Hostas have become very popular in the garden over the last century. They grow very well in almost complete shade and will form a mass of varied types of leaves. Their colours range from almost true blue to yellow and they can be wrinkled or striped, puckered, pointed, and blunt according to the many types available. Once they are planted they spread well, forming dense clumps which helps keep the weeds down. If the slugs are kept off them when the new shoots appear, they give enjoyment all through the summer. Try growing them in a large container; this will brighten up a dull corner of the garden. The garden Hosta originated in China and Japan. They are also called funkias and more commonly plantain lilies, from the Latin, Planta, meaning “sole of the foot” which the large leaves resemble. They where introduced into Europe after a German eye surgeon Philipp von Seibold sent them back from Japan after accepting Hosta plants as payment for performing the first cataract operation in the country.