In the past, it's been a struggle to find a blue hosta that kept its color through the summer, but the rounded, silvery-blue leaves on 'Silver Bay' stay true all season. Another new blue, 'Blue Mouse Ears,' has thick, rubbery blue-gray leaves that keep their color and are also slug resistant.
New foliage shapes, like the dark, heavy, almost dart-like green-and-white leaves on 'Sparkler,' help distinguish some new varieties from older ones with similar variegations. 'Surfer Girl' is a medium-green hosta that sets itself apart with wavy, ruffled edges. 'Tropical Dancer' has fluted, piecrust-shaped foliage with creamy-white margins and green centers.
Shown: Planting with a hosta's mature spread in mind makes for a bed that looks full but not overcrowded. Here, the chartreuse leaves of 'Moon Lily' (right) and 'Peedee Gold Flash' are picked up in the margins of 'Sundance' (far left).