ‘Striptease’ anywhere before, and I do a lot of plant shopping. Catering to a small segment of the discerning buying public, boutique nurseries are struggling to stay in business and are competing with larger nurseries that carry a little bit of everything. But Happy Hollow doesn’t sell fertilizer, pots, or bird houses – they simply sell the best hostas anywhere. And for personal attention and advice for gardening in the shade, stop in at Happy Hollow Nursery.

Hosta "Mouse Ears" is adorable!
Hosta “Mouse Ears” is adorable!

For more ideas on shady ground covers, go to my post “From the Ground Up-Choosing the Right Ground Cover For Shade “.

A simple ground cover of hostas can be very effective-Blue Cadet
A simple ground cover of hostas can be very effective-Blue Cadet
Millbourne 176
This one is Kabitan

 For more info on Happy Hollow Nursery, go to https://www.facebook.com/pages/Happy-Hollow-Nursery-hours-10-5-Wed-Sun-call-for-special-appointment/1459714117597679?fref=ts

10 Replies to “Happy Hollow- Hosta Mecca”

  1. I love hostas and plan to get a few for a shady corner under a tree. I don’t like big box plants, I go 45 minutes down the road to a nursery. I’ll go back again soon. Need more plants. Must do some work on hard scape first. Box stores carry plants that won’t necessarily work in your specific zone. Silly people.

  2. I never met a Hosta I didn’t love which is evidenced by the hundreds I have – way too many. I think I’m a charter member of the Hosta Anonymous Club. 🙂 The box stores are interesting as noted above when they sell plants a month too early to survive or varieties that will not live in the zone they’re sold in.

  3. Claire,
    What a wonderful article on the Happy Hollow Nursery and “Hosta Sue”. She has a beautiful selection of great Hostas, which if you are a collector of these magnificent plants, you must visit the nursery. Sue will entertain you with beguiling stories of Hostas and nature. And, if you are from the Baltimore area, she will no doubt know someone you know….Smallmore.
    Ann C

  4. My friend Jeannie and I had a delightful visit with Hosta Sue and found some beautiful hosta and some garden ornaments too. Sue is very knowledgeable and has a great selection of hosta and other plants. Well worth the short trip!!
    Nancy Young

  5. I’m a hosta lover, too! Not a fan of deer and voles! I watched a hosta disappear down a hole once. Now when I plant I use Vole Tec..(I think it is) so the little sharp stones discourage the threat below ground. I have some miniature hostas that started out normal. I’ve wondered if voles had munched roots, or if the soil has a deficiency….any thoughts?

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