Hosta White Feather

Unlike other hostas, ‘White Feather’ will thrive with a few hours of sunlight. Photograph: Ros Drinkwater/Alamy

What is it? A striking hosta that pushes out stark white spikes of unfurling leaves in spring, inching towards a striped cream and green colour scheme before dying back in winter. Height and spread: 45cm x 5cm.

Plant it with? Try it in front of the taller, steely-blue Hosta sieboldiana var elegans, or with black mondo grass (Ophiopogon planiscapus). ‘White Feather’ is suitable for containers, so what about a jet black pot for maximum impact?

And where? Unlike other hostas, ‘White Feather’ will thrive with a few hours of sunlight, but that’s not a cue to stick it in a parched, south-facing gravel garden. Provide moist but not boggy fertile soil, and you’ll need the usual slug exclusion zone measures to avoid the doily leaf effect.

Any drawbacks? Later in the season, uncharitable visitors may mistake the cream- and green-streaked leaves for a nutrient deficiency. But who cares? You’re really growing it for the impact of that clutch of newly emergent leaves in spring, not for its performance the rest of the year.

What else does it do? The summer’s not a total busted flush: the lavender flower spikes add a bit of interest.

Buy it Order two plants for £14.99 or four for £19.98 (prices include free UK mainland p&p). To order, call 0330 333 6856, quoting ref GU141, or visit our Reader Offers page. Supplied as bare roots; delivery from early December onwards.