H. 'Fragrant Blue'
It's now April 29th 2005 and this is what we have to show for 4 years of 'Fragrant Blue'. Not what you would call an encouraging result: 3 shoots. Most Hostas we have were spread around by division, however, with the very slow growth we get from this one, perhaps we'll refrain from division this year. We'll take a closer look at the root in early spring and with any luck we might be able to divide it in half and have two points per division, WHOOPEE!!!
It's interesting to note that this cultivar, like 'June', is very late going into senescence. In early November it was still without any signs of die-back.
April 10th, 2006 and it looks like we're going to FIVE points after 5 years in the garden, what a disappointment compared to most of the other cultivars we have. I'll keep an eye on these for a couple of weeks and may well be tempted to remove that loner near the top and plant it elsewhere, just to confirm we do not have a location issue.
Alas, things never developed the way I'd thought they would. We're still at 3 plants on this crown. Those two buds you see here sort of heading left and right never amounted to anything at all. Jumped for joy too soon I guess.....
From everything I have read about this cultivar, most everyone is in agreement that you'd be hard pressed to smell the fragrance of the flowers, and it apparently is a vigorous grower. I certainly agree with the first observation, but our sample of this cultivar does seem to have issues with the vigorous part. Regardless of its size I think I'll divide the crown in late spring of '07 and give the new division a different spot and we'll see what happens.
The article I make reference to in my slice-n-dice description talks about a number of cultivars that were used successfully in the Rossizing experiments under scrutiny and 'Fragrant Blue' is one of those. So I'm thinking that perhaps I should take the bull by the horn and Rossize a shoot in '07.
Here it is the middle of June 2006 and you see our 'Fragrant Blue' with some 'Golden Tiara' to the right. I must admit that in spite of all I have said about it, it IS one of my favourite cultivars. It's just that the particular plant we ended up with is so bloody slow to grow....
In the fall of 2006 the bed our lone example of this cultivar resides in was dug over and augmented. In the process of course all the Hostas in this raised bed were lifted and put aside until the job was done. All went back in more or less the same spot they were previously and if you compare this group of shoots with the second picture on this page (which was taken April 10th, 2006), I think you will understand the excitement over seeing this many shoots after 5 years in 2007. It's as if the soil amending that was done has resulted in a major boost to the vigour of this plant.
This comparative leap in size certainly is welcomed and is probably more in line with the reputed vigour of this cultivar. No doubt at this point that I'll lift the plant mid-May or so and divide it, it's just too tempting not to do that.
While it wasn't done mid-May, I did end up dividing the plant in July, primarily in order to get a division for use as a trade with a fellow Hostaholic in Ottawa. The process ended up yielding 3 divisions, two of which were replanted and they continued without seemingly skipping a beat. If they show decent growth in the spring I'll take the largest division and Rossize it to further increase the numbers.
I was rather disappointed with how the divisions fared in 2008 and it looked for a while as if 2009 wouldn't be much better. But I got fooled, there was very nice growth on the one I have potted up -the one planted in the ground is a different story- and not only that, we saw it in bloom AND for the first time ever we have been able to smell the fragrance the flowers produce, it is reminiscent of Freesias, unlike the other fragrant flowered varieties we have which appear to tend to lean towards Gardenias. I'm not quite sure why we are able to smell the fragrance this year, but I have a hunch it is related to the heat we've had all summer long.
By 2011 this division had grown into a nice sized plant. It spent most of that year in a spot where it saw a fair bit of direct morning sun and that seemed to help it in putting on a decent growth spurt, as well as produce a fair number of flowers. It even produced a pod with seemingly viable seed, those we'll try to germinate in 2012. Again the flowers produced that lovely, subtle Freesia fragrance, and I'm curious to find out if that is passed along to its progeny.
By mid-August you can see here how many shoots there are on the crown, a size that is just too nice to resist division, which is what was done in March 2012.
For more information about this variety visit Hugo's Database.