Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Heaths & Heather Blooms & Leaf Colors

As I was watering this past weekend in the front yard I noticed quite a bit of blooming happening from the older heaths and heathers in my garden. I planted six small heathers a few years ago that are gold with green, bronze or red throughout the leaves. Up 'till now the heathers have never bloomed but this year the six heathers are all finally blooming. These late season heathers are good sized now after starting off as four inch pots and the colors on the leaves are really beautiful, good enough frankly to highlight the garden even if they never bloomed. This year they started blooming in August and are featuring vivid purple, lavender and red blooms. These particular heather were placed near the front steps of the house so they would brighten up the front yard during the darker days of winter. I have to say they are doing that and much more now, having grown to almost full size and are full of color!

The erica I planted near the climbing roses is a really interesting shrub, I believe it is called a bicolor heath. It is probably a good two feet wide and foot or more tall, and full of dark lavender pink bells. I've noticed that this erica is always full of blooms and took to its spot readily, growing rapidly and blooming right away. The other interesting factor of this particular heath is that the blooms never seem to fade. Most of my summer heathers bloom then the flowers brown and fade, which signals me to trim them up and cut off the brown faded blooms. I haven't seen one brown flower faded on this plant and honestly it appears to be blooming all year long. I have a few newer heaths similar to this one with big bells in the same color and they are all doing very well and growing rapidly. One of these ericas was planted last October in the back yard below the pink jasmine on the deck, even at its small size it has pink bells covering the shrub.

Three years ago when we first went to the heather farm for its annual sale I bought three low growing heathers to plant below the pink climbing roses in tiny two inch pots for a great price. Two of the three shrubs are doing well, one is so low growing not much is happening other than it is spreading out, not up. One of the shrubs is mounded and all light green, with the softest feathered looking leaves, this is an early picture of it, now it is probably four inches by four inches. The other heather variety is called Grizse and is a small upright heather that has grown to four inches wide by five inches tall with the same grey colored leaves as the Silver King heather I have planted in the back under the jasmine. This heather is producing deep pink flowers that look fantastic next to the silver grey foliage.

These three heathers all took forever to get bigger and looked poorly until this year. I'm glad they are finally thriving and growing. It is exciting to see so many of the heaths and heathers I have planted grow bigger, show their leaf colors and bloom. The heathers in the photo are a few of the yellow and bronze leaf varieties lining our front walkway, perfect for color during the winter months. Heaths and heathers are a perfect choice for a sunny location in your garden and well worth the investment of time watering the first year. These easy care shrubs will fill your garden with shape, leaf color and bloom for years to come once established.

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