Made in the Shade Gardens is a home based business founded in 2000 and owned by Rob Mortko (aka "The Hosta Guy") and his wife Sheri. With about 3/4 acre of shaded woodland gardens, we have opened our gardens to the public while retailing over 400 of the most popular varieties of hosta - the largest selection in the Greater Kansas City area. We also proudly offer our own hosta introductions 'Heart and Soul' which we registered in 2000, and 'Stitch in Time' which we registered in 2004. Our gardens have been featured on local TV, on various garden tours including the 2000 Johnson County Master Gardener Tour, and in the Sept/Oct 2001 issue of Kansas City Homes and Gardens Magazine.
Our mission is to provide a wide selection of the latest and the most popular hostas to Kansas City gardeners. We believe our selection, quality, prices and service are unmatched by any other operation in the Greater Kansas City area.
Gardening in the Shade
When we built our home in Olathe, Kansas we quickly realized the need to learn about gardening in the shade. We've come a long way since starting the gardens in 1985. In 2000 our gardens were opened to the public for the first time for the Johnson County Master Gardener Tour.
A New Hosta- All Our Own
Also in 2000 we developed and registered our own hosta cultivar we named 'Heart and Soul'. We licensed the propagation rights to Shady Oaks Nursery (Waseca, MN) and it is now commercially available across the country. Our most recent introduction 'Stitch in Time' has been patented and is one of the most unique of all hostas.
Made in the Shade
This interest in hosta has further blossomed into our relatively new business, Made in the Shade Gardens, where we sell over 400 different varieties of hosta. Our customers really enjoy the personal service and attention they get with this type of home based business. Plus they get to visit and tour our gardens for ideas and see mature size plants. We maintain our retail inventory through the entire growing season so availability is never a problem at Made in the Shade.
A Strong Supporting Cast
While dinner at the Mortko household seldom occurs before dark during the spring and summer months, Sheri stands by as coach, mentor and soulmate. She may not share the same passion for gardening but she does appreciate the final result. Sheri, a former school teacher and now a Life Coach (you can check out her website at www.LiveLikeYouMeanIt.com), admits "I do enjoy having my own Garden of Eden." The latest additions to the operation are Niko and Levi - the Hosta Hounds - who are determined to meet and greet each and every visitor.
Engineer by Day, Master Gardener by Night
Rob is a degreed chemical engineer and retired in March 2010 as Vice President and Technology Manager for Natural Gas Processing at Black & Veatch in Kansas City. Rob's passion for gardening and sharing that passion with others also motivated him to apply for the county's Master Gardener program. Now as a Master Gardener he volunteers over 100 hours a year to community service activities sponsored by the Johnson County Master Gardener program.