I really don't remember where I first saw a Hosta planted in a pot. But I believe it was in the blogosphere rather than on a visit to a garden in person. Though I was a bit unsure that I was digging up the correct Hostas earlier in the spring, it turns out I was right. This is H. 'Abiqua Drinking Gourd,' which apparently was the 2014 Hosta of the Year as determined by the American Hosta Growers Association.
I'd put it at the top of my list for most dramatic and a fairly quick grower. They say it has "probably the most deeply cupped foliage of any Hosta cultivar" and thus makes "a distinct and unique specimen." I think its chalky blue color and those huge quilted leaves make it as dramatic a piece of sculpture as anything you could add to your garden.
It's pretty easy to see its parentage if you know your Hostas: H. 'Tokudama' x H. sieboldiana. It grows about 22 inches tall by 40+ inches wide. I think if my two potted clumps were put next to each other in the ground they would be right on the mark size-wise.
The only drawback to these cupped Hostas is they catch leaves and debris and must be cleared out carefully without leaving fingerprints on the leaves. Yup, touching them with the natural oils in our skin lifts off the powdery surface.
The "drinking gourd" alludes to the hollowed out gourd used by slaves and other rural Americans as a water dipper. In the song, "Follow the Drinking Gourd," it is a code name for the Big Dipper star formation, which points to Polaris, the Pole Star, and North. The song is a musical "map" or guide to going North. Hostas, history and art all in one beautiful package.