A mature Northern Exposure is a very large hosta… measuring around three feet high and five or six feet across, or more. The flowers are a light lavender and the leaves are thick with a puckered texture… very large (12 inches) and broad and heart-shaped. In early spring the leaves are a lovely shade of pale greenish blue with a wide irregular creamy yellow border… almost identical in color to the Frances Williams hostas growing nearby… but by late summer the Northern Exposure’s creamy yellow margins have become a light creamy white and the greenish blue leaves have become a cool pale green… and the two hostas no longer look alike.
My first Northern Exposure was a gift. This hosta had just been introduced in 1997, and the next summer my family discovered a new local source of small hosta plants. By sorting through the hostas as each new shipment came in, they were able to keep surprising me all through that summer with many of the hostas I had been wanting for years and could never find.
Northern Exposure is a wonderful hosta to have if you’re interested in growing your own seedlings. It produces seed pods in great quantities and I have found the germination rate to be astounding… but the best thing about this hosta is that its seedlings grow into an amazing variety of different sized hostas with different leaf colors, textures and shapes. My favorite seedling… of all the hosta seedlings I have grown over the years… came from a Northern Exposure and is one of the first seedlings I ever grew from my own collected seeds. This hosta is now larger than its “mother” and has huge puckered leaves that are so dark blue they look black.
I love your blog!
I want this one. I’m just getting interested in growing hostas from seeds and this one sounds really great. It’s so pretty and I really like the very large hostas the best.
I love your hostas! In fact, I think that is how I first stumbled upon your blog – I was looking up information about hostas. Do you have any trouble with deer eating them? I live in a wooded setting similar to your house and I would love to plant them, but I have a herd of deer that stop by and “visit” my yard daily and I’m afraid the hostas would just be snacks! How do you keep yours so lovely?
Shirley (Choosing Voluntary Simplicity)
Kara, we do have deer around all the time, and they have done terrible damage to my sempervivums, but for some reason they have never done as much damage to the hostas. I think it might be perhaps because the deer eat the sempervivums during the winter… usually when there is little snow cover… and of course at that point there is nothing showing of the hostas. I have read of other people having problems with deer eating their hostas, but so far, we have been somewhat lucky here. (Also, we use deer fence for problem areas!!!)