Garden Design

If you have a particular shade/part shade space or garden where you need some assistance in planning out the area, we would be glad to help. For smaller areas, we encourage our patrons to bring a drawing of the space. Please include the measurements of the area and any specific plants or other features that will influence how the area will be planted. When you come to the Hosta Hideaway, we will help you lay out the space with different hostas that will enhance your gardens. We have years of experience pairing many different hostas within a variety of garden areas. However, we also find it helpful to sit and talk about the garden space so that each customer adds their likes to the decision-making process, and therefore each space tends to be a unique creation. If you have a larger area or think you may want some extended assistance, you may want to contact us ahead of time and come at an hour when you can have our undivided attention. We are glad to help our customers and therefore these basic services are free. For those who have a very large planting area, we can bring a large selection of plants and help lay out the garden at your property. We charge a small fee for this service depending on the size of the area you are planting and the distance we have to travel. Although we do not do the plantings (we may make recommendations), our customers have appreciated being able to have us help lay out their gardens. We certainly can lay out any size garden area while you are visiting the Hosta Hideaway. We have helped customers needing to pick out a specific hosta for a prominent garden space to customers needing assistance in planting an area that may require up to a hundred plants or more.  When you visit the Hosta Hideaway, please let us know how we can best help meet your needs.

We hope that the following ideas will inspire you as you plan and design your gardens. Remember we can help you with plants and other garden features to create a unique garden sanctuary.

One way to create a themed garden is to plant hosta varieties that have names that can create a theme. For example, you could create a patriotic garden by planting hostas with patriotic names like “Liberty”, “Patriot”, “Victory” or “Minuteman” to name a few. You can get creative by adding flags or by also planting red, white and blue flowers. Can you name other hostas that would fit in this garden? Here are some ideas for other themed gardens. In a “naughty” garden you could plant hostas such as “Striptease”, “Risky Business” or “Marilyn Monroe”. Or for a “nautical” themed garden you could plant such hostas as “Hudson Bay”, “Tidewater”, “Humpback Whale” or “Queen of the Seas” as examples. In our nautical garden we have some of the hostas planted in an old rowboat to add some elevation. With over 8,000 hosta varieties there are many different themed gardens you can create to add interest to your garden spaces. Let us help you with themes and hosta ideas and statuary for your garden.

It is important to think about creating different focal points when planning your gardens. Certainly, you want to look over your whole garden and see its beauty, but you also want to scan your gardens and see areas that specifically catch your eye. There are many ways to create focal points including adding benches or other artwork. Unique or oversized planters are also great ideas. Of course, a giant hosta can also be a major focus. And statuary is often used as a focal point in the hosta garden. Usually, when you see a piece of statuary in a garden that is a focal point it evokes some type of reaction like “that is cute”, or “that is unusual”. You want to evoke some type of reaction or positive emotion in people viewing the feature. We use focal points all over the gardens to draw people into different areas so they can experience the uniqueness of each space. Here are a few pointers- it is helpful to elevate statuary or art pieces so that the hosta leaves act as a base. You can use stones or purchase a stand to provide elevation. Sometimes creating a theme with the pieces you are using helps create interest and focus. For example, you may want to add several statues of animals typically found in the woods in your area, or you may want to add items that are typically found in a Japanese garden such as pagodas or Japanese lanterns. Also, with large hostas use larger statuary or art, and with smaller hostas use smaller pieces. Generally smaller statues cost between $30-$100, and larger statues between $100-$300. Statues or other unique finds are great focal points, and are a reasonable investment for lasting beauty. But also be creative as there are many ways to create focal points. And remember, The Hosta Hideaway carries a large selection of statuary and art for your garden needs.

Not only do gardens showcase the beauty of creation, but gardens are also a place to be creative, and are a form of expression. And each part of our gardens can reflect a different side of who we are and what we may want to enjoy or share. The idea of a memorial garden is nothing new, as we all have passed by or visited a cemetery. A few years ago we went to Arlington National Cemetery where my uncle David is buried, and where JFK is also interred. There, we were able to reflect, but we also enjoyed the beautiful, landscaped gardens. So, why not create a memorial garden within your own garden space. We may want to create a memorial garden for the loss of a loved one or friend, or even a special pet. I suggest one of the best places to pick is within the hosta garden where you can spend time reflecting in the shade of an overlying tree. Start with a space that may be quiet or away from the other areas. Think about what you want the space to look like or to communicate. Maybe add a statue of an angel, a fountain, birdbath or even of a statue of dog or cat that will be that special reminder. Personally, I like to add a lot of medium and large hostas that will make the area look full and peaceful, a nice balance between thinking of those who have passed and the beauty of life. Here at The Hosta Hideaway we are always willing to consult in making your gardens an enjoyable place of serenity and peace – just ask.

Japanese gardens are some of the most beautiful and peaceful gardens to enjoy. However, developing your own Japanese garden takes significant skill, time, energy, and resources. But knowing the right elements to use in creating a Japanese space can help in developing uniqueness in your garden that at least has the style of a more traditional Japanese oasis. Common elements in Japanese styled gardens include water, including fountains, ponds, and streams, gravel and stone, rock, specific architecture, bridges, strolling paths, stone-lanterns and pagodas, statues, benches, fences and gates, and plants such as hostas, Japanese maples and pines, bamboo, moss, and flowers. The Japanese also utilize the natural contours of the landscape to develop flow and unique spaces.

Hostas are a natural plant selection for a Japanese garden because the plants are thought to have originated in the mountain slopes of Japan. And, according to the Seattle Japanese Garden website, hosta leaves are also represented in Japanese art and are displayed in Japanese architecture and landscape structures. Additionally, the hosta’s distinct foliage and flowers provide color and beauty for the Japanese garden throughout the growing season. The bell-shaped blooms also attract hummingbirds, butterflies and bees, an important aspect of oriental gardening.

Adding a few elements from a Japanese garden can help create unique scenery in your garden where you can find peace and tranquility. Here at The Hosta Hideaway, we can help you to design a garden utilizing aspects from Japanese gardens such as hostas, statuary, lanterns, pagodas, benches, fountains, planters, and other unique garden finds.

Rocks in your Garden
At the Hosta Hideaway Nursery and Gardens of York Springs, PA, we enjoy helping to plan gardens with our customers and we also like sharing ideas to enhance your landscape. So here are ten suggestions to improve your hosta garden utilizing rocks.

1. Using rocks to address a slope in the landscape. At The Hosta Hideaway we utilize rocks in several ways to address sloping issues in the garden. Building a stone retaining wall is the most dramatic. But less difficult methods like creating a series of smaller rock terraces and through strategically placing small boulders on the hillside along with deliberate plantings of medium to giant hostas to hold back the soil on the incline can be just as effective.

2. Using stones or rocks to create pathways in the garden. Three specific methods we use include lining both sides of a path with stones to define the walkway, placing smaller, usually ¾ inch stones on the pathway to keep the area free of weeds or other plants, and using paver stones to walk on and define the pathway.

3 Using stones to create a raised bed in the garden. Creating elevation in the garden provides opportunities to create depth and add focal points within the garden space.

4. Using rocks to create a platform for showcasing art or statuary in the garden space. Usually, elevating statuary or garden art above the hostas keeps the pieces from being hidden by the plants. Although finding nice size flat rocks can sometimes be challenging, utilizing stones or boulders as a base for statuary can help the art seem like a more natural fit in the garden

5. Using stones as sculpture. Finding larger rocks and boulders with interesting shapes, or strategically piling stones on top of each other can become an interesting sculpture all by itself in the garden.

6. Using stones to add texture, form, shape and color. One of the benefits of stone is that it comes in so many shapes, colors and sizes and therefore adding rocks to a garden can easily change the look of a space. As an example, shortly after opening The Hosta Hideaway we removed the mulch from our pathways and replaced it with red stone. The addition of the red stone against the blue, green and yellow leaf colors of the hostas created a beautiful contrasting effect.

7. Using stones to create a rock garden. Adding hostas between rocks in the garden maximizes the visual interest of the hostas through creating a unique blend of texture, shapes, color and scale. My favorite plants to use in rock gardens are miniature and small hostas.

8 Using boulders to enhance a water feature. Since stones are naturally found around streams and rivers, strategically placed stones and rocks can enhance any water feature. They also create a nice barrier between the water and your hostas.

9 Using stones to create rooms in the garden. Stones can be used to create and define spaces such as a patio area, a fire pit, or even just a sitting or contemplation space in the garden. Additionally, stones can be used to transition between the lawn and your garden areas.

10. Using the garden to showcase favorite stones. And finally, I am pretty sure that I am not the only one who collects interesting stones during my travels, and what better place to showcase those stones than in the hosta garden. We have collected lava rock, quartz, marble, pretty granite pieces, rocks imbedded with fossils, and river rocks to name a few, and we have placed these treasures among the hostas. And it is always fun seeing those special rocks that bring back fond memories of our travels.

We hope these few suggestions get your mind thinking about how to enhance your present gardens and where you can envision new gardens in your landscape utilizing rocks and of course hostas! And we are always glad to help plan your hosta gardens at The Hosta Hideaway so come visit us during the season.

At The Hosta Hideaway Nursery and Gardens of York Springs PA anytime is a good time to plan and plant a hosta garden. So here are five basic concepts to get you started.

First, think about the size and shape of the garden you want to create. Take measurements and create a garden map (either on paper or digitally). Then place existing features and plants into the design to be able to visualize the size of the garden you intend to fashion. This is usually the first and most useful step in planning the garden.

Next, observe the area during different times of the day to determine the amount of sunlight each area receives over the course of the day. Look at the proposed garden areas every two to three hours starting at 9AM until 6PM and note when and how much sun each area receives. Then document this information on your garden map (example- area #1 receives three hours of direct sun from 9AM until Noon). This is a very important step in the planning of a hosta garden since certain hostas perform better in sunnier spots while others prefer dappled sun ( generally, even sun loving hostas will show stress over the course of the season in more than six hours of direct sunlight in a day). And when visiting The Hosta Hideaway we can utilize this information to assist in picking hostas that will perform best in each area.

Third, decide on the type of garden that you want to establish. Generally, formal gardens are more angular with linear plantings and repeating patterns. Informal gardens tend to be curvaceous and random. Although the space may play a role in the type of garden you create, it is also okay to blend the garden types to create patterns that flow into randomness ( for example, having a patterned border of small hostas and more random plantings of medium hostas in back).

Next, think about any features you may want to add to the space such as a statue, a bench, a water feature or even a piece of garden art. This adds personality and character to the space because it helps showcase your interests and desires for your garden. Add this information to your map.

And finally, Identify how the garden will be seen. Will the garden have a specific front, or will it be seen from multiple angles. You may want to look at the space up close and from a distance, as that may impact  which areas may be most visable and important to feature. This information will help determine where to plant the larger hostas, and where you may want to feature the ones with the most unique leaf structure or color, and where to best locate statues or other garden art.

And know that The Hosta Hideaway Nursery and Gardens of York Springs PA is always willing to assist with your garden design. So bring this information with you when you visit, along with photos of the area and one of our design experts will be glad to sit with you to finalize the design and help you pick out the perfect plants, statuary, and garden art for your project. Additionally, The Hosta Hideaway always has a nice selection of statuary, and an extensive selection of hostas available for your gardens.

Developing a Contemplation Garden
Here at The Hosta Hideaway Nursery and Gardens of York Springs PA we see gardens as an excellent place to relax and to reflect, and creating a Contemplation Garden within your landscape can be an excellent opportunity to enhance that experience. So here are a few ideas to get you started. First, pick a quiet space within the landscape and define the area by establishing a boundary with rocks or other materials, or through the natural topography of the landscape. Additionally, I would encourage a shady spot in the garden where you can sit and reflect any time during heat of the summer.

Also, although the area does not need to be large, there should be a space that is flat so that you can place a bench for sitting. Adding other pieces such a fountain, birdbath, lantern or a figural piece like an angel or a bird can enhance the  tranquility of the place. Then, picking the right plants for the space is important, and hostas are a great choice because they make the area lush and peaceful. I like using medium and large hostas to create fullness and beauty. Additionally, picking a few hostas that have stunning and fragrant flowers will add additional elements to the contemplation garden.

Finally, be creative and add a piece of art you created or purchased, place the collection of rocks you found to remind you of those places where you discovered them, or add some planters for a splash of your favorite color. And then make sure you take time each week to sit in the area and relax, and to ponder those things for which you are thankful. Here at The Hosta Hideaway we are always willing to consult with you to make your gardens an enjoyable place of serenity and peace – just ask.

And remember, The Hosta Hideaway has 100’s of varieties of hostas for sale along with a nice collection of statuary and garden art. The Hosta Hideaway is located at 95 Sequoia Court, York Springs, PA and our hours are Monday thru Friday 9AM-6PM and Saturday 9AM-3PM during the season.