Sunday, May 22, 2011

A Surprise Visit to Hallson Gardens

Several years ago, when I was on a big hosta kick, I came across Hallson Gardens online. They're located on US 127 in Michigan, just south of Jackson, near Cement City, which isn't all that far from us, but far enough that I didn't want to make a trip up there just to visit the gardens. At that time, I was on a mad search for 'Blue Mouse Ears', which I eventually found.

Friday afternoon, when I was on my way home from the Garden Writers Region III annual meeting, held at Hidden Lakes Gardens near Tipton, MI, I went right past Hallson's. I saw the sign too late to turn in, but at the next intersection, I turned around and went back. I'm so glad I did.

I spent the next hour and a half walking in a huge patchwork garden filled with mostly hostas, but also some other choice perennials. Both Brian Hall and Chris Wilson, owners of Hallson Gardens (get the name?), were so enjoyable to talk with, which just added to my shopping experience.

Up on a deck, which you come to first, they have plants potted up, but so many more are in the gardens themselves, which look like a giant quilt when looking down from the deck. I found a few plants for purchase before I walked down to the gardens, including an orange bearded iris ('Avalon Sunset') and a dwarf iris ('Boo').

Once I started going up and down the rows in the gardens, I was rather overwhelmed by the variety of hostas these guys have! Amazing. I picked out a few ('Paradise Island', 'Hi Ho Silver', and 'Frosted Mouse Ears') and then I came upon one that stopped me dead in my tracks.

'Winter Lightning'
Since prices aren't marked on the hostas in the field (you have to ask), I called Chris over to inquire about 'Winter Lightning'. As soon as he saw which one had captivated me, he said, "Ahhh, you've found one of the most expensive hostas in the garden." Well, of COURSE I did! It was $40 and while I'm sure it's worth every penny of that when it comes to hostas, I'd already "spent my wad," as my mom says.

In the end, I came away from Hallson's with a couple of plant crates of hostas, irises, a daylily, a double-flowering Kerria japonica, and a yellow trillium. The Kerria was an interesting choice in that I'd just seen a single-flowering one at Hidden Lakes Gardens - the very first time I'd ever seen a Kerria of any type in bloom.

Thanks go out to Chris and Brian for running a top-notch business that has earned a spot in the Garden Watchdog Top 30 and the Top 5 in Hostas at Dave's Garden. I'll be sure to stop when I'm in the area again.


Unknown said...

Oh..I'm full of envy over Winter Lightning!
I would love to visit Hallson Gardens. A bit too far for me.

Darla said...

I too am glad you turned around. Thanks for sharing, never thought about how many hostas there are. That's a big price for one hosta huh?

Erin @ The Impatient Gardener said...

Well that's a lovely little accidental side trip isn't it? Hallsons always has great stuff online and while I can't remember if I've ordered from them I have some hosta friends who do frequently. Always fun to check out a new nursery.

Boy, you've been on the road a lot lately!

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