By Cindy Hadish/for Iowa Gardener
Starting with one plant division from a friend, the gardens of Nancy and Jay McWherter have grown to include an impressive collection of more than 1,000 varieties of hosta, along with tropical plants and more.
Variegated hosta, such as ‘Sagae,’ blues like ‘Blue Mammoth,’ and large-leaf cultivars including ‘Sum and Substance’ and ‘Elatior’ are among hostas of all shapes and sizes that have transformed the McWherters’ land into breathtaking patterns of foliage and flowers.
Equally impressive are the stone paths, winding walkways and stairsteps the McWherters constructed by hand on their wooded lot in Cedar Rapids.
“It was a blank slate,” Nancy said of the property when the couple moved in, nearly two decades ago. “There were no plants at all.” The two spent the first year clearing brush and overgrown trees before their hosta-loving friends offered some plants.
See additional photos and learn more about the hosta gardens in the July/August 2016 issue of Iowa Gardener magazine. Find extensive information on gardening in Iowa by subscribing to the Iowa Gardener.