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On Gardening: Go for garden gold with Shadowland Coast to Coast hostas

Norman Winter, Tribune News Service on

Published in Gardening News

In a growing season that could have turned into a Southern Hosta Boil, The Garden Guy and son James struck gold with the Shadowland Coast to Coast hosta. This hosta was actually Proven Winners' Hosta of the Year in 2020, but our accolades came this summer.

Whether you consider it a gold selection or a vivid chartreuse, Coast to Coast has the ability to light up the garden. But seriously, the way that this foliage plant handled everything during the summer of 2023 speaks volumes on its toughness, and as the name suggests, this is likely a prized selection recommended from coast to coast.

Shadowland Coast to Coast hosta is recommended for zones 3-9. With maturity it promises to be large, with the potential of over-reaching 30 inches tall and 36 inches wide. Ours are young, but with the promise shown by their rugged nature there will be years of fun enjoyment. They took the heat and city water and had no slugs, so you will certainly fall in love with them at all stages of maturity.

I haven’t been growing hostas very long, and my first planting ideas revolved around combinations of hostas with hostas, as if I were to become a collector. But after a couple of years, The Garden Guy’s real joy comes from using hostas with flowers and contrasting colors of foliage and textures.

Recently I posted a photo on Facebook of Shadowland Miss America hosta, which also proved to be extra tough. It was partnered with Heart to Heart, Flatter Me caladiums. There were comments like "I never thought of hostas and caladiums together." This year James and I both went that direction in our home landscapes.

The first one he created used Shadowland Coast to Coast hosta with Heart to Heart, Burning Heart caladiums with bold red foliage with ColorBlaze Wicked Witch coleus and variegated SunPatiens. The chartreuse gold margins of the coleus and the distinct variegation of the SunPatiens echoed the colorful hosta foliage perfectly.

At my house I used the Shadowland Coast to Coast hosta along a path and partnered with Heart to Heart Raspberry Moon caladium. My partnership was beautiful, and really, quite by accident, as I had never grown this caladium. Its colors of pale chartreuse with raspberry red blotches was perfect. In that area I also used Soprano impatiens, with Let’s Dance blue hydrangeas in the distance.


James also did an unusual combination using Shadowland Coast to Coast hosta: Heart to Heart Burning Heart caladiums and Canary Wing begonias that have a similar color foliage but with reddish-orange blooms. It is a little unusual for us to be reveling in hosta heaven with November staring at us. Our first freeze is in the three-day forecast, but Shadowland Coast to Coast hosta has proven to be an award winner.

Spend some time before sourcing your Shadowland hostas for next spring's planting. Hostas need fertile, rich organic soil that is well drained. If this doesn’t describe your situation, you’ve got plenty of time for soil improvement. While I have been touting caladiums as partners, The Garden Guy’s other hosta-combination favorites are hydrangeas, reblooming azaleas, impatiens, begonias and ferns. Remember, you are the artist!


(Norman Winter is a horticulturist, garden speaker and author of “Tough-as-Nails Flowers for the South” and “Captivating Combinations: Color and Style in the Garden.” Follow him on Facebook. @NormanWinterTheGardenGuy.)

(NOTE TO EDITORS: Norman Winter receives complimentary plants to review from the companies he covers.)

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