About Favorite Perennials.com

Learn about Favorite Perennials.com.

Hello, my name is Judi Ruedy and I have been a Master Gardener Volunteer for about 20 years and have been involved in a local garden club since 1975. My love for Hostas started a long time ago before I knew anything about growing anything, and Hostas were not in vogue.

Judi-Ruedy-200I created this website specifically for zone 4 Northern gardeners that need help finding perennials specific to their growing area. So much information out there on the web doesn’t apply to our colder growing climate, so I thought I would share my own findings here on this site. This site concentrates on the West Central Wisconsin area along with parts of Eastern Minnesota.

My Story

One spring day shortly after we purchased our first farm, I found a very tiny plant growing by the side of our house. It didn’t look like a weed so I let it grow. (I didn’t know anything about weeds or perennials at that time, only how to mow the lawn!

The plant turned out to be a Hosta ‘Lancifolia’ of which my mother in law had dug the mother plant and moved it to her new place. I asked her about it and she didn’t know what it was called, but I did see this large green plant at her house later that summer and knew that was a gorgeous thing to have.  I was happy  that there was a bit of it still growing in my yard.  Little did she know what that one little plant would do to me in the years to come!

I started checking seed catalogs and deemed it to be a Hosta ‘Lancifolia’ and that there were others varieties like this, one called Blue Giant, which was actually ‘Elegans’, and, the usual green and white one, ‘Undulata Albomarginata’, the size about 18” tall, and the shorter white and green one, ‘Undulata Univittata’. Then there was one called ‘Aoki’ which promised to have pink flowers. (I have never seen any pink flowers yet, but it is a very hardy dark green, medium size Hosta!  I still have a large clump of that Hosta.

But Hosta ‘Lancifolia’ thrived and has few holes from insects or slugs and doesn’t burn in the sun!) And, it flowered in shade too! I had a lot of shade with large pine trees and maples and at that date, many Elms on the lawn. (My Mother-in-Law loved to plant trees over the years!)

I let the small ‘Lancifolia’ Hosta plant grow for a few years and then divided it into 12 tiny plants and put them, where else, but in a long row by the side of the garage! I had no knowledge of any landscaping ideas at that point but I was on my way! They thrived and have been divided many times since then and have sold many plants at Garden Club and Master Gardener sales as well as giving to friends willingly.

Then I started checking out seed catalogs and also in the back of gardening magazines and discovered nurseries that sold Hostas mail order and they did well in shade too! Well, Heaven here I come! One variety, Tiny Tears, is a stoloniferous mini and I have a border around one whole bed of these little darlings. In mid to late July they have gorgeous, dark purple flowers and are superb.

One Nursery was Shady Oaks Nursery in Waseca, MN, and one was Busse Gardens in Big Lake, Mn, and also Savory’s Gardens in Edina, MN.( Shady Oaks is not in business any longer.) However, there are many others to check out.

I searched and ordered many plants for $5.00 and under.  (Money was not in great supply then). They thrived to say the least. I probably still have 90% of them growing in my yard now. And, over the years have ordered from other good mail order companies too, one being Klehm’s Song Sparrow Nursery in Wisconsin, and Northern Grown Perennials in Ferryville, WI, and House of Hosta near Green Bay, WI, to name only a few. In the past 3-4 years, I have found In The Country Gardens and Gifts in Iowa, and Hostas Direct in Minneapolis! Both places I have ordered Hostas from and am very happy with what they sent.

In the past 10 years, we have been very fortunate as locally owned garden centers have sprung up in our area of Wisconsin and now there is an abundance of Hostas available. One, Reed’s Valley Trees and Hostas is only about 4 miles from me! And the owners belong to my Garden Club! How lovely is that?? They have planted the woodsy area around their home in Hostas with easy walking paths and have landscaped many areas.

There is also Shades of Green Nursery in West Salem, WI that have a huge display of many old large clumps as well as Cottage Grove Nursery in West Salem, WI also.  Of course, all the nurseries sell other perennials too, shade as well as sun-loving ones.

There is way too many to choose from. They are all so lovely.

I hope you enjoy my website and come back and visit it often!

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