Heavenly Hostas: Tustin couple runs public Hosta Garden at their home

HOSTA HILLS: Tustin residents Mark and Bevie Schmidt have turned a love for Hostas into sanctuary on their secluded, wooded property. The Hosta Hills Gardens feature more than 850 varieties of Hostas. The couple gives tours of the gardens and has an average of 200 for sale.

TUSTIN — Tall and skinny Red Pines covering the ground with dried needles is a common scene in Northern Michigan forests. But that image wasn’t how Tustin residents Mark and Bevie Schmidt wanted their secluded property to look.

The couple wanted a more varied yard than red pines and dried needles and the lush, green Hostas have filled that void.

The couple own and run the Hosta Hills Gardens at their home. Their property has more than 850 varieties of Hostas, with an average of 200 Hostas for sale. They have hybridized and registered 12 varities of Hostas.

The garden started after Bevie received a Hosta from a family member and planted it in the spring of 1997 and within a few years, the garden really started to take shape, Mark said.

ARTISTIC FOLIAGE: Mark and Bevie Schmidt run a Hosta garden at their Tustin home. The garden has been growing since 1997 and now has more than 850 varieties on the property. The couple has even created several hybrids of their own. “The key to creating hybrids is genetic instability, and Hostas are known to be genetically unstable,” Mark said. The couple has registered 12 of their hybrids and has another 20 to 30 unregistered on the property. Bevie started a line of Hostas named after different kinds of bears. “I just thought it would be fun to have a bear line,” Bevie said. (Pioneer photos/Kyle Leppek)

Although Hostas can thrive in sunlight, they are known to do very well in the shade, perfect for the Schmidt’s property. The couple said the plants need regular watering but overall are very low maintenance.

“The nice thing about Hostas is they aren’t invasive,” Bevie said. “It makes it easy for gardening. If you want it to stay where you plant it, it will.”

GARDEN SANCTUARY: “It’s nice to come to the garden and see what the mature plant will look like before you purchase a Hosta,” Mark Schmidt said. The garden isn’t only for Hosta lovers though. “It’s a nice place to come relax and listen to the birds or sit on a bench and read a book,” he continued.

The couple gives tours free of charge by appointment. They also sell Hostas at the gardens and will ship them if needed. To set up an appointment, call Mark at (231) 878-5432.

Mark and Bevie Schmidt explain more about Hostas and hybridization:

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