Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Visiting the Annual Heather Farm Sale

The annual heather farm sale was this last weekend, and as we have every year since we arrived in Eureka, we went to the sale and selected some great heathers for our garden. The apple tree behind the farm's house is always a welcome sight, thick bent branches hold red apples with yellow markings, birds chirping, and a bird house hangs from a branch. The farm has hills surrounding it with fog rolling over them. The meadow where the heathers are raised has green grass, and plenty of heaths and heathers to view in beds throughout the property. Each four inch and gallon pot were selling for $3 each, a real bargain to say the least. The heather farm owners always puts out a spread of savory and sweet snacks for visitors, some packaged candies for the children who come with their parents, coffee and tea, and there is a table in the meadow so you can sit, relax, and enjoy the scenery as well. The annual heather sale is always a highlight of fall for me here on the north coast.

This time I went to the heather sale with a list and my husband was impressed. As is often the case the plants you buy the year before are not available, and this year was no exception. I don't mind too much because it is always fun to buy different heathers for the yard. There were less heather overall this year and no heaths available, good thing I stocked up on heaths last year. I only found one heather on my list, but was lucky enough to find the one heather I was most anxious to get more of, Kramer's Rote. This is a beautiful low to the ground heather that has delicate evergreen leaves that are covered in cream buds in the fall, opening to a striking fuchsia pink flower. This heather has become a wonderful ground cover mixed in with my lithodora plant, both perfect accents to the rhododendron and pestemon hovering over them. I grabbed two Kramer's Rote to add under the pink roses in the front yard. I found another heather that stated it acted as a thick ground cover, smothering out weeds. This particular heather is also low to the ground and is supposed to have heliotrope colored blooms. I selected two of these to go along with the Kramer's Rote heather, all to line up under the pink roses. The height of these heathers should be no more than six to eight inches high, but both spread out quite a bit when fully grown.

I found two other heathers that I plan to plant under the jasmine at the bottom of the back yard deck. There was a heather that I have grown before in Petaluma, very similar to my yellow/orange/bronze heathers in the front yard. The other heather had a beautiful pink flower and will sit nearby the brightly colored heather, both will be visible from the arbor where I sit to enjoy the garden. The final heather we purchase is an heather that grows 5 feet tall...I've never seen one that grew that tall available at the heather farm. There was one left and I grabbed it, glad we had arrived early for the sale that day. This evergreen heather is going to be planted near the pink climbing roses, it features pale pink flowers edged in a darker pink at the opening of the flowers, really a stunning shrub. I can't wait to see this heather perform in the garden, and am hoping it enjoys the sunny spot I have chosen for it.

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