Hosta By Kelley

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hosta in non-landscape arrangements

Hosta have Five (5) basic predators: deer, rabbits, voles, moles, and slugs.  The housing for these plants would be indoors.  This would defend against the first four (4) of the animals above.  The proposal also has a plan to defend against slugs (discussed later). The planting arrangements for this arboretum would be in raised beds so that persons with disabilities would have a better chance to observe these plants 'up-close', and so that gardening staff would have less stress on their bodies as they worked to maintain the gardens.

Garden Plots

So often we look at hosta, and forget that each and every variety is unique and special look to it.  To force the viewer to look for these characteristics hosta need to be arranged in display arrangements, rather than in landscape arrangements.  Varieties would be planted in either 4 x 4 foot or 8 ft. 3 in. x 8 ft. 3 in garden 'plots'.  The range in hosta diameter (at this time) is from 6 inches to 9 feet.

Raised Beds

These plots would be in groups of 22 plants which would be structured as raised bed gardens.  Each plot would be separated from the next to prevent hosta from becoming over crowded between varieties; and attempt to resuce the chance of spreading deceases, virus, infections between varieties.

Garden Sections

The above mentioned Raised Beds would then be grouped into a 'Section' of 21 Raised Beds.  The appearance of these sections might be reminiscent to a fin on an old fashioned wind vane used to pump water on farms.

Arboretum Collection

 Each Section would be replicated 26 times to permit space for a total of 12,012 plants for the Arboretum Collection.  These Sections would be arranged to be in a circle or "wheel".

The Fish Tanks

 As fish naturally produce fertilizer, four tanks would be placed on the outer perimeter which would be drawn from and rotated between over the course of the year.

Plant Maintenance

General Care

While the maintenance for Hosta is pretty easy.  Maintenance comes in two phases: Growing Season, and Fall Cut Back.  Small gardens csn manage this by human labor easily, however NAHA would turn this into a Herculean task.  The solution may be in the technology known as "FarmBot".

The philosophy of FarmBot is that 'the gardener watches the plants as equipment care for the plants'.   What this means for NAHA is that FarmBot can water, and weed the Hosta as curators maintain the plants.    This ought to reduce the number of staff needed to be hired by NAHA.  AT the end of the growing season the same FarmBot technology ought to be able to go back into the Plots, cut the plants back, and take the foliage to a dehydration station.

The dehydration would send the water back to the fish, and the solid material ought to be able to be ground to mulched,  and re-spread back on the plot for next year.  This becomes one line of defense against slugs.

Propagation of divisions would still have to be done by hand.


Plant Records ...

Just as maintenance would become a huge problem, so would record-keeping of plant spiking, flowering blooming and bloom fade.  Even this dreamer is not perfect at keeping records like that.  The solution may come from two codependent technologies.

The first technology is stop motion photography.  This process will help some understand how hosta physically grow!  It is the hoped that NAHA will keep in archive 10 years of stop motion photography for EACH variety in the collection.  This length of time should be able to demonstrate the full cycle of a hosta growth.  From first plant division, to Fairy Ring, to natural division.

These same photos should be able to be scanned by object recognition systems to spot spikes coming up, to scape appearances, to first and last flowers. to final fade of the scapes; and then send each observations over to a database for recording.

Building Design

The design base is inspired from the Eden Project in England.  That project uses a hexigonic design rather than geodesic or monodesic design principles.

While the building itself keeps out predators that eat and/or may destroy hosta, the indoor design will also do some other things for the collection as well.

  • Provide a metered control of shade and sunlight.
  • Provide a controlled environment for temperature.
  • Provide a controlled space for the simulation of the winter season.
  • Retain and return moisture from the air to the fish tanks [using dehumidifiers].
  • The later three points also become part of the slug prevention program used at NAHA.

The buildings exterior, driveways, and sidewalks would collect rain, and snow water to be processed and the directed into the Fish Tanks in the hopes that city water would not have to drawn on.  The pie-in-the-sky goal is the in have an enclosed water system evolve which can sustain both hosta and fish!

Alternate energy of solar and wind power would be used for other power needs of NAHA.  The writer doubts that water movement would be sufficient to produce that power needed at the site.


Water Management

Viewers of this presentation will notice four fish tanks in the drawings.  This is neither an aesthetic statement nor a over embellishment.  The four tanks would be cyclically used over the months.  Their use would be for:

  • Current Fish holding.
  • NEXT holding tank for the fish (aka the clean water tank).
  • The tank being cleaned (the empty tank).
  • Water usage tank (Fish water being used to water plants).

As fish are advanced forward in the tanks the tank designation changes.  After four shifts the fish return to the first tank.  Shifts might occur between 60 to 91 days depending on the time of year.  Fish movement would be done by old fashioned canal lock and damn theory.

Why does the project need fish?  Fish provide the fertilizer but they also produce the ammonia naturally that can kill slugs.   When the ammonia decomposes it also aides in the rhizome growth of hosta.

Plant Name Menu Codes:

In Gardner's collection:  green.

In Collection but is an unregistered sport: BLUE.

Past Plants that are no longer in the collection: Brown.

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