Hostas To Fortune

A regular blogging friend, Sarah revealed her love of the structurally indomitable plant, the not so humble hosta. That led to me mentioning it was one of the plant types my mother loved and that I had inherited several when she died. Not all have survived and those that have, while remaining magnificent are also one of the battle grounds that feature in my garden.

They are adored by slugs and snails. I have tried everything to eradicate them from the pots. Chemical warfare at which even the boffins at Aldermaston might blanche and may yet see me sequestered to some Putin brain drain camp; eggs shells and gravel when I’ve tried to improve my green credentials; nematodes and slug contraception – damn tricky things to put on, those gastropodoms ; copper rings and woolen pellets. I’ve even popped outside in the dead of night to toss them into the neighbours only to find they ‘home’ and will return the next night.

So I fail but so what? Gardens are about beauty both perennial and fleeting and both are worth the effort. And the fact hostas will go from this….

…to this, the horticultural equivalent of doily making, is but one of those pleasures. The little sods are here for a reason, even if like proselytising doorsteppers and clock obsessed traffic wardens who appear when least wanted their timing sucks.

I penned this little poem – a constanza to give it its posh title – on this very subject… I think it sums up me and these little buggers only too well.

If at any point my life seems drab and stale
My head begins to ache, my heart to harden
I open up my backdoor and go into my garden.
My gaze casts wide and never seems to fail
To find some joy and hopefulness
Amongst the verdant fruitfulness
But then alas, I spot the glitch, the little silver trail
Whose pretty zigzag wanderings
Will start some morbid ponderings
Could it be the bugger’s back? It’s beyond the pale
When you’ve spent so long in eradication
To see that shell is pure vexation
A battle won is not the war, o stubborn little snail
Beating you is a complete lost cause
I’m giving up; I’m off indoors.

As usual, Dog adopts his Standing Pooh Pose: ‘sometimes I sits and thinks and some times I just sits’

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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21 Responses to Hostas To Fortune

  1. Holely hostas, Batman! Dog… you are garden guardian, do something…

    Liked by 2 people

    • TanGental says:

      He’s rather indifferent to them, in truth. I think anything so slow is beneath his dignity to chase. Crows, now, they are more worthy of a frantic sprint and some choleric barking.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. willowdot21 says:

    Lovely hostas, ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The slugs and snails have won again
    they really drive us quite insane
    but hostas will prevail I’m sure
    and show their beauty evermore

    Liked by 1 person

  4. JT Twissel says:

    My problem is with moles! Hate the nasty critters. Try used coffee grounds. I’ve been dumping them in the front garden for about a year now. Snails don’t seem to like them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • TanGental says:

      I think I may have tried coffee but maybe that’s the route to try next year. Thanks fir the tip. And we’ve not had moles here… long may that continue…


  5. I live in snail land, Geoff. This year has been so dry that they haven’t eaten everything in sight, but I can relate to your challenge. I love hostas. I hope yours recover. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Yvonne says:

    Get some ducks. They’ll clean up the snails! Not sure about the snails though. Bonus: free manure!

    Chuckle re: the gastrodoms. The chemist probably had a laugh when you asked him for 20 dozen of them.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. arlingwoman says:

    I read something about foil shocking them, but I think you mention copper and it’s the same principle. Have you tried the tasty shallow bowls of beer? rings of salt around the pots? Or just rings of diatomaceous earth around the pots? (and maybe under the pots, since the devilish little things would hide there)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I also love hostas and helped to grow them quite successfully when I lived in Michigan. I read this idea and used it for many years: mix ammonia half and half with water (I have also used it full strength) and pour on the ground around the hostas when they first come up in the spring. This will kill the eggs of the slugs that live in the roots of the plants during the winter! It works!

    Liked by 2 people

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