Pacific Northwest

May, 2008
Regional Report

Shows & Events

Portland Rose Festival
Portland's annual Rose Festival is Oregon's largest community event, with three major parades, an international rose show, an auto race, and an air show. Rose gardens throughout the city are bursting with blooms, and an indoor rose show featuring more than 2000 blooms will be hosted by the Portland Rose Society. There's entertainment galore for the whole family. Portland Rose Festival has activities planned throughout the months of June and July. For details of all the events visit the festival's official Web site at: http://www.rosefestival.org.

Favorite or New Plant

Hosta 'Great Expectations'
Few plants light up the shade more than variegated hostas, but they do have a drawback. On many cultivars, the variegation's bright color can become muddy or fade to green by midsummer. One hosta cultivar that lives up to the promise of its coloration is 'Great Expectations'.

This plant is comparatively slow growing but reaches 2 feet tall and 4 feet wide once it matures in about five years. Its leaves are thick and puckered, giving the plant substantial presence even when young. But its best quality is the extraordinary butter yellow color of its leaf heart, which does not fade from the time they unfurl until they're nipped by frost.

The fower color is another plus. Many hostas with yellow leaf variegation produce lavender flowers. 'Great Expectations' produces tall scapes of white flowers in late June and July.

'Great Expectations' is happiest in moist but well-drained soil that is slightly acidic. It will grow in heavy soil but it takes longer to become established. Like most hostas, 'Great Expectations' thrives in light shade. It does best if exposed to direct sunlight only during the early morning hours.

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