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Hosta ‘Paradigm’
     A “model” perennial

Hosta ‘Paradigm’ is an excellent perennial, a top notch variety that has consistently performed well in our trials. It is a highly valued Gold Medal™ member of our Garden Splendor® line up, so it came as no surprise to us when it was selected as Hosta of the Year for 2007.

Hardiness Zone
Light Preference
Plant Height
Plant Spread
USDA Hardiness Zone 3
Partial shade
Growth height
Growth spread
USDA Zones 3 to 8
Partial shade
20 to 24” tall
3’ spread

The word paradigm means "model", and if you are looking for a "model" perennial that will bring quality and exceptional value to your garden, then look no further, because Hosta ‘Paradigm’ is:

   Click on the picture for larger view

    Hosta 'Paradigm'
    Hosta 'Paradigm'
    Hosta 'Paradigm'
    Hosta 'Paradigm'

Eye-catching and colorful

The handsome, boldly colored heart-shaped leaves start out in spring and early summer with a most appealing soft chartreuse center and a dark bluish-green margin, then as summer approaches the centers gradually deepen to a more colorful golden yellow. In mid summer the mounds sprout trusses of lily-like, pale lavender to almost white flowers that prominently rise above the foliage on strong, sturdy stems.

Vigorous, hardy, and easy to grow

Like most hostas, it is very hardy (Zone 3), but it's the all round vigor, ease of culture and ability to adapt to a wide variety of growing conditions that makes this exceptional selection outstanding.

Gorgeous, boldly textured foliage

Mature plants develop an attractive puckered or crimped surface that looks like quilted fabric. This rich, textural effect is particularly pleasing when the leaves are wet after rain or first thing in the morning when dew is glistens on the leaf surfaces.

Exceptionally long period of display

The combination of attractive, ever changing variegated leaves and summer flowers means that almost from the moment it pushes through the earth in spring, to the frosts of late autumn there will be something to enjoy. It's a no fuss, display that keeps going for an exceptionally long period.

A sturdy and dense grower

Unusually, for a plant with so much vigor, it is quite compact; normally making a mound of foliage that is less than 2 feet high by about 3 feet or so wide.

Easy to look after

In these busy periods when time always seems to be in short supply, it's great to find a plant that will stand up on its own and doesn't need much special care. Just follow the planting instructions on the back of our tags, water regularly until the plants get established, put down a good moisture retaining and weed suppressing mulch and after that it won't need a whole lot of extra care.

Uses, and where to place it for most effect

‘Paradigm’ is outstanding as a specimen in beds or mixed borders, it is superb when massed in bold groups, and makes excellent ground cover, edging, or a snazzy addition to foundation planting.

In my garden, I think so much of it that I grow it in several places:

A shady woodland garden
I grow it as spreading drifts of ground cover in my woodland garden; here, it competes with tree roots, vigorous natives and thrives without fuss (and no irrigation) in the shady conditions.

A partially shaded border
Elsewhere, I have it in a partially shaded border that gets a few hours of morning sunlight, the summer color is more intense in the higher light intensity, it tends to be a bit shorter and more compact and it flowers better too. As you will see form one of my pictures, I planted next to an old hollow tree trunk, I love the contrast between the soft green puckered leaves and the rugged surface of the weathered wood.

A container plant
Then I grow it as a container plant on the shady side of my deck, it makes such a nice and easy container plant. This is so easy and practical, that I cant understand why other folk dont grow it this way too. All it takes is one of our nice big Garden Splendor® plants and a decorative pot, just pop it in, and you've got an instant, long lasting, gorgeous container display! Just have a look at three examples below....

   Click on the picture for larger view

    Hosta 'Paradigm'
    Hosta 'Paradigm'
    Hosta 'Paradigm'

“Foolin’” with Hostas

‘Paradigm’ was registered in 1999 by Dr. Charles Purtymun of Walden West Hostas, in Oregon. Chuck, as his friends and the locals fondly call him, is a sharp and alert minded 86-year-old retired dentist, who despite dealing with a bout of ill health, took time to explain its background and to modestly kid me that he has been “foolin with Hostas” for 35 years.

He found ‘Paradigm’ as a sport on one of his seedlings in 1996. It was on a clump of ‘Abiqua Recluse’ (H. ‘White Vision’ x H. ‘Sum and Substance’), this, like the other eighty registered Abiqua introductions (pronounced aba-a-quaw, and named after the creek that runs not far from the 3 acre wooded property), is a time tested selection that has gone through a period of seven to eight years observation and assessment before being considered for introduction.

“Everyone loved it”

Dr. Purtymun nurtured the foundling and, later that year, took it along to the American Hosta Society's annual convention, which was conveniently being held in Portland. "Everyone loved it," he says with a good deal of justifiable pride.

"It's vigorous, always looks nice, a beautiful plant that's always consistent.

"It's a flashy plant," he says rather wryly, but quickly adds that it is "one that looks great in everybody's garden, regardless of whether it is growing in the mountains at high elevation or down in valley bottoms."

Named it ‘Paradigm’

He named it ‘Paradigm’ after the Greek word paradeigma, which means "pattern", "example" or "model." He says that the more he observed it, the more he realized that this was a model, "an example perennial that is vigorous, always consistently good..., with no faults."

As someone who is part of the Garden Splendor® organization, where we habitually take a careful and considered approach to the introduction of varieties in our line up, the Walden West philosophy is both refreshing and reassuring, it explains why Hosta ‘Paradigm’ is a worthy illustration of how Garden Splendor® plants are known to be: The best of the "tried and true" and the most promising of the exciting and new.

Now with all the publicity and razzamatazz that comes with awards, there's sure to be a lot of folk looking for this plant, so my advice would be to come over to the garden center and get your very own "model" Hosta ‘Paradigm’ soon.

With its heavily textured and colorful leaves, nice vigorous growth habit and consistently long display period this outstanding selection is a meritorious example of why Garden Splendor® plants are truly Plants Worth Remembering™.

Until next time, remember.... Enjoy your gardening. It's good for you!


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