Gardening Gone Wild: Picture This, Nov. 2009

This marks the last monthly Picture This photo contest at garden blog Gardening Gone Wild [at least, the last for 2009]. I’ve been admiring the work of the winners over the past months, but thought this time: you can’t win if you don’t enter. So, here’s my entry.

This month’s theme is “End of the Line,” which can be interpreted literally with linear form and metaphorically with an image that symbolizes the end of the growing season.

This hosta was just catching the late afternoon light when I took this shot, making the sunlight seem to run down the drain of the petiole. Some hostas colour better in fall than others. These are the fairly substantial leaves of my blue-leafed Hosta tokudama which seem to have come through the slug-fest of Summer 2009 unscathed. Not all the leaves on the plant have this degree of colouration. It happened to be a case of the right leaf at the right time.


  1. I would certainly vote for this shot, Helen! Thanks for telling which hosta it is too. I was wondering why some have better fall color than others. Do you think it is the substance of the leaves? It would be worth seeking out and properly placing those types for the fall show. This photo is amazing! 🙂

  2. Thanks, Frances. I was wondering if it colours in such a rich yellow because this is a blue-leaf hosta. The leaves are certainly less papery come fall than some.

    But perhaps the richness of the yellow and tan this year was more due to this summer's rainy weather. Hosta tokudama really put on a show in 2009, all season long, with lots of leaves and a ton of flower scapes. So it could be that this year it was just really, really healthy (not struggling as much usual in its dry part-shade position).

  3. helen, Your photo is excellent…. It was only in the last few years that I have begun to appreciate hosta's beautiful fall coloration. It's too dry here and most hostas have faded away to tiny little slips of their former selves. Good luck in the show! gail

  4. Lovely photo. The depth of the color is amazing. I don't think I've seen a hosta turn that golden without being all splotchy and tattered.

  5. What a beautiful entry! I know very little about hostas, except that they have such beautiful, large leaves. We cannot grow them here in the Arizona desert, where most of our plants have tiny leaves which help them handle the heat.

  6. That's a lovely photo, it just seems to glow. I prize the autumnal tints of Hostas. Mine are all toast now. It does seem that Hostas with greater substance have better fall coloration than thinner leaves.

  7. Wow, everyone, thanks for your kind words. There are some excellent photos in this November's contest, so I'll just cross my fingers.

    GGW is now considering whether to continue the Picture This contest over the winter, and I hope they do. If you agree, head over there and leave a comment when you look at all the submissions. Ideas for winter themes are also being offered.

  8. Helen girl !!! You are a "Gold Winner" congratulations and wow .. I haven't been following this (too busy here) BUT I am so happy to see that you won : ) and that picture was amazing .. you make me want to hold my breath and really SEE what I photograph .. simplicity , lighting and the exact perfect moment (which evaporates so quickly) is the KEY !
    Thank you for teaching me by way of this picture that all is possible with the right timing and patience : )

  9. Holy Toledo, no one could be more surprised (and thrilled) to win this contest. Thanks to everyone for your comments. It's an honour to wear the badge on our blog. All I can say is, Wow!

    Joco, Joy and Rosey, yes, I was so lucky with my timing. It was just at the "magic hour" in the afternoon, when everything seems to take on that extra glow.

    Jean, Yes, you're so right. You don't have a chance if you don't enter… I hope all would-be winners remember that important step. I know I will.

  10. Helen, congrats on your win!!! And congrats on seeing the autumnal beauty in a simple hosta leaf. Hostas are beloved here, too, and we love their autumn color. But you've made them stars! Hopefully now more gardeners will be inspired to grow them for three-season interest. Well done!!! (Oops, more exclamation points, what can I say… )

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