Walking around the garden enjoying rain drops on hosta leaves made me realize that aside from my vegetables, hostas play a core part of my garden. Hostas are strong and resilient; they can tolerate most any conditions; you can beat them up and they come back as bright and green as they were before. In fact, hostas have superpowers… they are --- dramatic pause -- the Avengers of the garden! (cue music).

In a world know as the garden there are many types of mighty heroes. Previous to today, my hostas had no names because they came to the garden from some other planet (gardener) in a different space time continuum (with no specific variety name). Today, we reveal their true identities as Avengers of the garden.

The huge platter-sized dark green hosta I called "Jim Wilkins, mild-mannered scientist" is now named, "The Hulk." I received the Hulk as an early split from a fellow Edina Garden Council member. She gave me The Hulk when I was 30-something and needed something to quickly fill spots on the north side of the garden. The Hulk is huge, and strong, and wrinkly -- and surviving after 20 years. Argh, he doesn’t even need to get angry before he gets big!

Then there is Captain America – Fancy people may call it "Haku Chu Han" but this variegated hosta is Captain America to me. Fear no evil when Captain America is on your side. Sun, shade, dry, wet it tolerates all conditions and the stripes keep waving on.

Iron Man, oh yea, he is plain, green, but intelligent and indestructible. Plant Iron Man in your garden and there is a guarantee of purple flowers come fall.

Do you have a Thor, what about a Scarlet Witch, and Black Widow? Who are your garden Avengers?

(Above, from left: These three hostas -- nicknamed, from left, The Hulk, Captain America and Iron Man -- have beome powerhouses in the garden.)