Breeder Profile: Roy & Mary Chastain

Mary Chastain

No serious hosta gardener in the United States or Europe would be caught without them! They are, of course, Lakeside Hostas hailing from Lakeside Acres in eastern Tennessee, owned and operated by Mary Chastain and her husband Roy. Together, their work represents some of the most advanced hosta breeding in the world. Mary will tell you that, much like people, each Lakeside Hosta has its own unique personality, each one distinct from the next.

Mary met her husband, Roy, at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville where Roy was majoring in agriculture. Together, they became involved in the world of hostas in the 1980s after Mary visited her first hosta garden while on a regional daylily convention tour. She claims that inspiration she received then has stayed with her and continues to flame her passion for breeding hostas today.

Mary and Roy's life mission was to develop quality hostas that perform well in the heat and clay soil of the south. They define "quality" as having four key components: the ability to thrive in most conditions, an average or greater rate of natural increase, foliage with good substance, and a personality that sets it apart from all others in its class. Lakeside Hostas must posess all four traits before they are registered as new hybrids.

Notable Hostas from Roy and Mary Chastain Include:

  • Hosta 'Lakeside April Snow'
  • Hosta 'Lakeside Beach Captain'
  • Hosta 'Lakeside Coal Miner'
  • Hosta 'Lakeside Cupcake'
  • Hosta 'Lakeside Dragonfly'
  • Hosta 'Lakeside Elfin Fire'
  • Hosta 'Lakeside Hoola Hoop'
  • Hosta 'Lakeside Kaleidoscope'
  • Hosta 'Lakeside Looking Glass'
  • Hosta 'Lakeside Love Affair'
  • Hosta 'Lakeside Paisley Print' - 2019 AHG Hosta of the Year
  • Hosta 'Lakeside Shore Master'
  • Hosta 'Lakeside Zinger'
Varieties Mentioned in this Article