In a mixed border, hostas are useful paired with early spring bulbs, such as anemones and daffodils, so that their large leaves can unfurl to cover the bulbs' spent foliage. Planted with other shade-tolerant perennials, like astilbe, oakleaf hydrangea, phlox, iris, and clematis, solid-color hostas contrast nicely with the red, pink, and purple blooms. Placed with a little care, then virtually ignored, hostas will return bigger and more vigorous for years to come.
Shown: In curving rows, hostas create natural-looking, low-maintenance borders for a large expanse of lawn without hardscape edging. Here, they divide the turf into different outdoor rooms, adding to the feeling of a green oasis.