Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Heathers In A Barrel And In The Flower Bed

Last year I set up an old barrel with new dirt and five small heathers to provide some color and evergreen growth outside the dining room window. These heathers are all very different. One has a deep red tinge on the edges of the dark green leaves and grows upright, branching out. Another is very small and grows closer to the ground, with vibrant yellow tips with a salmon color mixed in with the yellow and green leaves. The wider of the plants is a heather with medium green leaves and tips of chocolate brown, with a wide spread and upward growth. The final two heathers are deep green shades that will produce blooms to complement the rest of the heathers. All of these heathers will produce flowers that bloom in pinks and lavenders.

There is some slight growth since last year, but since we hit spring there is a filling out of the leaves and more color on the tips of the shrubs. I paired these heathers with small purple windflowers at the base of the shrubs. These windflowers are very delicate looking and daisy like, opening full when there is a cloudy day or some sun, but the flowers closing up tight when raining. The leaves of the windflowers look similar to chrysanthemum shaped leaves. These windflowers grow so small that the barrel is an ideal place for them to be showcased, hovering below the branches of the colorful leaves of the heather shrubs.

The oldest heathers I have were planted in the large back yard bed, the flower bed that needs to be torn down, this photo is of one of these heathers after a year or two of being planted. I have one other old heather I brought with me from Petaluma that is doing well in the front yard and blooms profusely with pink flowers every summer. The old front yard heather is about a foot wide, whereas the old heathers I planted when we first moved here over four years ago are a good two feet wide and almost as tall. Both of these heathers get creamy colored tips of yellow and orange in spring then blooming follows. At some point I will need to move these two huge heathers into a sunny location, probably in the front yard. It is possible to replant these heathers into the new flower bed in the back but I think this flower bed will actually become an herb bed. I think herbs in the garden are a great match with flowers, they look great and provide green through much of the year, are aromatic, and you can cook with them too. My old heathers really do love the spot they are in since it is one of the sunniest areas on our property. They may just have to join the herb bed or convince me to create a heath and heather bed there instead.

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