Hostas are a shade-garden staple across the gardens of the world. Loved for its foliage in shades of green, yellow and variegated, hostas are available in sizes from a few inches to mounding clumps of 4 feet or more. Once simply known as a plant that could survive anything, hostas are quickly becoming a garden favorite for many homeowners interested in the hundreds of cultivars available. For those interested in showcasing the hosta in their landscape design, a number of books are available to educate the gardener in all aspects of growing and maintaining beautiful hosta plants.
The New Encyclopedia of Hostas, Diana Grenfell and Michael Shadrick (ISBN 0881929603)
The New Encyclopedia of Hostas by Diana Grenfell and Michael Shadrick is a 472-page hardcover digest of all things hosta published by Timber Press. This 2010 release highlights growing tips, landscape ideas and companion planting design for various climate and growing conditions. Coupled with full-color photographs, The New Encyclopedia of Hostas is an updating version of a previous edition, complete now with the latest cultivars and design trends.
Hostas, Gardener's Guide to Growing Series, Diana Grenfell (ISBN 0881923559)
Diana Grenfell, a co-founder of the British Hosta and Hemerocallis Society, has written or co-written a number of informative books on hostas, including the softcover reference book Hostas in Timber Press's Guide to Growing Series. The perfect size to stuff in a pocket or garden bag for easy reference in the field, this book is full of easy-to-digest information for gardeners of all levels and full-color pictures and illustrations. Other titles on hostas by Grenfell include Hostas (Wisely Handbooks), The Color Encyclopedia of Hostas (Timber Press) and The Timber Press Pocket Guide to Hostas.
The Hosta Book, Paul Aden (ISBN 0881922609)
Another Timber Press offering is Paul Aden's The Hosta Book. Aden is known for growing a number of new cultivars of hostas, and his 1992 book was once known as the "definitive guide" to growing the shade plant. With color photographs, most taken from his own private gardens, and tons of information, The Hosta Book is considered a must in any comprehensive gardening book collection.