Wisconsin is known for some quirky places. Much of this quirkiness involves cheese (take Mars Cheese Castle, for example). I received a tip from friends at church on Sunday about this 'Hosta Fest' going on in Walworth. I'm familiar with the concept: a small nursery who specializes in breeding will open the doors to the place one or two weekends a year for a plant sale. These can be a lot of fun: they're usually not dirt cheap, but you can find great varieties of things that you would never see at the Home Depot or Wal-Mart garden center. So this particular hosta fest was being held at Al's. Al's Auto Body and Arboretum. OK—that's one of the stranger combinations I've heard of, but my friends said it was fabulous. They have 175 varieties of hostas, and behind the auto body shop is a nice hosta arboretum.
How can you pass that up? Jen and I jumped in the car today and drove the back roads to the southern tip of Lake Delavan. Al's is a few miles from the lake on North Walworth road (google it if you want to find it—there's not a whole lot of Al's auto body and arboretums in the US). As promised, it was fabulous. Hostas were beautiful, and I imagine that they were pretty picked over considering the sale had been going on since Saturday morning.
Here's some shots from the arboretum... If someone can tell me what the vine is in the third picture, I'd appreciate it.